Over the next few months, IES will begin rolling out a new logo and visual identity, an undertaking that has been in the works for about a year. Full implementation will take some time, but don't be surprised when you see a new look on our publications and social media.
While we're excited about the new visual identity, this post is not about the new logo, the color scheme, or the symbolism behind the design choices. My patience for these discussions has been exhausted by the redesign itself (just ask our communications director). Rather, I'd like to discuss what this change signifies for IES.
In the nearly two decades since our founding, IES activities have been largely governed by our four national education centers. Each center pursues IES' mission with its own distinct approach. In fact, some centers are guided by directives and policies that preclude them from participating in the work of other centers. The National Center for Education Statistics, for example, cannot conduct program evaluations.
In the early days, this siloed structure enabled commissioners to grow their centers quickly and earn the trust of specific segments of our audience. But as the quality and quantity of our work has grown, it has become clear that these silos limit our ability to reach the educators, policymakers, and families who could put our research to good use. The way we organize our work is critical to ensuring that IES continues to provide rigorous, expert-produced materials. However, the audience we want to reach should not need to be familiar with our organizational structure in order to navigate our products.
Yet look at our website or anything we produce, and you'd be forgiven for assuming that IES is less a unified agency than a collection of independent centers.
It can be difficult to find something on our website without already knowing which center produced it. To further confuse the matter, IES projects currently use over 100 different logos, which appear alongside or even in place of our main logo.
We are going to focus our efforts on showcasing the many products under the IES umbrella and our new, singular logo. We are beginning a multiyear project to redesign our website to focus on customer experience and easy access to our products. We're replacing the one-off NewsFlashes that fill your inboxes with a regular newsletter that showcases the work of the Institute as a whole. And we are encouraging collaboration among IES staff to find more effective, efficient ways of fulfilling our mission through shared expertise.
Some of you who support the work of a single center or project may find this change dramatic. I want to assure everyone that none of our centers are disappearing or losing their designations. However, as director of IES, my favorite moments are those when individual center expertise combine to lead to shared solutions. I want this to reverberate in how we reach our audience. Hopefully the changes to come will help you discover new tools and resources that we offer. If you'd like to see anything as we implement these changes, please let me know. As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.