One Darnley Road
Branding + Digital

Encounter Edu

Encounter Edu delivers a range of educational content, from downloadable lesson plans, photography, 360 videos and live streaming broadcasts, to teach about environmental issues such as climate change and ocean health, with a goal of building pupils’ empathy and inspiring change. We were tasked with creating brand positioning, identity and website to reflect their position and facilitate the mission ‘where learning meets the world’.

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"Through understanding the values and philosophy that underlie our work, they have helped to bring cutting-edge education to thousands of teachers and pupils internationally."

Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop

Executive Director

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Originally known as Digital Explorer, the newly named Encounter EDU was in need of a complete brand experience that expanded the traditional boundaries of a classroom. Our main goal was to create a look that felt professional, credible and accessible, one which demonstrated to the audience that Encounter EDU was not just relevant and in-tune with important real world issues but that it was a leader in the field.

A bespoke logotype was created along with an icon that symbolised the direct connection the audience has between real scientists and explorers. We created a multi layered visual environment, the portal showcases their wealth of stunning imagery, demonstrating their spirit of adventure, the deeper layer gets you closer - revealing the stories behind the worlds most remote and extreme environments and celebrating diverse people and cultures.

Typography is bold, being lifted off the page via a system of blocks. The clarity of the identity and the functionality of the website allows Encounter EDU to share their inspirational content and build a community - empowering educators and helping inspire a new generation.

There is a diverse range of content on the site, from downloadable PDFs, to interactive, VR-ready 360 degree videos. As such, we didn’t want this site to feel like yet another dry online teaching directory. Instead we wanted to remind people of contemporary media platforms such as YouTube, Netflix or Spotify, to associate joy and excitement with the experience of lesson planning, and to generate pupils’ eagerness to learn about the topics.

This is reflected in the design and layout, with bold, large images, and background videos and clear icons showing the content on offer.

Our client is able to create ‘collections’, which are not restricted to hard, exclusive categories but rather curated content - a way to help offer suggestions rather than paralyse visitors with a blank search bar.

That said - there is still a full featured search available as well as an ability to filter via topic or content type. We knew we still had to appease the ‘power users’!

Much of the content, like downloads, is ‘gated’, so we had to encourage registration. This was a requirement for metrics, as well as trying to build teachers’ and parents’ commitment to the platform. We had to ensure the registration process was smooth, while connecting to the email marketing platform’s API so that visitors could manage their preferences and GDPR consent from one point. This had the added benefit of being able match up user behaviour on the site with their email platform, for much more effective marketing campaigns.

As an incentive for registration, users had the ability to save and like various pieces of content, collecting them in their own personalised area, helping teachers build lesson plans and find their favourite (or their pupils’ favourite!) content easily.

We were excited to build “Encounter Live”, a part of the site that “brought learning and science to life”. Classes could register to watch live streams of explorers and scientists via the embedded YouTube platform. Using a calendar system, teachers could register in advance for particular broadcasts, asking questions for the broadcasters in advance. We integrated this with YouTube’s live chat, so that classes could ask questions from anywhere in the world, to far off locations such as the Arctic.

In October 2019 the prestigious European Lovie Awards shortlisted Encounter Edu’s website under the 'Schools and Education' category.


"We have been working with One Darnley Road for a number of years. They have consistently delivered high quality brand, print and web solutions with professionalism and flair. But they go further than this, through understanding the values and philosophy that underlie our work, they have helped to bring cutting-edge education to thousands of teachers and pupils internationally."

Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop
Encounter Edu

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