House of Shine is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to engage women and children by providing leadership programs that are creative and experiential by nature. The organization’s founder, Claudia Beeny, began her career in higher education with a focus on residential life at universities. To help resident assistants (RAs) hone community building skills, Claudia co-authored a leadership program called BASIC. For more than 20 years, BASIC has been used for leadership development in university settings, but needed a visual upgrade to bring it up to more modern specifications. The initial objective was to take the former materials, a poster, challenge card set, supervisor’s guide and resident assistant’s guide and package them in a way that was simple and economical while also giving them a design upgrade and making them more relevant to today’s future leaders.
Our approach was to approach the design very graphically. We introduced a smart color palette of bright saturated colors and anchored those with a navy blue that gives the entire palette a grounded and professional feel. That use of color allowed us to take a large array of very different stock imagery and subject matter and assign it visual continuity. The circle motif alludes to the process of leadership being a cycle that is on-going where you build one new skill on top of another. Further, the geometry represents the structure and trust of a growing and involved community. To present and package the system, and to keep the materials affordable, we used a pre-existing clamshell cardboard box and developed a custom insert piece that allowed us to smartly stack the materials in top to bottom. A custom label seals the box and adds a finishing element to pull all of the materials together. What we ended up with, is a system that is simple, beautiful, colorful, economic and modern.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for BASIC and the materials are being rolled out to a small audience currently. As the demand increases, we’ve built a scalable system and given House of Shine components that can reused and repurposed into a more customized package down the line. We’ve also established a brand for BASIC that can be extended into future leadership collateral. While this iteration is aimed squarely at universities and residence life, the content is so perfectly positioned for subsequent leadership applications that we have no doubt we’ve just scratched the surface with BASIC.