As a designer, I’m a sucker for great brand design. [Cue all the heart eyes emojis.] Branding can have a HUGE impact on how a brand, whether it’s a school or a business, is perceived in the market. And that perception is all about the emotions a brand can evoke.
Capture Higher Ed has been fortunate enough to work with institutions with amazing brand design. Recently, some of those schools were recognized and granted 2018 CASE Awards (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) for their design efforts. Below are some thoughts on three of the institutions I’ve worked with most, and why their branding is so great.
Multi-Page Publications (S)
What I love: Overlapping elements and their emphasis on ‘sky tiles’
Why I love it: The overlapping elements and unique margins give all of their pieces a lot of movement. Their new sky tiles and open sky photography gives the viewer a sense of hopefulness.
Recently, Biola reworked their branding, moving away from their monochromatic icon style. I was a huge fan of their previous style — the icons and chevron lines were different than anything I’d worked with in higher ed — so I was cautiously curious about their new style. Then, when I saw their first few pieces, I fell in love with the new look! Not only is it incredibly fun for a designer to work with, it conveys the exact emotions one would expect from Biola.
The branding is fantastic for a Christian institution. It’s bright, airy and hopeful. The emphasis on their new ‘sky tiles’ (images and gradients meant to represent the open sky) and student portraits show how faith and hope is integrated into everything at Biola. The sky imagery also has a double use — to show viewers the beauty of California, and therefore, the beauty of Biola.
Loyola University New Orleans
Department or Unit Branding (G)
What I love: Fun fonts and bright colors
Why I love it: Loyola’s design shows off the school’s openness to diversity and creativity, as well as the vibrancy of New Orleans. The look is unique and fun with its off-kilter headlines and bold, bright colors.
Loyola’s branding has been one of my favorites since they began working with Capture. The script typeface gives their pieces a youthful and creative feel, while the blocks of solid colors help keep the design bright and professional. Loyola’s branding emphasizes their uniqueness and conveys to students that their own unique qualities are welcomed.
Along with the Gold award for the admissions branding campaign, Loyola also received a Silver award from CASE for their suite of undergraduate admissions publications, all of which use the “Create Something Meaningful” brand. The publication package includes a viewbook, e-brochures, postcards and more.
Sweet Briar College
Institutional Branding Campaign (B)
What I love: It’s not what’s “expected” for a women’s college
Why I love it: The inclusion of dark gradients and gritty textures turns the idea of women’s college branding on its head. It conveys the personality of the school and its students — bold, brave, confident and ambitious.
After their incredible resurrection, Sweet Briar unveiled a bold rebranding, moving toward a more intense and focused look. Their previous shades of greens and pinks were replaced with darker colors, gritty backgrounds, and pops of brightness. The contrast makes their message clear: Sweet Briar women are more than “girly” — they are bold, brave, and confident. They pave their own path.
Sweet Briar’s new campaign also shows their inclusivity. As part of the rebrand, several students and alumnae are featured throughout their publications. The Sweet Briar brand is all about empowering women — and they show that by telling the stories of women from all backgrounds. And it shows that being “feminine” can mean so many things, not just pink.
Other Capture partners who received 2018 CASE Awards include:
- Colby College: Special Events — Dare Northward Campaign Launch Celebration
- Loyola University New Orleans: Best Uses of Social Media — Student Life
- Portland State University Foundation: Single-Page Publication
Congratulations to all of the schools who received these awards. Learn more about the 2018 CASE awards winners in nearly 100 categories.
By Sara Ekart, Director of Creative Operations, Capture Higher Ed