Brand Building to Bring About Change
A Collaborative Approach to Branding
As a new major/minor offering, The Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective needed branding that fit within the guidelines of three other university brands. Not only did we drive awareness of these new opportunities online and across campuses, but we also painted a picture of urgency for why the industry needs change.
Spelman College introduced The Atlanta University Center (AUC) Collective for the Study of Art History + Curatorial Studies in an effort to position the AUC as the leading incubator of African-American museum and art world professionals in the United States and abroad. The program was developed in response to the lack of diversity in art history and curatorial professions, and “aims to shape the future of the art world.”
In 2019, the AUC Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective came together with Nebo to collaborate on a new logo, marketing messaging and website.
This mission-driven program was already having an impact on the art community in Atlanta and beyond, but the program had little to no brand awareness or recognition across its three home institutions of Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University. The AUC needed a unique brand that encompassed the spirit and passion of the program, but also had to play within the brand guidelines of each institution.
There was no online home for the program to serve as an information hub for students, families, faculty and staff. There was a temporary site, but slow load times drove viewers away from pages, information was not streamlined or easy to navigate and the site overall lacked a unifying voice and tone for the brand.
And while there was some student enrollment, there was an overall lack of awareness of major and/or minor opportunities — as well as how those could translate into future careers.
Nebo was brought in to build a brand, establish a home for the brand and develop a plan to bring this brand to life online and on-campus.
We took a comprehensive perspective, including research, strategy, analytics, visual design, copywriting, engineering and analytics.
- First, we approached the problem collaboratively, and worked with key stakeholders to define the brand’s core — its purpose, promise, personality, benefits and differentiators — that we could use to inform all aspects of branding.
- Then, we took what we heard in the brand workshop and developed the brand voice and visual guidelines — the tone and messaging pillars that would inform every piece of marketing for the brand.
- In order to establish a central home for the new brand, we redeveloped the website from the ground up. Working within the CMS and framework of the interim site, we revisited overall information flow to improve user experience.
- Collaboratively, we wrote new site copy to reflect the brand’s new messaging and tone.
- We added information and inspiration about where these studies could take potential students in their career.
- We also brought a more human element to their brand storytelling by incorporating testimonials, as well as featured faculty and staff and alumni spotlights.
An Inspired Experience
We designed an artful experience with the purpose of informing and inspiring our audience by creating moments that popped off the page.
With multiple audiences in mind, we created a site flow that made information quick and easy to find for everyone from potential students to alumni.
Multiple Use Cases
For every use case, we wanted the experience to be distinct. We designed paper collateral to be bold and eye catching, using the logo as a key design element.
We created a brand identity that calls back to traditional African art using the Adinkra symbol for “knowledge and learning” to inspire the logo.
Bold and Beyond
The AUC family consists of Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College and Morehouse College, so we created unique branding for each, keeping with the overall bold, modern, forward feel of the AUC.