Nathan Love was approached by McGraw-Hill Education to develop a brand-identity for their new reading program, titled McGraw-Hill Reading “Wonders”.
McGraw-Hill was interested in creating a rich, 3D world, filled with unique characters and fantastical environments. Once this world was established, the design motifs, themes, and visual language we developed would be applied across all the different elements of the program – everything from textbook covers, to digital tools, web products, and sales/marketing material – including an animated trailer to promote the newly designed program.
Working closely with the design, editorial, marketing and sales teams at McGraw-Hill, our first step on this journey was to create a series of book covers for the reading textbooks. There are twenty covers in total, covering all the years from Kindergarten through 6th grade. Each cover contains a unique character or prop, and is designed to work as a self-contained story. Ultimately, all twenty covers combine into one epic tale that embodies the joys and wonders of reading.
In designing the covers, we wanted to take young readers on a visual adventure. As they progress from Kindergarten through 6th grade, our covers are designed to grow with them. The world expands around them – getting bigger and more complex as the story moves forward. The characters also grow in complexity, from simple shapes and primary colors to increasingly detailed and sophisticated designs.
We created over 17 unique characters for the program – each designed specifically to have unique features and personality traits. Once the characters were created in 3D, they could be used for anything, from any angle, in any pose. As part of the package, we provided McGraw-Hill with additional character poses to integrate into their book interiors, websites, marketing materials, and other program elements.
These characters, and the narrative established by the book covers, provided a foundation for a two-minute animated trailer that tied everything together and brought the “Wonders” world to life.
Our collaboration with McGraw-Hill marked the first time that they had ever hired a single vendor to handle the entire program, and their first time working in a 3D pipeline.
We feel extremely lucky to have worked with such a fun and entrusting client – they were one of the best clients we’ve ever had, across the board. They knew they wanted to do something special and were willing to take a risk to get there. They trusted us with a process that was completely new to them, and through their guidance, we believe we created an amazing final product.
We had an incredible team behind us that did what they do best, with pride, and they did a fantastic job. A big shout out to everyone involved – we can’t wait for the next one!