Client, Year

Towson University, 2021

Services

Brand Audit
Brand Positioning
Stakeholder Engagement
Naming & Tagline
Messaging & Tone
Logo & Mark
Identity Development
Brand Systems
Copywriting
Campaign
Brand Applications
Video Storyboarding
UX/UI
Website

Awards / Press

URL

Towson University RISE Campaign

Envisioning TU’s largest capital campaign

Towson University partnered with Ashton to concept, design, and strategically launch its largest-ever capital campaign. In support of the University’s ambitious vision for its future, Ashton developed a campaign brand that reflected TU’s unique character, activated pride across its diverse community, and inspired a desire to invest in TU’s future. In just over two years, TU attracted nearly 30,000 first-time donors exceeded its $100 million goal.

TU_intro

The campaign strategy was built on insights from dozens of donors, alumni, faculty, and stakeholder interviews and roundtables. We then had an intensive namestorming exercise with institutional advancement staff. We all agreed: RISE captured the desired campaign’s active, ambitious, forward-facing spirit.

TU_Strat

Most importantly, the campaign brand had to feel like TU. Our design leveraged the strengths of the university’s brand without competing with it. 

TU_brand2
TU_logo
TU_logo2

Inspired by the Calvert Pattern from the Maryland state flag, we created the cutaway shape to capture TU’s forward momentum. It acted as a framing device to offer windows into TU life.

The mark also acted as a visual emphasis to draw attention to community members, whether on campus or in the campaign. This function reinforced the core value that has shaped Towson University for more than 150 years: put students first. 

TU_photo
TU_photo3
TU_photo2

Portrait photography took our people-focused approach one step further. Showcasing real students and campus supporters encouraged alumni to reengage with the Tiger spirit.

TU_case_3-1
TU_Case3
TU_Case2
TU_Case
TU_Case2-2

Because TU alumni tend to associate more closely with their college or program than with the university, we designed the campaign case to allow for segmented messaging. That way, each college and program could customize its materials to match its giving opportunities. 

TU_Website-copy
TU_web_screen4-copy

Likewise, a corresponding website provided multiple ways for visitors to identify with the campaign. By finding their preferred program, they found their reason to give back.

TU_Vid2

A focal piece of the website was a campaign video featuring the stories of the students, faculty, and donors. It framed TU’s impact through an emotional, personal lens to help prospective donors connect with the campaign’s purpose. 

TU_Vid

A strong social media strategy was crucial to getting the campaign going and maintaining momentum. The identity worked as a great digital asset, as it was bright, dynamic, and image-driven.

TU_Social-1
TU_Social1

TU’s marketing, advancement, and events teams were able to easily embrace the RISE brand for the campaign’s virtual launch on April 29, 2021. TU closed the campaign on June 30, 2023, having exceeded its goal: 202 new scholarships were formed and over $102 million was raised to fund the university’s ambitious vision for the future.

TU_end

Stay in Touch

ashton_logo-white

PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

©2024 Ashton Design

PO Box 50337, Balt., MD 21211

Stay in Touch