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McREL International is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world. In an attempt to appeal to young, intuitive & tech savvy educators, they needed to deliver a custom website for their educational technology division. John Connelly, owner of Sensus Media, approached Brent Thelen Design (BTD) to give the new McREL International website somewhat of a re-brand and a fresh blast of “cool.”

what we did

Keeping the history of the brand in mind, we wanted to keep the tonality professional and relatively “safe,” but with modern elements. Using the existing McREL color palette, we incorporated a few new traditionally educational colors, smart photography choices with gradient overlays, a modern typeface, isometric iconography, unique image cropping, low-poly shapes & backgrounds and scroll-based website behaviors.


  • Voice & Tone
  • Art Direction
  • Iconography


  • User Experience Design
  • Interface Design


  • Brand Activation


“Cool” happened. In contrast to McREL’s previously dated corporate brand, this fresh new website gives the technology component of the organization a hit of modern freshness to attract young educators in hopes that they choose to utilize the many robust tools McREL provides.

All Work