Books, toys, and games that help kids grow

Rebrand of D2C educational products company

Background & Challenge

Educational Development Corporation (EDC) began as a publishing company specializing in books for children and grew to encompass Kane Miller Books, educational manipulatives from Learning Wrap-Ups, and STEAM-based toys, puzzles, and games from  SmartLab. EDC also encompasses exclusive US distribution of well-known UK children’s book publisher Usborne, with its direct sales unit (UBAM—Usborne Books & More) reaching customers through a nationwide network of home-based independent consultants marketing products via parties, social media, book fairs, and more.

In 2022, Usborne Publishing decided to retain all rights to its name and requested affiliates like UBAM to re-name themselves. EDC engaged Catchword to rebrand UBAM, including brand positioning, name, and visual identity. The new brand needed to communicate the value of books (the backbone of the brand) yet not limit the portfolio given all the other offerings. And the client strongly wished to acquire an exact .com domain name, increasing the challenge.

Educational Development Corporation (EDC)
Educational Development Corporation (EDC)
Nonprofit & Education
Brand Positioning
Brand Architecture
Company Naming
Visual Identity

After a deep dive into the company’s offerings, culture, and market space, we worked closely with the client team to identify the concepts of possibility, joy, inclusivity, enthusiasm, excellence, kindness, interconnection, and positive influence as brand pillars, which then informed the brand story. We explored more than 50 possible positioning statements to encapsulate the new brand identity. The company ultimately selected a succinct aspirational phrase (Greater Than) and is using it internally to guide brand expression.

PaperPie, company name developed by Catchword

Once brand foundations were established, we guided the client through two rounds of name development (over 2,000 candidates created). Given the D2C model, and that context would make clear the type of offerings, we determined that tone was more critical than message for this brand. After legal screening, the client selected PaperPie, a playful name that evokes the creativity of paper dolls and mud pies as well as the paper of books and learning activities. For an American audience, particularly, the idea of pie is wholesome and beloved, evoking images of sharing with friends and family. (We don't eat pie alone!) The name's rhythm is light and upbeat, capturing the gallop of youthful energy, while its alliteration aids memorability and ups the fun. And PaperPie is unique in the industry, standing out in sound, appearance, and tone from competitor names like Scholastic and Literati.

We also developed a new term for the sales consultants—Storymakers—which emphasizes the maker-explorer sensibility of the brand.

Visual Identity

For the visual identity, we presented 50 logo concepts from exuberant to grounded. The final design balances the lightness of the name with a graphic of nested open books (expressing inclusivity, connection, and possibility) that also suggests wings in flight (enthusiasm, joy, growth). The natural blue and green palette further grounds the name’s playfulness.


Business news outlets covered the rebrand, and the CEO, CMO, and CFO of PaperPie's parent, Educational Development Corporation (Nasdaq: EDUC), rang the Nasdaq closing bell on December 28, 2022, with a huge outdoor board at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to announce PaperPie's launch.

Award Winner
Hermes Creative Awards, Gold, Brand Naming
Transform Awards, Bronze, Brand Naming
Transform Awards, Bronze, Visual Identity Design

“PaperPie is literally ‘filled’ with the culture and values of our Home Business Division, specifically focused on children’s literacy and learning. Our new brand, PaperPie, better defines who we are and what we represent to our customers and their families. We are so proud to announce this new name and begin our PaperPie journey in January 2023.”

Heather Cobb | Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, EDC​

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