Client, Year

The St. Paul’s Schools, 2019

Services

Brand Audit
Brand Positioning
Brand Architecture
Logos & Marks
Identity Development
Brand Systems
Brand Guidelines
Brand Launch
Motion Graphics

The St. Paul’s Schools

Three distinct schools, one shared identity

In 2018, three independent schools—St. Paul’s School for Girls, St. Paul’s School for Boys, and the Pre & Lower School—were united under one entity, The St. Paul’s Schools. It allowed for the best of all worlds: each institution maintained its unique identity while benefiting from shared ideas and resources across its campus. St. Paul’s partnered with Ashton to help visually communicate this advantage, differentiating itself from the rest of the highly competitive private school market.

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We started by conducting extensive research into the collective histories and iconographies of each school. Drawing on these details helped impart a strong personality to the new, unifying mark as well as the updated individual logos.

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Aligning the schools’ names, as well as their logos, was critical to making them feel like a cohesive unit. Small changes, while subtle, still felt significant to the schools’ communities and were handled with care.

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To encourage school-wide pride from a younger age and increase upper school retention, we used the new umbrella brand’s shield icon to create the Pre & Lower School logo. We then refined the existing Girls’ and Boys’ school marks to unify the visual system.

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It was crucial for the schools’ collective success that the new identity be used widely and consistently. We built a comprehensive Brand Guidelines document to ensure anyone working on behalf of St. Paul’s could use the new identity efficiently and effectively.

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One of the best measures of success in a rebrand is community buy-in. Ashton advised St. Paul’s to conduct focus groups for the staff, faculty, alumni, and students to gain insights into the identity’s long-term efficacy and foster a sense of ownership.  

Roll-out of the updated brand was equally critical. Ashton advised St. Paul’s on a phased plan to introduce the new identity to the community at large.

The roll-out took place over winter break 2019-2020. At home, students and school supporters received an animated video and holiday card with a custom enamel ornament showcasing the new identity. After the holidays, students were welcomed back to campus with updated signage and branded environmental graphics. 

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PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

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