The Netter Center, a pioneering organization dedicated to championing community connections now celebrating its silver anniversary, recently looked to Eastern Standard to evolve its approach to how it presents itself across media.
One of only a few programs of its kind in existence, the Netter Center has spent over 25 years building a lasting legacy of learning advocacy and community service efforts that strengthen connections between its parent organization — the University of Pennsylvania — its West Philadelphia neighborhood, and society at large. To mark this impressive quarter-century milestone, the Center’s team was in search of an improved approach to its brand messaging and visual design presentation that would mark the next 25 years for the organization. Eastern Standard proposed a digital first, crossover design strategy approach that set us apart from the other firms under consideration, with the ability to provide a large-scale website and apply the brand design across traditional media, as well.
We began with a comprehensive discovery, including a brand audit, content and competitive marketplace analysis, and a thorough stakeholder and consistent research review. This process allowed us to assess the offerings of the entire organization in order to establish a strategy for the design of a multimedia brand experience.
To mark the occasion, we created a 25th anniversary medallion to accompany the traditional Penn logo shield and color palette with a clean and contemporary aesthetic.
Beginning with a positioning exercise, we utilized empathy mapping to better understand the benefits and feelings of goodwill the Netter Center conveys to its various audience groups, mapping out the architecture and user experience journey of the website first as the most comprehensive representation of the brand. Using what we learned, we incorporated a variety of features that support the Center’s expansive offerings and creating rich content relationships based upon topics for courses and programs (pulled from the Penn Registrar’s website), news, events, a variety of resources, team members, and more.
Once the design approach to the website was established, we applied similar thinking to the creation of a series of critical stakeholder print communications, including a new Annual Report for the organization that emphasized major student, alumni, and organizational accomplishments and awards, gifts of support, financial updates, curriculum additions, and anniversary-related events. We also created a 15-page program book for their annual two-day International Conference with a content-rich but very visually concise format that placed the event’s agenda, honoree bios, and committee member listings front and center.
In the end, the suite of materials we created were based on authentic storytelling through compelling visuals and concise messaging — and an eye toward the future for this innovative community steward.