This stuff really works…

tmla website

Last fall we worked with The Mary Louis Academy, a private, Catholic school for young women in Jamaica Estates, New York. Enrollment at the school was dropping, girls were not listing TMLA as their first choice, and nearby co-ed schools were competing for and attracting girls who no longer seemed to want an all-girls education. We began in the admissions office to see what was working and what needed to change. We suggested how to approach new markets, how to increase campus visits, how to improve attendance at open house events, and more. With a vigorous admissions plan in hand, we then created a new website, print brochure, and graphic standards manual to ensure that all communications stayed on message.

Results as of February 2016 are remarkable. Students who selected TMLA as first choice rose by 50%. Second choice rose 11%.  The story is ongoing but we can clearly see things are looking up at TMLA. Smart marketing really works!

Logo Lessons

CSF logo optionsWhen designing a logo, we keep several things in mind:
1. Keep it simple.
2. Make it reflect the organization.
3. Keep it fresh.
4. Give the client options.
5. Be at peace if the client does not pick your favorite option.

As wonderful as our clients are, they may not always pick our favorite design. That’s why we need to be sure that everything we present will make them—and us—proud. We presented four different logo concepts for the Center for the Study of Federalism, an organization dedicated to advancing understanding of the principles of federalism. Option one (our favorite) shows a circle of books (study) forming a star (federalism) in the negative space. Option 2 pulls the book shapes away from the center to de-emphasize the star shape. Even though the client chose our least favorite option, we are at peace since either version says something meaningful about the organization.

The power of authenticity

maier

Vivian Maier was an intensely private street photographer whose work was discovered by accident in 2007, two years before her death. Since her discovery, writers, historians, art collectors, and the public have fallen in love with her work and are burning to learn more about the enigmatic person behind the Rolleiflex. Although she shot over 150,000 images, only a few were ever printed. In fact, over 2,000 rolls of film were left unprocessed in the canister. In spite of that, her work matured in concept and quality over the course of her life. How does a photographer improve without seeing the photos? How does a full-time nanny find time to become such a masterful observer? Those are the kinds of questions I and thousands of other admirers have about Maier. I think our fascination is rooted in Maier’s authenticity. She had a genuine passion for photography—a passion that she followed without the need for critique by others or audience approval. Her creative drive was an end in in itself. That authenticity is enormously appealing. That is the quality we all should aspire to in our work for education. The closer we come to authentically capturing the essence of a place, the better we will communicate to our audience. Do the photos feel real or staged? Are the words honest or are they institution-speak? These things matter a great deal if you want to be seen and remembered.