As a former homeschooling mama, I know many people don’t take homeschoolers seriously.
We lounge around in our pajamas all day watching Netflix and call it history. We grind our own wheat with a stone, bake earthy bread, and call it science. We drag our children through the grocery store with a coupon binder and call it math. And the children never, ever come in contact with another person – let alone anyone their own age – because that could be called socialization… and we can’t have that or the pervading stereotype might be proved wrong. Gasp!
Snarky comments aside, the truth is that there are homeschoolers that do a whole lot of nothing and call it school. But, the majority of homeschooling families (at least the ones I know) are legit. Their kids write essays and solve algebra problems and conduct science experiments. Nearly everyone is involved with other homeschoolers in some way, and a lot of these families join co-ops.
A homeschool co-op provides opportunities for homeschoolers to study with other children. Some groups are only for extracurricular activities, while some offer core subjects like math and history. It’s like a school run by parents.
The community of Prescott, Arizona offers a few different co-op choices, including the Prescott-Quad Cities Homeschool Co-op (PQCHC). In order to present a unified and professional look to the Prescott community, the co-op asked me to design a logo. Yay!
What is the PQC Homeschool Co-op all about?
When I asked an administrator to describe why people love their co-op, she explained:
People participate in the co-op to be part of a fun community of homeschool help. They appreciate what each person gives, and how there are parents willing to share their talents, to “co-operate” together to improve education for each others’ children. Our courses for K-8 are primarily supplemental, although an individual course may be sufficient to be, for example, a student’s science class for a semester. Parent teachers tend to offer science (with that hands-on component); social sciences (also with a hands-on element or “less taught” aspect, such as Geography); arts and crafts; group activities, such as p.e., theater, music. We emphasize that co-op is about the kids — first, you enroll your kids, and only second do you get to fulfill your own desire to teach, for example. We want it to be about enriching the education of our kids.
With these answers, I pulled words like PEOPLE, COMMUNITY, SHARING, and FUN. Since I homeschooled for four years, I know that homeschoolers are a very diverse bunch. This co-op welcomes people of various educational philosophies, faiths, and ethnicities. The unifying theme is the advancement of education for every child.
Initial Logo Ideas
Since the Prescott-Quad Cities Homeschool Co-op is an insane mouthful to say and a nightmare to design, I chose to work with the abbreviation (PQCHC) first. I drew books (cliche!), trees (meh), icons (fun!), and tried to marry the initial letters together. I included some options with the shape of Arizona and some without. The co-op administrators really wanted to show the geographical location, so I made sure to include Arizona in at least a few of my logo designs.
Of the five logo designs submitted, the option you see at the top of this post and below won my heart. This logo concept communicates the diversity of classes and studies explored at the co-op. The four elements are not meant to signify specific subjects; rather, they present tools that may be used in any subject (closer examination/discovery, writing observations, experimenting with ideas and materials, artistic rendering/exploration). This allows the logo to maintain relevance despite the change in classes offered every semester.
However, this option didn’t give any geography clues, so the administrators passed on it.
The Logo Finalists
One of the things I love about creating logos is the moment when the client realizes they have a tough choice to make. They are head over heels for more than one logo choice, and they just cannot decide. That means I’ve done my job well, giving lots of logo love to your brand. The co-op administrators whittled the options down to two and gave the co-op families an opportunity to vote.
The logo concept you see below made it to the finals. I almost did not create this option, but I have learned that in many great logos, the name IS the logo. This design concept presents the entire name of Prescott-Quad Cities Homeschool Co-op in a whimsical mashup. The letters move to accommodate, and they wrap around to support other letters. With a fun feel, the letters are all a little different while still standing on a common foundation – the co-op. The outline of Arizona unifies the design.
Families loved the option above, but ultimately, they decided to go with a cleaner, simpler look. The final logo concept embodies a minimalist approach. Though families of diverse backgrounds are represented in the student body and teaching staff, the two essential unifying factors are geography and the educational opportunities provided at the co-op. This allows for all types of people to participate, provided their goals align with the co-op offerings and the geographical location is suitable.
Many thanks to the lovely administrators and kind families at the Prescott-Quad Cities Homeschool Co-op for the opportunity to design their logo and give them a professional look in the community!
If your logo could use a tune-up or even a complete overhaul, I would be happy to see if we’d be a good fit to work together! I offer discounts on graphic design jobs for non-profit and 501(c)(3) organizations. Email me (zirkusdesign at gmail dot com) for pricing.