Central Saint Martins is a globally renowned art school with close ties to prominent institutions such as Saatchi Gallery. Its alumni go on to achieve outstanding success in fashion, design, architecture, journalism and film-making. Offering variety of courses from BAs and MAs to vocational qualifications, Central Saint Martins attracts aspiring art and fashion professionals from all over the world.
Despite having world-wide reputation for excellence in art education, the Central Saint Martins brand was not resonating with its audience to full extent. So in 2012 the college launched an initiative aimed at strengthening its brand. Targeting both internal audiences, like students and faculty, and external audiences, like applicants and alumni, Central Saint Martins produced a series of articles discussing art, fashion, achievements of students and staff, and wide array of other college-related issues.
The first challenge before the team of designers was to make sure that ultimately the project positively contributes to brand equity and doesn’t just end up being a series of informational articles. The outcome of the work had to reflect branding priorities of the college and effectively communicate restless nature of design courses at Central Saint Martin. The only requirement from Central Saint Martins was that the project incorporated print and digital mediums.
Having been presented with the default communication channels the team was required to organically integrate print and digital into the communication mix. Thus, the second challenge was to develop an integrated channel strategy, within which each medium adds unique value to the mix and yet consistently relies on design and artistic execution.
The decision was made to frame the project as a two-mediums magazine. An iOS app was created to support print. It was important to ensure that the app doesn’t duplicate content in print so the primary objective of the app was maximise readers’ engagement, while cost-efficiency and convenience of print were leveraged to maximise reach.
Print counterpart of the magazine was designed to be a teaser for full content available on the app. Readers could enjoy wide selection of art designs and snippets of articles. Having scanned a QR code, readers then were redirected to download the app and get access to more content.
Dominated by visual elements print magazine conveyed the key philosophy of the institution - one organised mess- and reflected its diverse culture, multinational heritage and artistic mindset.
The app was used as an engagement vehicle. Interactivity features and innovative navigation system coupled with the brand-consistent design allowed Central Saint Martin to upgrade the reader from passively consuming information to actively participating in the brand.
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