Oregon’s early childhood development organizations were fragmented, causing challenges for families seeking support. The Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) was created to consolidate these resources, and they enlisted MAC’s help to design an inclusive visual identity and sub-brand system for the new unified agency.


  • Branding

  • Marketing Tools


In Oregon’s landscape of early learning and care, agencies related to such services stood as a dispersed constellation of valuable resources. These resources weren’t clearly connected, making it a puzzle for parents and providers to locate the support they needed. Some responsibilities belonged to the Department of Education, others to the Department of Health, and the rest to the Department of Human Services.


To this end, in mid-2023 the state of Oregon publicly launched the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) — a brand new agency to oversee numerous programs such as Preschool Promise and Baby Promise.


As the clock ticked down to the launch of the unified DELC, MAC was called upon to create a new visual identity and sub-brand system to weave together myriad sub-organizations into a cohesive, resonant whole that still distinguished individual programs and left room for growth.


Our early research and insights gleaned from interviews and focus groups painted a picture of low general awareness of the services available through various state programs. There were diverse interests and needs within the community that required representation, along with a pressing need to center equity and inclusion in every facet of DELC, including its visual approach.

The logo, logotype, and brand color palette create a warm and inclusive visual identity.


Our goals were clear as crystal: the first, to foster trust with the department’s target audiences using a memorable and inclusive visual identity.


Second, we were tasked with helping to unite multiple internal stakeholders around a branding approach that promised real organizational change, which would then be nobly echoed in the new visual identity.


Above all, we set out to create a visual identity that was universally resonant, adaptable, absolutely inclusionary, and respectful of cultural nuances.


Rolling up our sleeves, we delved into a comprehensive audit, reviewing internal documents and performing a comparative brand analysis including early childhood departments in numerous states, assessing best practices and trends.


We then conducted hours of interviews and focus group sessions with parents, providers, and other stakeholders (including those from non-English speaking communities) to ensure our work was shaped by diverse perspectives. These insights informed the creation of audience profiles and directed our approach in crafting an identity that conveyed humanistic and youthful qualities while remaining suitable for a government agency.


With our building blocks firmly in place, we developed mood boards, drafted logo concepts, and cleared final options with a trademark search.


We designed a number of patterns and supporting visual tools for the identity system. And we worked to integrate a dozen sub-brands into one overarching identity, before solidifying the outcomes in a comprehensive guidebook to keep the branding on point.

The visual identity easily transfers across all sub-brands, including the fun, youthful pattern for an eye-catching design element.


The result? A visual identity that reflects DELC’s mission to empower providers to better serve families and children. The brand identity is not only relatable and recognizable to audiences, but also flexible to accommodate future sub-brand expansion.


Further, DELC staff and partners across the state are equipped with easy-to-use design tools and templates to help them implement the system in a consistent manner and to improve adoption and rollout.

Social media header images, profile icons, and posts all reflect the new brand identity to help DELC spread its mission and generate awareness.

DELC’s efforts to organize and improve Oregon’s early learning and care resources stand to make an expansive and crucial impact for communities state-wide. Now, they can be confident that the unified DELC brand becomes a familiar beacon, serving Oregonians of all walks for decades to come.


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