Building a Framework for Dual Language Learners
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 capture youthful energy in a credible, academic way?!
While California’s Gold is a very serious report and framework on maximizing opportunities for dual-language learners, it was still important to imbue it with the spirit of the children who educators will impact by adopting its recommendations. We developed a design direction that combines the youthful exuberance of children’s education with a smart, clean, and structured aesthetic that reinforces the framework’s evidence-based approach. A suite of branded illustrations adds rhythm and personality to visually express California’s Gold’s story.
We need a design that keeps readers engaged and inspired.
As a relatively lengthy report, a top priority for design strategy was to create a modular design system that would establish consistency and an easy-to-follow editorial structure, while balancing legibility and visual interest for its long-form content. We created a structured grid system to organize California’s Gold’s information and provide opportunities to elevate key takeaways. Illustrations and a vibrant system then add personality and visual interest so that readers remain engaged as they move through its four key areas for action.
Give key audiences the information they need quickly!
In addition to the full print report, we designed four “Topic Area One Sheets” to quickly provide teachers, community members, activists, and politicians with the information they need. The addition of data visualization and callouts lends further context to the report’s mission, and highlights key takeaways.
A highly structured, yet flexible experience.
While Heising-Simons wanted to lead with a print/PDF communications strategy for publishing California’s Gold, they understood that to reach a wider audience, a digital publishing strategy for their report was essential. Our digital team partnered with their team and the report’s author to create an online experience that translated the report’s linear format into one that supported exploration from multiple entry points—emphasizing legibility and elevating key takeaways and calls-to-action.
We need to make the report more accessible to online audiences.
Visually, we created a system of page templates that meet the needs of the report’s content and functionality, structuring design with g a flexible, responsive grid system that makes sure information and ideas flow cohesively. Extending the clean, colorful design principles established for the print report, we added animation and interaction design for an engaging digital report that delivers a focused, abbreviated version of the full print report—and which makes additional resources and fact sheets available to audiences.
California’s Gold elevates four areas for action that are critical to a high-quality PreK-3rd grade system. If attended to, these areas could significantly advance the education of DLLs and strengthen the state’s early learning system.