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Marin Academy was founded with a distinctly progressive vision of education. A community of life long-learners, MA (as it is lovingly known) believes educational excellence should push the boundaries of what is known today to prepare students for a world we can’t even imagine tomorrow.
MA turned to Mission Minded for help articulating their strengths in a crowded field of alternatives. MA had a solid idea of who they are and why their school stood distinctly above the rest. But they needed help strategizing how to talk about their program and represent MA in a way that accurately reflected their unique essence so that they could attract right-fit families, educators, and partners.
MA had their strongest admissions season in history following their branding work with Mission Minded. Furthermore, their student-of-color applicant rate went up by 62%. How did they do it?
Mission Minded worked with the prestigious school to develop a suite of brand hallmarks, including a new brand strategy, messaging framework, visual identity, fresh admissions materials, a redesign of their alumni magazine, and website. The results showcase that MA is a place where students work with one another to share their diverse perspectives, rather than compete with one another. Students are meaningfully engaged and self-assured in their academic environment, building the confidence and deliberation with which to chart their own courses in the world.
Their new visual identity had to reflect a community comprised of passionate, expressive students and families who live with a natural curiosity to examine, explore, and wonder, and an environment of students and teachers working side-by-side in critical and creative thinking. This is beautifully illustrated in the abstract letterforms of the “M” and “A” shaped out of the triangle design. The multi-colored triangles use an array of color and shape combinations to model the MA community’s diversity of thought, perspectives, and connections.
Because Marin Academy aims to stimulate and stretch all the facets of a young mind, they believe that everything is a question. MA’s new suite of admission materials invites the reader to think, question, and even create as they consider what MA may have to offer—mirroring the school’s educational approach.
To be positioned as a school that is truly like no other, their admissions materials had to stand out—not only through their new key messages and visual identity design, but also in how they were physically delivered. Each admissions piece contains mechanisms for unfolding and digging deeper, which reflects MA’s commitment to asking questions, learning more, and diving into the unknown. In addition to a new admissions viewbook, Mission Minded designed a paper fortune teller to serve as the school’s search piece. Interactive in nature and clever in design, the piece represents exactly what one can expect from MA—creative curiosity and an education that always has students considering what’s possible.
As the online “face” of MA, they needed a new website that would not only showcase their new look and voice, but would also provide intuitive ways to connect with the school while highlighting its key strengths. The new site shows MA’s positioning, value, and mission while inviting connection with the community from internal and external audiences alike.
Next, they sought to bring their alumni network into the conversation. It was critical that the school’s legacy connect with the new representation of MA, and their magazine, NEXUS, was the perfect place to share the story of this brand journey. The latest issue of NEXUS makes it clear that this “new” brand is, in fact, simply a clearer articulation of the MA that alumni have known all along, not a change in direction.
A brand rooted in a school’s authentic commitment to progress allows them to continually explore exactly how that evolves as the years go by. MA’s new brand proudly claims the independent school as a leader in progressive academics—they don’t just offer experiential education as a component of their approach, they continually redefine it, letting it guide their way.