Marketing your independent school

WRITTEN BY: ALISON JOSHI, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF JWJ DESIGN

JWJ Design have been working with independent schools for over 5 years, working on everything from prospectus designs through to helping with brand consistency and even designing wraps for school buses. 

Unlike some B2C marketing, schools have very different budgets and hurdles to tackle when trying to get their brand out there and gain recognition for the service that they provide.

Sixth Form Prospectus Design

 

No matter what the size or positioning of the school, brand consistency is still as important and perhaps even more so in this highly competitive market. They also have the challenge of communicating to the parents with different aged children, appealing to the students and ensuring the teachers are on board with everything. The larger the school the harder this is to control.

 

How to achieve brand consistency in your school: 

–     Have your set colour palette plus up to 4 sub brand colours that can be used to differentiate the different sections of the school and allow for greater creative flexibility without too much confusion.

–     Decide on the fonts that are going to be used in your marketing and on site communications and stick to them. You may find that you need to have a creative font and also a standard font like Calibri. Set some rules around when and where these fonts can be used, even what size and if they are all uppercase or lowercase.

–     Create templates for signage and powerpoint. Schools tend to have lots of notices up, and even more so at the moment. Design A4 and A3 templates that teachers can use and update with their own content. This makes sure everything looks standard and thus more professional.

–     Create a teachers toolkit. These are a bit like brand guidelines but are aimed solely at the teaching staff so are less about design and more about which template to use, where to find it and how to use it. You want to allow teachers the flexibility to be creative if they want to, but equally if they are short on time they have somewhere they can go to that they can download the files they need easily. Toolkits can contain everything from notice board templates, directional signage and powerpoint templates.

–     Canva templates for social media. If you are generating lots of social content it’s a good idea to set up a Canva account and upload all your brand assets in to it. Use Canva to create a set of templates for image style posts, text posts and testimonials. Again by having some templates in place for certain campaigns means that if you quickly need to generate some content you have a design to fall back on without having to create something new each time.

 

Think about your target market and your values

At JWJ Design one of the first questions we ask any business before we start working with them is what are your values? What do you want to be known for, what is important to communicate in your visuals and what sets you apart from your competitors?

Each school is very different and you want to make sure that this is coming across in the visuals you are putting together. Whether that is through the photography, the colours and / or the typefaces that you are using. Anything too dark with a traditional serif face and you risk coming across too corporate or serious. Anything too bright combined with a naïve typeface and you could start looking more like a pre-school or nursery.

Colours work on a subliminal level and making sure you are balancing the right colours with the right typefaces is equally important. At JWJ Design we use colour psychology to determine what fonts and colours work best for the messages and values you want to communicate.

 

If you are feeling like everything all looks different with your school marketing, or some creative time-saving templates could be really useful, then please do get in touch with us at JWJ Design; we are more than happy to have a free chat and see what we can do to make your life easier: hello@jwjdesign.co.uk

Check out some of the work we have created for schools »