Design for Education and Innovation

At Philofect* we exploit every aspect of design to help you effect positive change.

* Philo (“love of”) + “effect”

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design for the real world

Our clients work in education, healthcare and the non-profit sphere to effect real change—everything from teaching dyslexic children in Argentina to stopping Arctic drilling. The key to our combined efforts is engaging and exciting core constituencies. Our strategically-based design systems become the workhorses that make that happen. 


The Process

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what is a design system?


Design is visual, sure. But it is also verbal. It also has do with how something feels and how it sounds and what you take to be inherently important about an organization. When all of these components are consciously implemented across channels—print, web and social—we call it a system, a system that culminates in an intentional, consistent and active institutional presence out in the world.


anatomy of a Design System

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Components of Success

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Comfort with change

Adopting a new design system for your organization can be jarring, particularly for those who are not directly involved in the process. We work with clients to enfranchise key staff and make our systems as easy to establish as possible.


Buy-in at the top

Our most successful projects are done directly with—or with significant input from—an organization’s leadership. These are the people who have the vision we need to capture. These are the people who need to be onboard when it comes time for roll-out.

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Reckoning with resources

Budgets are a reality at every level. The good news is that between digital printing and templated software, even the smallest projects can stay true to an organizational vision.


Grand plan vs incremental change

It would be wonderful to be able to wave a wand and have a new design system magically in place. The reality is that it takes time. Often we work with an institution to develop an overall plan followed by a phased roll-out. A benefit of this approach—apart from spreading spending across budget cycles—is that it can allow for a healthy evolution from element to element.


Client Reviews

Most designers I’ve known are reactive, waiting to be told what to do. Sarah hears what I say, then steps back and thinks though the problem holistically. The work that comes back is smart, beautiful (on budget) and never would have occurred to me.
— REACH Prep
Sarah’s superpower is listening. She is somehow able to drop into her client’s way of thinking very quickly and comes up with stunning solutions that work to bring our community together.
— Westchester Land Trust
Sarah’s work has given us the voice that defines who we are as an institution. She just gets it.
— brookside medical