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Case Study


Center for Middle Eastern Studies Rebrand

Standing out of a crowd



The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) needed to stand out in a crowd of intellectual peers. There are almost 50 centers, institutes, and societies at Harvard, along with multiple schools and clubs—all needing to connect with their audiences through their websites and printed collateral.

We did an audit of the existing materials CMES had been producing, including their website, brochures, posters, and stationery system. Through this review we gained an understanding of how CMES was perceived by its external and internal audiences, and we developed a creative strategy to guide the work.

Most people referred to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies as CMES, yet there was no formal identity developed for this naming. We created a logo for CMES and made recommendations to use the shield in more materials.

As part of the organization’s new identity, we developed color, image, and graphic palettes. The graphic pattern was inspired by Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish typography and art.


The new identity was applied to the various print pieces, including the newsletter, brochures, and posters. Along with the print material, we redesigned the look and feel of the CMES website. Working with CMES and Harvard Web Publishing, we created a website based off Open Scholar (the Harvard Web Publishing platform) but which felt unique and met the goal of standing out in the crowd.


Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) was founded in 1954 to foster knowledge of Middle Eastern and Islamic societies and cultures. CMES continues to focus on promoting knowledge of the Middle East and raising awareness of faculty research and initiatives. The organization goals for the rebrand were to increase awareness of CMES and increase engagement with their community. The rebrand addressed these goals through the development of consistent, high-quality communications from print to digital.

The new identity conveyed the history of the group while also being forward-thinking. It is serious yet approachable and stands out in the volume of organizations at Harvard.

Honors: AAF/Albany Ad Club Award




Harvard Web Publishing