Partnering with Creative Services
Walnut Hill School for the Arts is located in Natick MA and the only arts high school in the east. In 2017, Opus was hired to provide creative services for this independent school supporting advancement, admissions, and other ongoing design needs.
The projects we have worked on include an admissions package, an award-winning annual-fund mailer, the 125th-anniversary logo and campaign materials, admissions brochures for each of the 5 majors, homecoming collateral, planned giving materials in multiple languages, invitation, signage, and program for a dance performance fundraiser at NYC’s Joyce Theater, ads, t-shirts, stickers, a branded credit card, a new admissions campaign theme, admitted students communication package, and a variety of other promotional materials.
Admissions Package Design
Creative services for an independent school is exciting because there is a lot of variety. The goal for the packaging design was to let students know they have been accepted, get students excited about attending the school, and to get them to sign up to one of the accepted students days.
The graphic design needed to be cool and branded in an interesting way to engage a young and creative audience.
We created a fun poster design that would allow students to share their “GOT IN” news on social media. Students at Walnut Hill are called “Walnuts” so we wanted to help them start to self-identify by featuring the walnut imagery.
Considering the User Experience
For the package design and delivery, we chose a beautiful craft cardboard tube with black caps to ship the admissions materials. The tubes themselves were on-brand: bespoke, warm and human, a keepsake box. We designed a simple, inexpensive white rubber stamp of the Walnut Hill “W” which was used to brand each admit package by hand. And since this was not your average box or letter, we took a sample to the US post office to make sure there would be no issues putting them in the mail!
Annual Giving Direct Mail
We worked with advancement to design an award-winning series of 3 direct mail appeals. The concept was to speak to the founder’s forward-thinking approach by combining traditional portraits of the founders with sketches of contemporary gadgets.
The founders’ portraits are something that students see every single day. The graphic design used these familiar paintings on the front of the mailer and when the reader opens the piece, they see the portraits speaking in an unexpected way — with graphics of sunglasses, fidget spinners, bubble gum, and ipads. The graphic design was a lot of fun for this piece.
Creative services for an independent school
We love providing creative services for an independent school such as Walnut Hill where all areas of the arts are nurtured and expressed!
Opus has been a great partner! They are very creative and extremely responsive — which makes them an ideal fit. They’ve created really fun out-of-the-box projects. Let’s be honest, we’ve all worked with designers who are creative but not responsive or designers who are responsive but are kind of flat design-wise. Opus is the whole package. It’s a pleasure working with them. They have helped us raise the bar on our print and digital materials.
When students become aware of Walnut Hill, they understand that it is an art school but oftentimes they are not sure if they will find the discipline they are looking for. The admissions team strives to give equal attention to all the majors vs just the ones that tend to be the most popular.
For open houses and tours, we needed to create a brochure design for each major. So a student could see what it would be like to be a writing major for example, and not have to read about ballet auditions. They could learn about a day in the life of a writing major, see what kinds of classes are offered, and how to apply.
The graphic design featured bold photography of students in each major to engage, excite, and make it clear on first site of each brochure which major it was representing.