Make Your Pub a Must to Pick Up

While digital content can dominate the marketing conversation, print plays an integral role in higher ed enrollment strategies.

Publications, and compelling imagery of your institution, can take residence in households (and minds), spark conversations, and, if successful, establish an emotional connection with prospects and their families.

Opportunities for a tactile experience with your brand are boundless with print; the challenge for colleges is to create publications that leverage a high volume of content in new and exciting ways.

A viewbook for the University Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, created by Paskill Stapleton & Lord (PS&L), embodies a clean design approach that spotlights strong statements, a subdued university color palette, a balance of traditional and modern fonts, and embraces the theme of education on multiple levels. The student viewbook was recently recognized with an Educational Advertising Award.

An audience-relevant piece, the publication for potential graduate students at an Ivy League institution tables exhaustive tell-all offerings for more thoughtful examples of inspiring scenes from an iconic city, hands-on learning, and global impact. According to Dana Joyce, assistant director of marketing at Penn GSE, the piece, published for an early fall distribution, has had a fantastic reception from internal and external audiences. She says the goals for the viewbook was to complement the school’s existing academic program-specific flyers, previously developed by PS&L in 2017. “We wanted a viewbook that captures what Penn GSE represents, the programs we offer, the research we do in Philadelphia, and the influence we have on education from pre-K all the way through to Ph.D.s.”

One distinctive element of the comprehensive piece is the engaging cover art. PS&L Senior Designer Rosanne Jennings worked with Dana and team to identify a cover that resolved the tug-of-war decision-making between photography and text-based graphics.

“I requested permission from the Philly Mural Arts Project to feature one of their murals as our cover,” says Dana about the cover design, which showcases vibrant artwork titled “Frequencies” by Benjamin Volta. Rosanne even paid a visit to the mural’s location in North Philadelphia for photography. Not only does the artwork encompass the front and back of the viewbook, the publication was also printed with only the silhouette having a textured surface, making it interesting to hold and behold. “It really represents our school’s community-focused initiatives, passion for social justice, and commitment to the future of education in Philadelphia. We really checked all of our boxes with that mural.”

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Cathy Donovan,

A higher education professional with more than a decade serving in various communications roles at a Big 10 university, including most recently as assistant dean. At PS&L, Cathy is busy implementing a marketing plan to promote the agency’s visibility and various services through email marketing, digital strategy, conferences, direct mail, and webinars. Cathy also manages psandl.com, social media efforts, and agency publications, and assists with agency RFP responses. She can be reached at [email protected]