CLIENT: ENROLLMENT COMMUNICATIONS
ROLE: DESIGNER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Most comms professionals involved in college recruitment are aware of a university’s signature mailer: the university viewbook. This piece typically showcases a broad overview of a university’s offerings: history and traditions, academics, experiential learning, community life, post-graduation success, and the application process. Divided into six main sections, the Miami Viewbook is a 70+ page publication that is sent to thousands of student prospects across the country who may or may not be currently interested in attending Miami University.
While this piece is typically given a complete design overhaul every couple of years (and this was not supposed to be one of those years), as the lead designer on the project, I wanted to at least take a more conceptual approach to the cover photo. First, I organized a brainstorming session with our entire communications and marketing department in order to generate some unique brand concepts that felt authentic to Miami’s brand, and which aligned to the previous year’s headline “Think Big. Act Boldly.” We used word association exercises to come up with unique ways to visually express that headline, generating concepts ranging from portraying campus beauty in new ways to highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of Miami’s academics. Eventually, we honed in one direction that worked conceptually and had potential for dynamic visuals was the idea of sparks: sparking connection, igniting passion, fueling ideas.
Once I started planning the cover shoot, I realized that this concept could and should be used throughout the viewbook as much as possible. I worked with our content team to develop a new headline and planned additional shoots for the section intros; we used light painting to write action verbs associated with each section topic. And of course, the book wouldn't be complete without a page showing "Miami" light painted in sparks!