Choosing the right school to match a child’s needs is a complex decision often filled with stress and emotion. GreatPhillySchools (GPS) is on a mission to simplify that process through easy access to reliable information.
When we met with the GPS team, they were in search of a way to reposition their services to parents, students, and educators throughout the Philadelphia community through a full rebranding and new identity system and brand toolkit, including a suite of related print and digital solutions covering collateral and promotion. While their current resource collection targeted to parents included a website, high school and K-8 print guides, school-selection workshops, school fairs, and text and email alerts, they also had plans in place to launch Apply Philly Charter, an online universal charter school application website. As a result, they needed their new identity to not only represent GPS, but also its relationship to this new website as it grows and becomes a known resource for parents.
Our discovery uncovered valuable insights from stakeholders and community members. In short, we found that GPS was appreciated by its audiences as a helpful and informative resource in their quest to find better schools, but it was lacking a consistent and memorable brand personality. This was due, in part, to their use of various identity iterations on different print and digital channels utilized by multiple vendors and partners.
Their team agreed that their existing style was diluted and disjointed, including elements that didn’t represent the brand’s mission in an accurate or appealing way. Our goal was to update the style guidelines to better suit the organization’s values, recognize the interest of end users, and encourage consistent implementation with designs that are mission-driven and appealing in nature.
The updated branding guide included the logo systems we created in close collaboration with the GreatPhillySchools team, as well as a companion guide and wordmark for the planned application website. The brands are now related in a way that highlights both the synergy and the differences between them. They both include fonts, color schemes, icon suites, and social media assets — as well as clear guidance for their ongoing use.
With the proper branding in place, we translated and applied the new identities to a variety of projects, including a new version of an existing 30-second how-to video, TV feature tags, digital display ads, promotional posters and postcards, informational and directional event signage, and a collection of business collateral.
In the end, this new brand strategy and approach collectively repositions GPS as a reliable and accessible partner that provides real value to parents and school leaders — while at the same time addressing their audience’s desire for authenticity and professionalism.