Education and family services in the Bay Area needed a sea change.

Head Start services in the Bay Area are delivered by an organization called IHSD—which stands for Institute for Human and Social Development. Unfortunately this name sounds like an obscure scientific effort and is hard to pronounce, and doesn’t fully convey the breadth of educational and family services that IHSD provides.

Before we worked on the strategy and creative, we spent time with teachers, staff members and the families of IHSD to understand what the opportunities and challenges were for the organization.

We learned that IHSD needed a new name, identity and brand story that could rally their staff, teachers and families, and raise IHSD’s awareness amongst potential donors in the Bay Area.

Izzi logo variations


Tides are turned here: For any and every child who needs us.

An inspiring brand manifesto

To reflect the vibrancy of the families and communities of San Mateo County, we created a theme for Izzi that would be inspirational and true to our region. We developed a brand manifesto called “Rising Tide”. This story reflects both the shared success of our community as well as our proximity to the Pacific ocean.

An eclectic and delightful identity system

The leadership team at IHSD is a great mix of backgrounds from our community; from business to education and non-profits, and it was important to us that the identity reflected that eclecticism. We are really inspired by the diversity of people in our communities, and the identity reflects both the different voices in San Mateo County and also its innovation. We brought this to life with a delightful new name and visual identity that is always in motion and full of color.

Dynamic and always in motion

The foundation of the identity is a family of sea creatures that can be used interchangeably. They give Izzi a sense of life, spontaneity and the spirit of delightful curiosity unique to children.


Creative direction and brand strategy: Joe and Leslie Stitzlein
Brand writing and naming: Austin Howe
Art Direction: Alexandre Henriques and hymn
Graphic Design: Catherine Pouly, Alexandre Alvarez
Motion Design: Anthony Velen, John Le at Widgets and Stone

Izzi manifesto
Izzi wall graphic
Izzi bag design
Izzi business cards
Izzi balloons
Izzi collateral
Izzi website home page