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Heising-Simons Foundation

A New Take on Digital Education Policy Report Design

While dual language learners make up a growing part of California’s young child population, tests and state assessments reveal that these children are at a greater disadvantage in the state’s current education system. California’s Gold report seeks to detail the issues driving these inequities, and explore solutions for overcoming them. The Heising-Simons Foundation contacted Constructive to help create a unique design for both the print and digital version of the California’s Gold report.


How do we express youthful exuberance and academic credibility?

While California’s Gold is a serious report and an important framework for maximizing opportunities for dual-language learners, it was still important to capture the spirit of the children who educators will make a positive difference for by adopting its recommendations. We started by designing the California’s Gold brand, combining colors that capture the optimistic exuberance of young learners, illustrations that add rhythm and personality, and a structured design system that reinforces the framework’s evidence-based approach.

Print Report

Editorial design that keeps readers engaged and inspired.

California’s Gold is a large report, so we created a design strategy that prioritizes an editorial rhythm to establish an easy-to-follow structure, maximize legibility, and provide visual interest to keep readers engaged. We designed a classic grid system for the print report to structure information and provide space for call-outs and key takeaways. Bold headlines attract attention while the rest of the type system creates a clear information hierarchy for scanning. Vibrant colors and Illustrations complete the report by adding visual interest that keeps readers engaged as they move through the reports four key action areas.

One Sheets

Give our audiences the information they need, quickly!

The dual-language learning framework in California’s Gold is built on four key action areas. To complement the depth of information in the full report, Heising-Simons’ team created one-sheets for each. Our design for them focuses on the facts with a clean, open design, data visualizations, and light touch on illustrations to quickly provide teachers, policymakers community members, and activists with the information they need to realize the recommendations in California’s Gold.

Digital Report Strategy

Creating the blueprint for a responsive digital experience.

Given the size and complexity of California’s Gold, Heising-Simons communications strategy prioritized a printed report to distribute to policymakers and education sector experts. They also understood that to reach a wider audience and have greater influence and impact, a digital publishing strategy was critical to success. Our digital team translated the linear print experience into information architecture for a responsive website that allows audiences to explore the full report from multiple entry points and increases accessibility with valuable features like search and an interactive glossary.

Digital Report Design & Development

We need to make the report more accessible to online audiences.

Visually, we extended California’s Gold’s brand to the digital realm by integrating interactive elements that complement the report’s existing design system. User interface design prioritizes usability by adding iconography, buttons and other elements for wayfinding and navigation. And playful animations embody the optimism of California’s Gold and capture audiences’ attention by bringing the report’s illustrations to life online.

California’s Gold elevates four critical action areas needed to realize a high-quality dual-language learning environment for pre-K to 3rd grade that will significantly strengthen the state’s system for early learning.

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