Tombolo Institute

The [land] bridge to your future!

A brand stuck in Neverland needs a path forward

  • Courses in cosplay? Check.
  • Tutorials on stock tips? Definitely.
  • Sessions on C#? You know it!

If you wanted to expand your horizons and pick up a new skill, Bellevue College Continuing Education was the place to be.

A brand stuck in Neverland needs a path forward

Time for a spin off

As the Seattle area transformed into the Silicon Valley of the Northwest, Bellevue College pivoted its offerings to accommodate tech trajectories, but their brand never grew up. When they were ready to spin off their professional unit into its own entity, we helped lead the charge.

First, we uncovered the school’s buried treasure

Our investigation revealed three major nuggets

Basket weaving is a nice skill, but not a money-making venture

Basket weaving is a nice skill, but not a money-making venture

Online coding schools were underwhelming by comparison

Online coding schools were underwhelming by comparison

50+ years in the community has built a lot of trust

50+ years in the community has built a lot of trust

The before

The during

The after

The before The before

The before

The during

The after

The before The before

The before

The during

The after

The after The after The after

We put the jewels on display

To capture new students hungry for careers in tech, we stripped down the community education classes and brought coding, programming, and cloud computing front and center.

tom-bo-lo

tom-bo-lo

tom-bo-lo

A tech-licious rebrand

It hit us, like a pinecone from a Doug fir, tom-bo-lo!

The narrow strip of land that connects the mainland to an island would be the school's new namesake.

Tombolo had a fresh ring to it that matched the vibe of coding academies. Like a tombolo, the school would serve as a fundamental bridge to exciting career opportunities, yet remain connected to the original Bellevue College.

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Bubble letters to float on

Our logo concepts came down to the rattler and the beluga. Both aligned with the playful side of the tech industry and kept the connection to the mother college underneath. In the end, the beluga won with its cuteness.

Orange bubbly shapes capture the bold spirit of professionals expanding their careers

Lowercase, fluid typeface juxtaposes the Bellevue College font

A tombolo-inspired mark anchors the logo and doubles as a brand element

Tombolo to your browser

We built the Tombolo Institute website from scratch, spelling out the value of a tech career right on the homepage. For those who were undecided, we constructed an interactive decision tree to guide them through their options.

Catalog dreams do come true

The bulk of the work was the course catalog, which houses 200 courses and programs—and counting. First, we streamlined the navigation by narrowing it down to three main focus areas: technology, business, and healthcare. Then, after combing through every course description, we revised, rewrote, and revamped the catalog to deliver an online-shopping-inspired experience, allowing for a more granular search with our robust filtering system.

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I could use a tombolo

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