ECMC Education - Trades Lab


After decades of rewarding, promoting and bellowing hot air into the value of a four year bachelor’s degree, career fields in middle-skills trades jobs such as plumber and electrician have developed an industry skills gap wide enough to drive an entire generation through. Seeking to educate and train future workers on the breadth of professional opportunity and financial security that a career in the trades offers, ECMC Education took it upon themselves to design a modern trade school experience that could showcase the value of a hands-on career.

The school, [your city] Trades Lab has been designed to fit into any community with the need and motivation to mold a skilled trades workforce in their backyard. With the vision and infrastructure to bring this school to market, ECMC Education partnered with Capsule, Yellow Dog Studio and Rêve to design a brand and experience that would help them both stand out and integrate into communities.

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THE solution

We began with a series of experience design sprints and concept ideation sessions that would collaboratively define a brand identity, position and memorable experience touchpoints that had a firm grasp on the Trades Lab mission and would transform perceptions surrounding a trades education. From thoughtful discussions around the role of digital experience, to partnerships with interior designers on the spatial experience and physical brand expression, Capsule served as a brand advisor, experience designer and sounding board to ensure the entire brand would tell a cohesive story.

The resulting education experience design takes the trades into virtual and augmented reality, tapping into technology to improve the speed of feedback and reward, and helping students leap past traditional four year degrees with an affordable option to get to work both smarter and sooner.

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Together, the team landed on a brand story and visual identity that distinguished the Trades Lab from competition and “modernized” the trades, balancing the traditional hands-on expertise associated with trades careers alongside the bright futures, boundless creativity and advanced technological skill advancements so often experienced in the field.

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Using this strategy, we reimagined the student experience with a series of conceptual collateral, digital and experiential “artifacts” that would help inspire excitement and interest not only from potential students, but the investors and partners needed to help activate the launch of Trades Lab.

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The design is intended to not just draw students in, but motivate them to achieve learning milestones, go out into their community, apply their skills and return to advance themselves and others. Rivaling any traditional welcome brochure, landing page or uniform at local community or four-year colleges, the design elevates the post-secondary education experience in the context of a hands-on career and reimagines what is possible through a trades education.

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THE impact

While the full magnitude of impact is yet to be seen, all indications are positive for this new venture. With a concept website built and ongoing conversations occurring to spread the word of this revolutionary educational approach, Trades Lab is breaking ground and barriers alike with a trade skill education program built for the modern age.

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