The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt style guide was developed as a company-wide source for brand usage and application.
Our revised style guide marks a significant shift in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s brand identity. While serving as a technical guide for upholding our HMH brand, it also chronicles our transition to The Learning Company and positions us as champions of lifelong learning. This evolution is represented through voice, vision, and expression, which make up the essential pillars of our brand narrative.
Throughout the development of the guide, we strived to reinforce the importance of brand integrity and the role every team member shares in ensuring our success. We also emphasized accessibility, gearing the structure and language of our guide to reach all of HMH’s 4,000+ employees.
I served as the lead designer on the HMH style guide. I collaborated with a core team over a 6-month period to conceptualize, execute, and disseminate the guide and all related assets. Strategic problem-solving was an essential part of the process throughout; rather than just visually appealing or informative, we also wanted our guide to embody the ideals that define Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. We envisioned the style guide as a living document, serving as the main touchpoint between employees and our evolving brand.
Developing the guide helped me to explore HMH’s brand potential and strategize on opportunities to elevate our identity - not just in our public-facing efforts, but in the everyday decisions of our team members. I was able to learn about and build upon our brand’s core architecture, helping to bring flexibility necessary to a corporate brand identity with a diverse product portfolio.
See here how we structured our assets to maintain accessibility and ensure a consistent approach: