There are three key things the design needs to do:
1. Create a sense of place, given that we are building support for the project before we have an actual physical school. We presume this will be through the depiction of a physical building (ie. a schoolhouse). Please err on the side of traditional one-room wooden schoolhouses (or simple residential buildings) rather that modern school institutions. Be aware that the classic schoolhouse with the bell on top is an American-ism, I don't have a problem with it, but the building could be depicted or alluded to in other ways. Some visual reference in provided.
2. Create a sense of professionalism and establishment. With this being a start-up, the logo will play a key role in giving a first impression. This is a design conscious audience, and having what is clearly a professional, well presented identity will be key. Hence the desire for a clean, strong design aesthetic.
3. Reflect the humanistic, community based nature of the project. Our thinking (and we are open to alternatives here) is that this can be done through an illustrative style that has a 'crafted' or 'hand-drawn' look to it, and the use of either a handwritten font or ideally a handwritten logotype.
Some specifics to save time and effort:
* Must feature the word ‘SCHOOLHOUSE’
* Must include reference to a building or physical presence of sort
* Should have a 'hand-drawn' feel to it, to give it human character
* Should NOT look childish, or as if drawn by a child
* Part of the logo must be suitable for use as an emblem that works as a small square for social media avatars (eg. Twitter and Facebook)
In terms of a more concrete appreciation of our audience, think about people like Adam (37) and Rachel (34). Adam is a web developer, Rachel is a journalist who works freelance since the birth of their daughter Ari who is now two years old. They are both university educated – and while they are ambitious for their daughter, they want her to grow up and find something she is passionate about. They are concerned that public schooling is archaic and conservative – but find most alternatives too traditionally religious or elitist. They would prefer a more open, community based option that strives to teach students important skills for success in the 21st century - things like critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication.