Branding Shared College Services

I work for the Virginia Community College System. It has twenty-three colleges, but some technology services are provided centrally, and after having worked for one of the colleges for a long time, and then for the system’s Instructional Technology department, I am now working in Information Technology Services. The major services we provide include our student information system, student e-mail, Blackboard and a single sign-on/directory service. Of these, the first three are purchased systems, and the last is home-grown.

I am part of the team responsible for Blackboard and the directory service, and one of my small contributions to that service has been to make it brandable by our constituent colleges using the same technique as at CSS ZenGarden. Our code is a bit crufty and our design skills are not necessarily very special, but without changing our html code we have been able to offer branding for our 23 colleges.

Here is the default design. Now you can see what some of the colleges have elected to do:

Some of these the colleges did the design all by themselves. For some of them I was given a design brief and went to town on the CSS. I have had a lot of fun doing this I have to say. It usually makes for a nice weekend project, although some of the more challenging ones have taken a bit longer.

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