Naming and Branding Innovation in STEM Education


How do we choose a name everyone can get behind?

It took a lot of planning, research, and creative thinking to name IMSA’s innovation and inquiry center. It wasn’t easy. This process required everyone involved to push past their limits and think differently. Fortunately, IMSA is accustomed to such an approach in academics, while LimeRed is used to the same rigorous methodology in branding and web design.


Our challenge was to work with board members, alumni, business and community interests, faculty, staff, and students. With such a diverse stakeholder base, agreeing on a vision in a brand name that represents what each value most was a formidable task. Our solution required immersive creative engagement and deep academic research. We worked closely with our leads at IMSA to plan and prepare that research. We designed a series of creative workshops that involved all of their stakeholders. To remain as inclusive as possible, we conducted these workshops at multiple locations.

Curating the artifacts, documentation, and insights we gathered during these workshops was one of the most difficult steps. However, it was absolutely necessary to developing a list of possible names to present to IMSA. We also had to make sure we had criteria we and our stakeholders could use to evaluate the names, in case they wanted to open up the selection process to a larger group. 

Identity Design

IMSA chose the name IN2, a highly conceptual name that derives from multiple sources — business, educational, and creative foci at IMSA. 

It projects and encourages the concepts of both innovation and inquiry. It represents the effort to carry ideas forward into practice and proposes the question “What is put ‘into’ the center to make things happen?” — ideas, intuition, exploration, knowledge, experimentation, etc. — everything from the practical to the unbelievable.

It is short, memorable and easy to say. It leaves questions unanswered, and pushes one to quietly ask what is possible without having to explain too much or leave things stale and commonplace.

The three lines composing the graphic “2” represent different journeys students embark upon over their time at IMSA-innovative practices, inquisitive learning, and problem-solving processes.

What's next

Learning Experience Design for Small Arts Organizations

Richard H. Driehaus Foundation