Amplifying user trust with bold & unified rebranding
Choosing the right school is a complex decision for parents and guardians. The tools used to inform decisions must allay fears, instill trust, and communicate to users: “It’s OK. We can do this together.”
That was the overarching goal of our rebranding strategy for GreatPhillySchools (GPS), a non-profit education collaborative that helps audiences find, compare, and apply to Philadelphia-area schools — from pre-K through high school.
PAIN POINTS & CHALLENGES
GPS needed to reposition its services to appeal to parents, students, and educators alike with an elevated look, feel, and consistent presentation to instill trust across a vast number of touchpoints.
We needed to visually align a variety of assets, including the client’s planned launch of Apply Philly Charter, an online universal charter school application portal — in addition to an existing website, print guides, workshops, school fairs, and digital alerts.
“The first step to achieving consistent branding is realizing that you have to ultimately gain control of your branding so that everyone is singing from the same song sheet both internally and externally.”
GPS at a Glance
Solutions: Strategy Meets Creativity
Discovery revealed that audiences appreciated GPS as a helpful and informative resource for finding reputable schools, but felt the organization lacked a consistent and memorable brand personality — partly due to their use of various identities on different print and digital channels used by multiple vendors and partners.
The GPS stakeholder team agreed that their existing approach was diluted and disjointed, including elements that didn’t represent the brand’s mission in an accurate or appealing way.
With brand cohesion as our North Star, we worked closely with the GPS team on a full rebranding initiative, starting with a new universal identity system. With shared fonts, complementary colors, and familial graphics, the identities for GreatPhillySchools and Apply Philly Charter now feel related in a way that highlights both the synergies and differences between them.
The new style guidelines better suit the organization’s values, address the needs of diverse end users, and support consistent implementation with designs that are more appealing and mission-driven.
We updated GPS’ brand guide to include the logo system, and created a new companion guide and for the application portal with helpful guidance on the ongoing use of brand assets.
The new visual brand repositions GPS as a reliable and accessible partner that provides real value to parents, school leaders, and students — while addressing their audiences’ needs for trust, authenticity, and professionalism.