Work February 14, 2019

Bold Design Brings Prospective Students to CBU

 

Centered in the heart of Midtown, just blocks from the Cooper-Young District and less than a mile from historic Overton Square, Christian Brothers University’s campus has a small-university environment, but students also enjoy all the benefits of a big city.

Like many smaller colleges across the country facing new enrollment challenges, the Office of Admissions wanted to understand why current students choose CBU, so that they could target the high school student most likely to apply to and enroll at CBU and help the university stand out among other local colleges.

It’s something that the Admissions team had wanted to do for a long time but hadn’t figured out the best way to execute. So, they contacted inferno to conduct research and develop a strategic solution for their 2017-2018 communications.

"We wanted to focus on the students and their unique stories. The bold CBU red, student photography, and modern typefaces were incorporated to highlight those unique perspectives and give CBU communications a fresh and relevant look.”
Derrick Alston, Lead Designer

Brand Strategy

Our research with current students, faculty, and staff told us that most CBU students only made the decision to attend after a campus visit. Armed with this insight, we realized that our primary goal for all communications should be to encourage prospective students to visit campus and experience CBU firsthand.

Our strategy was to share the stories of real CBU students, past and present. Each communication would offer prospective students a taste of the thousands of unique opportunities that add up to an experience they can’t find anywhere else. We would also include two important calls to action on admissions communications:

  • Text a current student with questions about their CBU experience.
  • Schedule a visit to campus.

Design

For the new creative concept, we wanted to focus on the students and their unique stories. The bold CBU red, student photography, and modern typefaces were incorporated to highlight those unique perspectives and give CBU communications a fresh and relevant look.

We wanted to craft a design that would stand out in the flood of college mail. Our final concept incorporated a subtle “U” shape in the design of each piece to create a visual callout that highlighted the students whose story we are telling. For many of the pieces we paired a traditional serif font — representing the traditional values of CBU — with a bold, modern sans-serif font to make an impact. The contrast between those two styles is very emblematic of the unique experiences offered at CBU.

Viewbook and Travel Piece

Early in the college search process, prospective students have a lot of questions. What will my classes be like? How is the food? What do people do for fun?

Both the viewbook and travel piece are designed to answer these questions. Through personal stories, each highlights the strong academic programs, vibrant campus life, and off-campus opportunities — giving students the information that matters most and compelling reasons to schedule a visit and experience campus in person.

Visit Postcard

There’s no need to search or squint to find the must-know information on this postcard. With the big, bold type and signature CBU red, we made this piece — and the key information on it — stand out in the 27,000 mailboxes it was sent to.

Ready to discover new ways to engage your audience? Send us a note and we'll be glad to discuss your needs.