Turning Point School is not just a great educational experience, but also a great community of teachers and families, all working together to create a positive equation. Dr. Laura Konigsberg, the Head of School, constantly draws from research in the fields of positive psychology and childhood development, along with her nearly 25 years as an educator herself, to provide unique insights and best practices on how to raise children in Preschool, Elementary, and Middle School.
As a school, the faculty and staff were confident in their teaching philosophy, but how does a school translate and communicate this abstract philosophy of a well-rounded education based in positive psychology research into a visual brand identity?
No single logo, symbol, or tagline on its own could really fully do the school justice in communicating their deep, enriching educational experience and philosophy. Together, we realized that we needed an entire Table of Elements system to breakdown and explore all the different elements of the Turning Point School education.
The final Table of Elements came together in a true collaborative effort that involved many of the staff and faculty to identify and define the existing fundamental elements of Turning Point School's education.
Just like how the real scientific periodic table didn’t invent the elements—the elements have existed in our universe—so, too, have the Turning Point School elements always been a part of their universe. We didn’t invent these elements, but Turning Point School's Table of Elements is just a new way of understanding their own fundamental elements and everything they already have been doing all along. It’s a way of visualizing and organizing these previously abstract elements so that everyone, both internally and externally, can have a common understanding of what are the different elements and how they relate to each other.
All of the elements that make up Turning Point School's universe aren't just limited to what's on the Table of Elements here, but these fundamental elements work together to combine in different ways and form different, more complex unique elements.
Every individual—staff, teacher, admin, student, and parent—every classroom, every day, every class, and every moment at Turning Point School is made up of some combination of these fundamental elements to become unique elements themselves in Turning Point School's positive equation for achievement.
For most people, the website is their first introduction to the school and the new brand. With that in mind, we designed the front page to start introducing the idea of the elements and its categories before seeing how elements can combine and build upon each other from the very beginning of preschool until their eighth grade graduation. Then, they are finally introduced to the complete Table of Elements and invited to learn more about each individual element.
Within seconds and minutes, prospective families should have an idea of what makes Turning Point School unique in the competitive LA private school landscape.
The elements and education at Turning Point School are flexible and modular in order to adapt to different students and changing times, but everything they do is still based in rigorous scientific research. To reflect that, the branding as a whole, including the website itself, is designed to be flexible and modular in its layout while still being based on a rigorous grid system.
Art Director, Designer
“Pierre Nguyen is more than a creative visual designer; he is a brand magician. He didn’t just update our look, he helped us discover a new way to think about what we do as an organization, and why it is important, relevant, and unique. During the process, he shined a light into every corner of our organization, reaffirming what we know we do well but also finding gems we had overlooked—dusting them off and holding them up to catch the light.
He is an expert at his craft and understands rules and best practices of design. He also quickly and intuitively recognizes his clients goals, objectives, and capacity for change. The work he did for our organization is visually stunning, adaptable across many platforms, built with flexibility to grow and develop, and has been embraced by our entire community.”
To capture the spirit and idea of all the different elements working together in one positive equation, we created an accordion-fold viewbook so all of the elements can be presented together. On one side, every Table of Elements category is featured with all of its respective elements. On the other side, we give an overview of how the different elements build upon each other throughout the years in preschool, elementary, and middle school.
More images of the viewbook coming soon.
The Broad Stage is a unique theater in Santa Monica, always bringing in world-class classical, jazz, world, and opera music as well as dance performances and plays. The 2015/16 season was no different, bringing in some of the most electrifying performances yet. As the performing art center’s long-term marketing partner, DISTINC_ strategically built upon the past seasons while bringing in a new freshness to the visual language with gradients and lively compositions to reflect this season's exciting performances.
As the lead designer, I was responsible for all of their 2015/16 season marketing needs, from all the print collateral—including brochures, mailers, magazine ads, and newspaper ads—to digital ads, social media assets, and email templates.
For The Broad Stage’s biggest play of the season, 1984, we designed its own entire campaign to promote the show. We leveraged some of the colors and projection elements used in the play and combined it with elements of surveillance and censorship. The campaign rolled out through newspaper, magazine, and bus ads; emails; postcards; and mailers.
In addition to the 1984 play itself, The Broad Stage also hosted a series of panel discussions with experts to have an open discussion about concerns with privacy, surveillance, and politics in our real-life present-day—concerns that were no longer just contained in fiction.
We worked with The Broad Stage to promote these panel discussions with emails, posters, and postcards, creating a campaign that was related to the main 1984 play's marketing campaign while differentiating the panel discussion marketing materials with its own colors.
Since The Broad Stage typically features classical music and operas, the 1984 play was a perfect opportunity to attract a new and younger crowd than their regular demographic. One of the most notable aspects of the play itself is their innovative use of modern technology to create unexpected stage effects that enhanced the experience and themes of the story. And the topic of surveillance and policing of thoughts explored in the book and play was continuing to grow increasing more and more relevant to everyone's lives in the digital age.
All of this together created a unique opportunity to explore newer and more unconventional 360 marketing ideas, so I took the initiative to pitch some ideas beyond the traditional print and email campaigns and utilize modern technology to create unexpected experiences and start a conversation around the themes of surveillance in the modern age.
To create a conversation of public surveillance from the perspective of both the person being watched, and the person doing the watching, I pitched a digital bus ad that used real-time live video feed of the other side of the physical screen so that for the viewer seeing the ad from the outside, they are watching a real-time surveillance footage of the people directly behind on the other side the screen.
Text graphics appear over on top of the live surveillance video feed to notify that a Thought Criminal has been detected, and then the tagline "Big Brother is Here" appears along with The Broad Stage logo and dates.
In a world under constant surveillance and everything said and done is recorded, most honest thoughts can only be expressed through anonymity and private conversations. The characters in 1984 communicate with each other through written notes that get thrown away. For privacy-conscious people in modern reality, digital communication is done through end-to-end encrypted messaging and apps that will delete all messages within a certain amount of time rather than storing all messages in databases indefinitely.
When Snapchat first came out, they were the only major social media platform that specifically revolved around temporary messages that disappeared after a certain amount of time rather than be public and permanent. It was the perfect social media platform to run "self-destructing" ads on with messages referencing the idea of privacy and surveillance to promote The Broad Stage's 1984 play, especially to a younger audience.
The Broad Stage normally already advertises their big shows on bus ads, but I though 1984 would be a great opportunity to deviate from the typical straight-forward bus ads and use creative copywriting to catch people's attention in the sea of traditional ads.
Especially in combination of all these other pitches in other places and mediums, this would add to the 360 marketing experience and create a sense of actually omnipresent advertising and sense of being "followed" around by all of these different ads no matter where people go throughout the weeks.
Although 1984 was originally written by George Orwell in 1949, the topics of privacy, government surveillance, and freedom of thought has always been relevant. And it has only grown even more important as technology continues to develop and our lives are increasingly intertwined in the digital web.
In 2016, when the 1984 play was going to have its run at The Broad Stage, we were only a couple years after Edward Snowden's revelations of governments conducting mass surveillance. So the debates revolving around privacy and mass surveillance was still ongoing and fresh in people's minds.
To draw parallels between the themes of 1984 and our actual real contemporary world, I pitched the idea of creating a series of "censored" quotes both from the book/play, the author himself, and also real quotes from other people like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. But just like any scratch-off card, people can use a coin to scratch-off the censored parts and reveal the rest of the quote.
At first glance, every quote might seem like it could all be from the book/play or spoken by George Orwell or by someone else in today's world because that's how relevant the story still is to our present. The line between fiction and reality is surprisingly blurry when it comes to 1984's themes.
This pitch was a simple idea that put a twist on boring conventional marketing postcards and instead focused on catching people's attention to think and start a conversation around the parallels of 1984 and people's actual present life.
To cap off the 360 marketing campaign, I pitched an opening night event featuring drones, surveillance cameras, and CCTV to really play up the idea of over-surveillance and create a conversation revolving around privacy and surveillance once again to get the audience primed and immersed even before the show started.
And hopefully, the event would create a newsworthy buzz to promote the show for the rest of the run after opening night.
Mirman School is a unique school in LA specializing in educating highly-gifted children. But it is more than just academics—each student is unique in their personalities, interests, and learning. The minute you walk through those Mirman gates, you are welcomed by a supportive community of students, teachers, and parents. Everyone contributes to an enriching education that exponentially raises each child’s potential, curiosity, passions—and everything in between—to the power of Mirman.
When DISTINC_ had the opportunity to completely rebrand the school, we knew we had to capture not only their academic nature but every aspect of the school's education and students. Together with my creative director, we developed a simple, yet flexible brand identity system where Mirman School is the exponent that raises everything to the power of Mirman. And with the new identity, I also designed a new website; wrote, directed, and animated the new brand unveil video; designed a new stationery, viewbook, ads, and signage.
To unveil the new brand, I wrote, designed, directed, and animated a video to capture the essence of Mirman School and the ideas behind our new identity system. We worked with Zemma Productions, who did an amazing job shooting all the footage, recording the voiceover track, and editing it all together.
Director, Designer, Writer, Animator
When it came time to create Mirman School's viewbook, we decided that the best way to show the school's unique experience is not through another traditional booklet, but rather a set of flash cards. Each card features different qualities and what that means when it's Raised to the Power of Mirman visually and verbally. The admissions team can rearrange the order of the cards or switch out different cards to create different sets of cards, creating a modular viewbook that can adapt for different families and their needs—just like Mirman School's education.
Art Director, Designer, Copywriter
The new branding was rolled out across all applications including t-shirts, new stationery, on-campus signage, banners, and ads.