Rethink: Style Tiles

In graphic design, Style Tiles are a way to use just fonts, colors and some interface elements to begin communicating the essence of a visual brand for the web. They are usually the first step towards creating an overall consistent look and feel (i.e. template) for an organization.

Four Kitchens has worked with Web Services and University Communications on several initial style tiles, all to invoke discussions around our preferences and goals.

For inspiration we used responses to the style tile survey distributed a few weeks ago, along with a review of existing marketing materials and brand guidelines. Each tile is accompanied by Four Kitchen's description and a clickable graphic.

Style Tile 1 - Coastal Classic

This design grew out of words like "peaceful, outdoors, beautiful, environment." It sticks closely to the standard CSUMB color palette, with the exception of a slightly lighter, brighter blue and features a more "flat" design - fewer gradients, shadows, etc. It uses classic/basic shapes and a simple line to differentiate content.

Coastal Classic style tile

Style Tile 2 - Moderately Modern

This design grew out of words like "innovative, ambitious and contemporary" combined with "practical, accessible, affordable." This design seeks the common ground between modernity and practicality. It features some grey tones in the color palette in addition to the primary school colors. It also has a little more depth compared to Coastal Classic - for example, some subtle gradients and shadows on the buttons and form fields.

Moderately Modern style tile

Style Tile 3 - Young, mild and free

This tile came from words like "youthful, diverse, creative, optimistic and friendly." The colors are a bit brighter and bolder and the photos are more expansive. Here you see elements like full-color bars rather than boxes, and a condensed, modern typeface for headlines.

Young, mild and free style tile

Our Rethink team agreed on Style Tile 3, and Four Kitchens is proceeding to refine that choice with a more definite set of style tile choices for us to choose from.