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Heising-Simons Foundation

A Digital Toolkit & Report to Advance Education Policy

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. Heising-Simons Foundation asked Constructive to help them produce “California’s Gold,” a nonprofit education report that analyzes education policy and practices to detail the issues driving education inequities and explores solutions to overcome them. Designed in print and digital, the nonprofit report lays out a new framework to increase education equity and improve outcomes.


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.

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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