How do you evolve the brand of one of the UK’s oldest schools in an increasingly competitive private schools sector, whilst maintaining their strong heritage and unique ethos?
Lady Eleanor Holles (LEH) is proud to be one of the oldest girls' schools in the country, and at the cutting edge of girls' education. At Wild Dog, we know from experience that educational establishments often can bring with them their own set of unique challenges and opportunities. In this instance we had a brand with over 300 years' heritage that was extremely well-loved and respected.
LEH recognised that it was the perfect time to re-evaluate their brand and all their associated assets (including everything from uniform and signage through to digital and print communications); to present a rationalised and modern brand. We needed to truly understand all their assets and update them to present a cohesive and up-to-date story aligned to the school's vision of themselves.
Director of Development and Communications
Lady Eleanor Holles
The first aspect of The Lady Eleanor Holles School that strikes one, is that the school feels passionately about girls’ education and that the establishment is brimming with energy and positivity. It’s original school motto of ‘Hope favours the bold” still rings true with pupils, alumnae, staff and parents today; and although fiercely and rightly proud of their heritage, this is a school that is firmly looking to the future.
We carried out extensive audience research in the form of focus groups with all major stakeholders: teaching staff, support staff, alumnae, current pupils and parents. The findings from these groups informed all subsequent decisions and provided an incredibly useful insight into the school and the way it operated.
The most fundamental disconnect was the number of variants regarding how the school was referred to in different circumstances and by different people. The full title of The Lady Eleanor Holles School was technically correct and appeared across multiple media. However for many years Lady Eleanor Holles, not unsurprisingly had become the main used descriptive title, whilst the strong typographical LEH is a major part of their ID nomenclature, used by the girls for years.
The refreshed brand dropped ‘The’ and ‘School’ from the marque, adding vigour and impact to the brand colours; even taking the bold step of progressing the mark to ‘LEH’ rather than the words in full. In addition we discovered over time the colour-ways adopted had begun to alter, and it was very clear that all existing and past staff and pupils were keen to rediscover their heritage, and get it back to the Lady Eleanor Holles red. In addition the much-loved school crest and motto were also revitalised and brought to the forefront of the new guidelines.
Following the successful brand exercise, we were tasked to design the entire suite of school branded collateral; ranging from signage through to stationery. The core publications covering School Prospectus, Sixth Form Prospectus, A Level Course Guide, and Information Guide all needed to be redesigned and enhanced.
For postal enquiries and education exhibitions, LEH also required a means of delivering the publications. We wanted to create a sense of theatre, whilst also establishing a keep-sake item that had genuine value. We commissioned the production of stunning felt wallet ‘purses’, beautifully embroidered and of course in the new vibrant LEH red. The wallet not only accommodates all the varying literature required, but also became a handy keepsake lasting way beyond a prospective parent's initial enquiry. Perfectly sized for iPads, the item has become a coveted object with a shelf-life potentially lasting longer than the pupils' school career.
In addition we commissioned photography, to establish a new visual style for the school that reflected the values and energy of this extraordinary and wonderful educational establishment.