Northeastern University CAMD

The College of Art and Media Design (CAMD) at Northeastern University is a college serving students with more than 100 areas of innovative study and creative careers, supporting 34 undergraduate majors, and 6 graduate programs.

BRANDING, PRINT, & ENVIRONMENTS

Project Overview

Pixel Parlor joined this project when CAMD was still a very new school in the Northeastern University selection of offerings. CAMD was in need of environmental and branding solutions to resonate with currently enrolled students and to attract new students—a particularly important task for a new school in a crowded market without the benefit of an extensive alumni network.

The project included rolling out CAMD’s new brand look-and-feel across physical and digital mediums while providing artwork in a way that was easily accessible and editable by staff. One of the most significant challenges we encountered was a designing comprehensive signage and wayfinding system to mitigate the inconsistencies in the layout of a single school spanning five buildings.

Project Goals

  • Roll out the new brand look and feel across digital mediums and creating tools for easy deployment of digital assets
  • Improve the physical aesthetic of the school so it is immediately identifiable as a space for creativity and design
  • Address wayfinding challenges associated with the physical layout of a school spanning five buildings

Our Process

Working with the Marketing Director and Communications Director, as well as staff, we understood that in terms of rolling out the brand across various digital and print mediums, we had to create assets as editable templates so professional and nonprofessional staff could easily produce materials.

To address physical needs, we conducted an extensive series of walkthroughs with the Dean, students, faculty, and the communications department to identify and brainstorm areas of opportunity for improvement. In the end, Pixel Parlor developed viable solutions that work within the confines of the existing structure of the school and determined a systematic approach to solving the different needs of key offices, wayfinding, material surfaces (glass versus drywall).

Print and Digital

In need of email templates and newsletters for varying topics and target lists, Pixel Parlor designed easily editable and deployable templates in MailChimp. Using this tool, staff can easily choose a template and add content as needed.

Large print poster pieces focused on music and innovation were created to communicate offerings and events at CAMD. These print pieces were created as InDesign templates and were eventually reappropriated into inform online ads to enhance the school’s outreach to potential students.

To wrap up the print and digital assets delivery, brand standards and user guides were developed to prevent inconsistencies in the brand look and feel as staff changes throughout the school year.

Environmental and Wayfinding

Our team explored solutions to implement the new CAMD brand look-and-feel throughout buildings that were deemed outdated and uninspiring. By defining areas of opportunity for graphic application, we were able to breathe new life into an otherwise unremarkable space and address a confusing building layout with new directional signage and wayfinding.

In one instance we used electronically cut film over drywall using a new lamination process to give the look of a painting.

Four major phases of onsite installations ensued to ensure that all graphics and materials were produced at a high standard and thoroughly addressed the needs of the school.

Outcome

With brand guides and templates, CAMD staff can easily incorporate the brand look-and-feel into email templates, social media, presentations, and signage for major events.

New wayfinding design by Pixel Parlor has consolidated the look-and-feel of the school from inside out positioning CAMD as a creative and innovative space. With comprehensive color coding schemes and design elements like raised dimensional lettering for key offices and locations, the result is a holistic branded design with controlled variety that fits the building limitations and solves the end users’ needs.

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