Designing a New Kind of College from the Ground Up

Carle Illinois College of Medicine

How do you brand and promote a new college that has the potential to change healthcare with a new kind of curriculum and student?

The Carle Illinois College of Medicine was a new college at the University of Illinois. They were starting from the square one and needed to brand the college, communicate its value, attract qualified and engaged students, get them to apply and then welcome them in an inspirational way. This was no small task. besides, that, there were internal and external stakeholders who needed to get on board to make sure this college succeeded. Carle Illinois engaged with us from the very beginning, to function as an external creative team to plan and execute branding, student and internal print materials, their website, and a student recruitment campaign.

We worked closely with the leadership team and other stakeholders to create a new brand strategy, visual identity, collateral, student recruitment materials, and website.

What we did:

Brand Strategy & Design Research

Where to start? First, we conducted some serious brand research to figure out how exactly to communicate and show this new college to potential students and other audiences. How were we going to tell a story about a new college started around an idea that had never been done before? We had to make sure that first class of students knew what they were getting into and had the same vision as the college.

Branding isn’t just about pretty images, it’s about communicating a message. We had an incredibly talented team to work with at Carle Illinois who could communicate a clear vision and together, we created a set of brand standards to make sure that vision stayed intact.

Print Design

We also designed three books for internal and partner audiences to communicate that vision in a narrative. Now, these weren’t just any books. They were interactive and engaging – one of them had pieces that created motion as you explored the brand message. The other two told the story of the college’s vision, mission, and methods.

Student Recruitment Campaign & Materials

Once we did all of this we needed to attract and inspire the inaugural class that will change the future of medicine and technology as we know it. No pressure, right? Sure.

We developed a phased approach that included marketing materials, informational brochures, and an augmented reality acceptance video package with a customized message. It was truly one of the most exciting projects we’ve ever worked on. And, with these materials the Carle Illinois College of Medicine had an unprecedented acceptance rate!

When you’re on your messaging, branding, web and marketing game, and working with a team that is absolutely brilliant, the outcomes are amazing.

Website Design, Video, Development

How might we quickly and meaningfully communicate online that the Carle Illinois College of Medicine is a unique college experience at the cross sections of engineering, medicine, and the creative humanities?

We designed and built the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s website to inspire and educate, but also be flexible to change over time as the college and needs changed. We realized we might not be with the college as they grow and bring on staff, so making sure this site could be managed internally was a big concern.

It also had to refer to the new University of Illinois brand standards and be exceptionally beautiful.