Kirby Stephens Design

Lighting a Fire for Education

With a new superintendent at the helm and several important initiatives underway, Madison County Schools entered 2014 with three goals in mind — to refocus, redesign and rebrand the school district to more effectively communicate its commitment to first-class education.

In addition to a strategic planning process that established 40 new initiatives, Madison County Schools asked KSD to help illustrate how the district inspires excellence for students. Earlier in the year, KSD created a new identity for Mike’s Kids Education Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports literacy and scholarship efforts in Madison County Schools. Superintendent Elmer Thomas wanted to build on that momentum by bringing new life to the district’s identity in a similar way.

Madison County Schools strategic planning registration

The district’s old logo and slogan, “Every Student Counts,” had been an integral part of the school system for many years. The logo was closely tied to that of the Kentucky Department of Education, and it carried the district through important growth and literacy initiatives. But as the school system’s mission and vision evolve, Thomas felt it important that visual presentation evolve as well — in a modern, progressive way.

The new brand for Madison County Schools features the symbol of a torch and the brand statement “On Fire For Their Future.” The symbol represents the way the district lights the fire of curiosity, leads by example and helps students develop and speak with a unique voice in order to develop citizens of the community and enable a meaningful future for them.

KSD chose the torch because it is a symbol of knowledge, learning and enlightenment. In addition to connecting academics with athletics and extracurricular activities, it is a symbol of hope, inspiration and aspiration. It is a symbol based in tradition but visualized with contemporary interpretation. And positioned in the center of the letter “M,” it symbolizes Madison County Schools’ effort to carry the torch for all 11,000 students in 17 schools across the county.

The brand is being implemented in a number of ways. KSD created artwork for outdoor banner systems at schools; images for the district’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts; website images; and T-shirts and embroidered items for a recent community strategic planning session where the brand was introduced. During the coming weeks, KSD will assist in creating a number of documents for district employees and schools to use, and will help in implementing the brand in an updated, responsive website redesign.


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