The First Impression: Rebranding RoboRecovery

Alvarez Spark Innovation Award Winner William Bai collaborated with New Orleans graphic design firm 2nd Story Creative to create a new logo, website, and informational video for RoboRecovery, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that he runs. William is a senior majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology, with minors in Philosophy and SLAM.


When I founded RoboRecovery, a 501c3 nonprofit organization providing free after-school and in-school educational robotics programs in the Greater New Orleans area, in the spring of 2021, I approached entrepreneurship as a scientist. Like running a biological experiment, I was laser-focused on proving that RoboRecovery could work by piloting a model and quantitatively measuring how this pilot worked. I had little appreciation for how a program is presented on paper, and I made marketing a barebone, last priority. Back in March 2021, for example, I spent just $30 to have a Pakistani graphic designer improvise our logo, and in January 2022, I had one of RoboRecovery’s public service interns build a website pro bono.

RoboRecovery's Old Logo, created by a fiverr contractor for roughly $70

RoboRecovery’s Old Logo, created by a Fiverr contractor for roughly $70

As RoboRecovery expands programs to more schools across Greater New Orleans, marketing has become our Achilles heel. For instance, we have relied mainly on cold emailing and physical mail to recruit new school partners, which has had limited success, stemming from a lack of a coordinated public image. This realization became glaringly evident to me while participating in the Taylor Center’s Changemaker Institute this spring. My cohort invited a public relations consultant guest speaker, Michelle Jackson, who commented that RoboRecovery’s logo and website sent confusing messages. While her feedback shattered my ego, I realized that she was right. To grow RoboRecovery’s customer base, we need to build trust in the community, which relies on visually appealing branding. In other words, I need to abandon the idea that having a viable service to a community is enough and embrace the necessity of selling that experience through investments in public relations and branding. By revamping the online image of RoboRecovery, we can make the local community more aware of our work, thereby extending our impact on New Orleans youth education.

These skills are not developed overnight. Yet they are vital to reaching customers and adapting to changing aesthetic trends. Companies like Starbucks and McDonalds pay millions of dollars for design consultants just to tweak their logos, for instance. While RoboRecovery does not have a spare million bucks lying around, we can affordably invest in design consulting. While attending the 2023 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the Taylor Center’s Julia Lang met Cat Landrum. Cat runs 2nd Story Creative, a New Orleans-based business marketing firm. Julia mentioned the Changemaker Institute to Cat, who saw an excellent opportunity to help Changemaker Institute alums build their ventures’ brands.

screenshot from RoboRecovery's old website. Created using
Screenshot from RoboRecovery’s old website. Created using Javascript and HTML by Laya Kumar ’23

Cat and I partner started rebranding our logo with a meeting over coffee of the values and mission of RoboRecovery as we worked together to figure out what visuals and design choices would best reflect RoboRecovery. I expressed interest in having a square logo similar to the design of mobile app icons and few design elements, a nod to the growing trend amongst companies to simplify their logos. We decided to stick with a warm color palette, as we did with the previous logo. Cat and I first started with a black and white sketch-up of the logo, where we put together different shapes and see if they would make sense in the design. We struggled to find an adequate way to represent the various things that RoboRecovery does in a symbol, so we went through roughly three revisions of just black and white logo design. On our third rendition, we came up with an idea of two wrenches placed together in a way that would represent a person holding out a hand to another. We thought this would be a great way to represent not only the science and engineering aspects of RoboRecovery’s work, but also the dedication to improving accessibility and opportunities in robotics for New Orleans students. Thus, we stuck with this design and moved towards optimizing other elements of the logo, including fonts and color palette. With the color palette, we tried to use the previous palette of maroon, gray, and red orange, but we found that the maroon would not provide enough contrast with the black background that would be behind the elements of the logo. Thus, we decided to experiment with brighter warm colors, which led us to settle on orange. We complemented this with black and white, to create the final version of the logo for RoboRecovery.

RoboRecovery New Logo designed by Cat Landrum from 2nd Story Creative

RoboRecovery New Logo designed by Cat Landrum from 2nd Story Creative

Upon finishing the color palette, we moved on to creating the website. We decided that instead of coding the website ourselves in HTML and javascript, we would use Wix, for its better aesthetics and easier implementation. We thus copied over many of the elements of RoboRecovery’s current website, and added new elements based on updates to our program progress, and the mission and vision statements that we have. The website is still under development but is coming along nicely, and within a few weeks our site will be active on We are also in the process of working with Cat and videographer Brian Sandusky to create a two-minute informational video describing what RoboRecovery does, which will be released in mid-November. Overall, this project turned out to be a success and would not have been possible without the generous funding of the Taylor Center and its Spark Innovation Award.

Screenshot from RoboRecovery's New Website
Screenshot from RoboRecovery’s New Website