Guiding students to find and select best-fit colleges for their goals

Maximizing excitement to go to college, minimizing the frustration to face financial challenges

Freelancing with co-founders
All-round designer
2019 - 2020

Tilt is an ed-tech startup building a college guidance platform for under-resourced students

Tilt is founded by two co-founders from their belief that attending a college could be the best opportunity for anyone, especially those under-resourced students, to develop the capabilities to become economically and socially mobile.


The co-founders had just figured out the company’s name, and came to me for their brand design and mock-ups for their pitch


problem context

Empathy-lacked requirement

The founders were preparing for an upcoming pitch competition for their first seed investment. They sent me their hand-drawn wire-frames with requirements to show the service's functions. I thought the "value" of this service beyond its functions has to be represented.

What I got from the Tilt team

Maximizing excitement to go to college, minimizing the frustration of facing financial challenges

With cheerful greetings and pastel tones, students can think about their dreams while using the app

This app's target was high school students who want to go to college and are financially challenged. Reflecting on my experience, we all had different dreams and wanted to make the best decision for our dreams, not the feasible option due to economic reasons. I wanted students to feel and enjoy the excitement of chasing their dreams, rather than the embarrassment of facing financial challenges.


Delivering emotion and philosophy can be more important than showing the functionality

I made this app's tone of voice kind and cheerful to reflect the co-founders’ philosophy. While I was working with them on the branding, they said they wanted to be a big sister to her students, and I believe that reflecting such tone and manner of voice is as important as showing the service’s functionality even at the mockup stage.


Tilt won 1st Place in the Social Impact section, and 3rd Place in the finals of Northwestern VentureCat 2020

VentureCat is Northwestern University's annual venture competition awarding more than $300k cash prize to student entrepreneurs.


stakeholder interview

Three key considerations were identified for the firm's branding

I start visual identity works with comprehensive research on the product and the client. I had several sessions of in-depth interviews with the co-founders to understand why they decided to start this business, how they are analyzing the problem, and their solutions. Such discussion led to the finding of below three key considerations:


Among the ten main attributes describing what Tilt does and who they are, I narrowed them down to three with the Tilt team


Ladder, Step, Box, Letter  T

I extracted visual metaphors from key concepts and values of the product. Such visual metaphors also help the client to understand what kinds of visual images they want to show to the users. Collaboration with Tilt’s team led me to find four strong metaphors.


A symbolic logo with logotype was selected to promote the service name and to deliver their value

Tilt’s logo has to enable the users to recognize its name and to understand and/or get hints on what they do. To do so, first of all, the logo should contain the name itself. Tilt is a startup and needs to let the world know of their name. In addition, a symbol representing what they do would make the logo complete. I presented to the client four alternatives using each of the visual metaphors above.

Brand story

Branding system

Responsive logotype

I created three types of responsive logos to accommodate diverse screen sizes and use cases

With different screen sizes and diverse channels for advertising, logos are no longer one-size-fits-all. Logos need to change in size, color, complexity, and composition to adapt to the environment wherever they are placed. I always create responsive logos, and thus created the stair-case shape symbol so that it can be used independently.

Helping shoppers to try on items without changing clothes