WHAT IS IT?

Poster and mini viewbook for guidance counselors and prospective students.

Designed to engage high school students and get them excited to find out more about possibilities at The New School.

MY ROLE

Graphic Designer

Art Direction:
John Lepak
MY OUTPUT

User Goals
Mockups
Presentations
Final Design
Press Check
CHALLENGE

The enrollment team needed a new tool. And they needed it to do a lot in a light compact form.

Seeking to empower guidance counselors, and themselves, with a physical piece that would quickly convey the spirit and mission of the school, the enrollment team approached the designers with the idea of a poster that could be hung on the wall in or around the offices of guidance counselors. However, they also needed it to provide key facts about what The New School is and what it offers to students who may never have heard of the university. And they also wanted something to manageably carry with them to conferences and gatherings which would be used as a quick guide and introduction to the university.
BACKGROUND

Enrollment staff had used a number of resources. Much of it too cumbersome and detailed. Or on the other hand, evocatave but not descriptive enough.

Previously, the enrollment team sent and hand delivered to high schools a simple poster with the school's name on it. While helping to differentiate the school, it did little to convey the variety of what is possible. Viewbooks, while great for students who were already interested and wanted to know a lot more, were too thorough and detailed for students who hadn't heard of the school and needed a general overview.

Finished booklet in context with the viewbook suite.

Counselor Goals.

Want to excite students and be able to quickly access facts and features.

Student Goals.

Want personal agency. And a look at what their future self might look like.

Enrollment Staff Goals.

Want to wow counselors and students. Also want to be able to quickly point to clear advantages and unique qualities. Showcase the school's special location in Greenwich Village.

Marketing Goals.

Want to increase recognition of The New School. Want to show the university as a cohesive whole.
SOLUTION

A Poster that folds down and works equally well as a booklet.

The poster side features imagery from a number of disciplines and offerings at the university. The brochure side, when folded, matches the suite of viewbooks in shape and look. It carries key facts, a list of majors and alternative paths of enrichment, a little about housing, and a map that quickly and clearly places the university in the context of the city of New York, specifically in the heart of Greenwich Village.

The slit French Fold technique allows for a true booklet to be formed from a single sheet of paper.

A sixteen page signiture is folded and slit, but not entirely cut, leaving a six page boolet with a cover. The advantage here is that Enrollment staff and guidance counselors can flip directly to pertinent spreads without having to unfold the entire poster. On the other side, the full poster remains intact.

PROCESS

Defining goals. Learning from the experts.

Rather than waiting to learn about the project through a brief, I jumped in on early meetings with the enrollment team who had a good idea of where the gaps were in their range of tools. They also had a lot of direct experience in reaching out to guidance counselors and prospective students. So their expertise and input was invaluable in shaping goals and defining the scope of the project.

My initial understanding was that the design team was tasked with creating a poster. But it was quickly apparent that something more was needed. They wanted to be able to answer very specific and detailed questions by pointing to, or distributing, something physical to users in person. Using this understanding of needs and goals, I pulled together small collections of information from various viewbooks and created a map which placed The New School in the context of Manhattan and highlighted its campus as a collection of buildings in Greenwich Village. Together with an editor, this material was shaped into a mini viewbook. In collaboration with the creative department, I shaped the poster side into a cohesive work that highlighted, immediately and emotionally, the university's role as a participant in the creative and cultural life of the city, and as a venue to explore engaging endeavors like fashion, performance, music, scholarship, and environmental and social issues, among others.

The format of the poster with a slit that allows for it to be folded into a booklet had been experimented with previously. So the enrollment team and creative department were quickly in agreement about its effectiveness as a solution in this case. Previously, I had pitched this format to clients but they often backed away due to the slit in the middle of the poster. But this allows for an extremely versitile and economical arrangement of content. Being able to utilize all of the space on the other side of the poster and having it divided nicely into discreet spreads was key.

NOW/NEXT

Outcome

Both the enrollment team and the creative department were very happy with the result. The enrollment team has recieved a tool they have been lacking and look forward to immediately putting it to use. The marketing department was satisfied that this was a strong and effective addition to the overall branding effort that seeks to provide more awareness about the university in the world in general, and with prospective students, their parents, and the professionals that aid them.

Next Steps

10,000 copies were initially printed. A number of these will be mailed out to guidance counselors this fall. And the enrollment team will be taking them on the road as they reach out all over the country and in various locations throughout the world. In the coming months I look forward to tested and specific feedback about what is working well and what needs improvement about the piece.