Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Frontier Set – The Pursuit of Equitable Student Outcomes


The Frontier Set is a group of 31 institutions and state systems that are dedicated to narrowing credential attainment gaps for underrepresented students. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation brought these sites together for a five-year experiment in creating a network that could go further, faster by sharing and collaborating in a radical way.

We’ve been honored to play the role of strategy and design partner in this complex network, putting our strategic and design skills to work helping the group communicate effectively and efficiently, both internally and externally.



Touch engaged with the Frontier Set from the beginning and has played a dynamic role focused largely on strategy, communications, and design needs. Our work began with name generation, building the visual identity and visual language, producing convenings, and writing, designing, and creating a variety of communications tools.

The Touch strategy and design team dove in with the Frontier Set’s support partners, including policy makers, analysts, and researchers, to evaluate the network’s needs. In early 2018, we produced their second annual convening, developing the event theme and visual identity, as well as an orienting experience and activities that underscored the importance of connection within the network.

At the convening, we learned that members wanted better tools to tell their Frontier Set story—so we embarked on writing and producing their first annual report, built on reflections and stories from the institutions and systems themselves. Along with the print report, we launched a companion website and video which featured voices from across the network, including students, and a toolkit to help institutions make use of Frontier Set resources.



ROLE / Strategy, Communications, Experiential, Design, Video & Motion Graphics, Live Events