OverviewCarolina Online, conceived as a groundbreaking virtual undergraduate degree program offered by the University of South Carolina, aimed to democratize education with more than 65 programs accessible online. With support from the university's president and provost, the project was ambitious and intense: Driven by an impending partnership with Major League Soccer, our clients challenged us to compress what would normally be a year-long design and development project into just two months.
In Phase 1, we created an identity system for the online education platform, aligning it with the university's branding guidelines. After exploring nearly 20 logo iterations, we settled on a final system with three versions for various applications. We also designed the website and meticulously planned its information architecture, including a search system, content strategy, and hierarchy of online programs. Our collaboration with a compliance officer ensured adherence to federal accessibility standards, offering valuable insights for future projects. WordPress multisite development was executed by Cyberwoven.
For Phase 2, we extended the branding to UofSC’s satellite schools, adapting logos and site versions to each college’s unique visual identity. We also produced print and online ads, videos for MLS stadium showcases, persuasive radio ad copy, and a comprehensive welcome package for incoming online students.
Ultimately, internal bureaucratic turmoil and the departure of key project advocates led to Carolina Online's closure two years later. Still, our work left a mark. The MLS partnership exposed millions to our logo and ads during televised soccer matches. Professional players enrolled in the program, and Carolina Online's partnership with Paretta Autosport promoted diversity and female leadership in motorsport (we were proud to see our Carolina Online logo emblazoned on a racecar at the Indianapolis 500). Thanks to its overall challenges and the determination with which we were able to meet them, Carolina Online remains among our most gratifying projects.