Giving APA digital platforms the
right look and feel to succeed


The American Psychological Association (APA) is a global leader in advancing the study and practice of psychology. With a new pair of digital learning platforms available to colleges and universities, APA sought to help students master their academic writing and help instructors immerse their classes in a more personalized learning experience. These platforms needed to be distinct but cohesive—and most importantly, they needed to convey the mission and values of the APA.


Working closely with the APA’s product and marketing teams, we identified the platforms’ features and benefits. We also discovered that word-of-mouth is a particularly important decision driver in the higher education space. To reach end users, the new names and brand marks needed to be concise, memorable and easy to bring up in conversation. Most importantly, they needed to resonate with APA’s core audience; college faculty, librarians and department administrators.


After several creative sessions and many rounds of testing with stakeholders and prospective customers, the names, taglines and striking visual identities for these two powerful new tools—Psyclearn and Academic Writer—were born. The vibrant aesthetics and strategic but memorable names capture the function and practicality of the products while remaining memorable to the user base. The logos are distinctive, but both capture the critical characteristic inherent to these tools: the relationship dynamic of student and teacher. Today, the customer base for these products is expanding tremendously, and name recognition continues to grow.

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