Degreed turned eight years old last month, which is practically ancient in internet years. In that time, we’ve witnessed 11 releases of the iPhone, the more-bitter-than-sweet end of Game of Thrones, and everyone’s mom ending up on Facebook.
We’ve also seen Degreed grow from three to 450 employees. We’ve gone from one Fortune 50 client to more than 30% of Fortune 50 companies using our platform. And we’ve evolved from being a simple product that captures your lifelong learning transcript to an elegant and dynamic ecosystem designed to connect learning and skills to opportunities.
All that time, the Degreed brand has remained constant. We’ve owned those little glasses. We’ve unabashedly painted the town blue and orange. And we’ve happily corrected each person that has asked us: “Degree? Like the deodorant?”
You know what has changed in the last eight years? Screen resolution and pixel density. Browsing habits and mobile usage. Design and usability trends. And many other things that our original logo and brand elements were not designed to handle.
So today we’re launching a refreshed brand identity for Degreed that is simpler and a bit more refined, but still captures the bold spirit that makes Degreed different. We’ve evolved as a company and product; now our identity is evolving, in order to scale more easily and work better all around the world.
Full disclosure: I didn’t design the original Degreed logo and color palette; they’re the brainchild of the great Ed Nacional. I did, however, raise that logo from a toddler to a teenager to a fully-grown brand and I definitely feel like a proud step-parent in this moment.
Leaning into our legacy
We knew this rebrand wouldn’t be a burn-it-to-the-ground approach. We’ve worked hard to build Degreed’s brand equity and carve out a unique space in the mind of our clients and our community, so we knew we couldn’t just throw all that work away. Instead, we decided to leverage the core elements that have served us so well, and build our refresh around them.
We also didn’t feel the need to redefine our brand attributes; we’ve always been bold, human, and empowering in our brand philosophy and design solutions. Those same defining characteristics continue to guide our decisions every step of the way.
Seeing our new logo clearly
Glasses have long been a symbol of nerds, mad scientists, and superheroes in disguise. While we definitely identify a little bit with all of those things, for us, the glasses represent a core part of our mission: the sunglasses John F Kennedy wore during his famous (and inspiring) May 25, 1961 “moonshot” speech.
We knew the glasses weren’t going anywhere, so we simplified them by getting rid of the little asterisk/spark/plus sign that floated to the upper right. (What was that thing anyway?) We finessed the curves and we adjusted the length of the arms, resulting in a fresh pair of glasses that is gender-neutral, a little more elegant, and a lot more balanced.
Keeping it sans-serif
The next piece we tackled was the Degreed wordmark, again building on the core of what made it recognizable: a simple, friendly, lowercase sans-serif font. We started with a classic typeface — Aktiv Grotesk Extended Bold to be exact— and then customized the weight, adjusted some angles, rounded the corners for a touch more friendliness, and finally, got super-design-nerdy about character spacing. All this to ensure a new and unique wordmark that will hold up at every size — from 1/4 inch to spanning a stage (once we can do live events again, of course.)
Feeling True Blue
Blue has also been a prominent part of the Degreed brand from the beginning. In fact, we’ve used various shades of the old Degreed blue in pretty much every way imaginable. So blue is here to stay, but we’ve brightened it to work better in our app (and pretty much every other application) and given it a name: True Blue.
To complement our new blue, we’re introducing a back-to-basics palette inspired by the primary colors but with a twist to make them uniquely Degreed.
Same voice, new script
To complement the visual overhaul our brand is getting, we have also overhauled our messaging. We’re still going to be as bold and human as ever in our voice and tone, but you’ll see clearer language that speaks to a broader audience than before. We’re tackling a big problem and we want everyone to hear what we have to say. Because having the skills for tomorrow is something that everyone should be concerned about.
What else is changing
Along with our logo, wordmark, and colors, we’re changing our typeface and brand imagery like photography, illustration, and patterns. We’ll also be rolling out a refreshed website, social channels, videos, and much more in the coming weeks and months.
As we continue to roll out our new brand identity, you may notice things look slightly different on our platform and app. The colors and typeface of our platform will be updated to reflect our new identity, with more updates rolling out over time. But never fear, these changes should only enhance the core user experience that you know and love.
And remember, sometimes change is good.
What’s not changing
While some parts of the Degreed platform will be getting a slight facelift with this brand refresh, everything inside your Degreed account will stay pretty much the same with the intuitive user experience and the robust reporting you’re used to.
You can also sleep tight knowing the Degreed team is still here for you 24/7 to provide support, insights, resources, and best practices. Our goal is — and always will be — to help you reach yours.
Finally, our name isn’t changing. We’re still Degreed, which means we’re still ready to answer that deodorant question. We may look different, but we still smell the same.