Artists Teaching Art

The Sausalito Art Festival Foundation's Artists Teaching Art program is a nonprofit which supports the arts in the Marin County school systems by bringing professional artists directly into the classroom. The OPD team worked with the owners of the Sausalito Art Festival, as well as the heads of Artists Teaching Art to create the organization's brand identity, logo, and website.


In developing their brand identity, we focused on Artists Teaching Art’s three ideals: collaboration, cooperation, and communication. We used hands as a visual metaphor to embody these ideals. Through hands we explore the world, and execute with the tools of our craft. In the world of visual art, hands are used to communicate ideas. We use Hands to collaborate and cooperate. 

Next we worked to further incorporate this metaphor with Artists Teaching Art’s mission. We referenced the process of a creative cycle, where teachers inspire students who in turn inspire others. The cycle of art begetting art is encapsulated by the two hands which paint each other into existence and is inspired by Escher’s Drawing Hands.

We chose paintbrushes as the tool for this creation since they embody a more playful and less precise method of creation than other artistic instruments. The three colors we used reference Artists Teaching Art’s parent foundation, the Sausalito Art Festival, which also uses blue, orange, and pink in their branding. The three loose brushstrokes reference the Artists Teaching Art’s focuses on creative freedom, and a young demographic. 

The hands appear as negative space inside the brush strokes. The appearance of the hands from these strokes parallels the emergence of meaningful art from the playful creative process.

The Navigation Bar

With this site, we focused on ease of use thus making a simple and usable navigation bar a must. The header consists of four elements: the brand icon, which returns users to the home page, and the three navigation elements.

These three nav elements encapsulate the three primary actions the page provides. Users can research the specific programs implemented at different schools, learn more about the foundation itself, and donate. We focused on ease of use as we wanted to encourage the kids participating in the program to use the site and have the ability to show what they and their peers have created.

The Content Hierarchy

Artists Teaching Art has involved itself in many different community projects. For each of these projects the foundation partners with a school, and the two work together to create fun and meaningful projects. Beginning this project we needed to create a method for structuring and conveying all the work Artists Teaching Art does for the community. We wanted to show the schools they partnered with, the artists they brought in, and provide information about each project.

If a visitor is interested in the specific activities of Artists Teaching Art, they will care about which parts of the community are affected. For these reasons we chose the top level organization as the schools themselves.

Each school page lists all the collaborative projects between that school and the foundation. These project posts provide the name, description, and photos of the project. Each project also contains links to the teaching artist’s website. Featuring this content in this easy to understand hierarchy promotes use and ultimately contributes to brand/foundation recognition.

The About Page

This page allows users to learn about the organization’s vision and methods. The page begins with their vision and program framework. Below this is a call to action, inviting local artists to participate. Directly below is the contact form and list of contact information.

Check out Artists Teaching Art