Leaning into Your Unique Story

Delaware College of Art & Design Admissions

Leaning into Your Unique Story

All schools are looking to tell their unique story. Trying to capture the attention of their prospective students. The problem is many are trying to figure out what truly sets them apart. 

Delaware College of Art & Design (DCAD) has a clear differentiator—it is the nation’s only private two-year accredited art and design college. Students either jumpstart their career after two years or continue on to a four-year degree program. President Jean Dahlgran wanted to lean into this positioning while developing an identity for DCAD’s admissions. We in turn developed the “Do it in 2,” call-to-action to leverage their unique position to meet enrollment goals.

Coming in late in the enrollment process,  we worked quickly to do initial intake and research,  including one-on-one meetings with the President, Director of Admissions, and Director of Development; an onsite visit during an Open House; review of existing market research; communication audit; and competitive analysis. Working with our strategic partner, Michelle Lansing; we developed a NOISE (Needs, Opportunities, Improvements, Strengths, and Exceptions) Report along with a value proposition and key messaging.

Our research and key messaging informed the development of an admission identity brand that included a vibrant color palette, typography inspired by the school’s Art Deco building, and candid photography.

The admission campaign was rolled out through social media, an email campaign, postcards, and a search mailer, along with a refresh of the website’s home page.

A multi-channel communication strategy is imperative for admissions.
A high number of precollege participants later become DCAD students so it is important to unify the messaging early on.
Two pathways after two years led to the tagline “What will you do in 2?” and the call-to-action “Do it in 2.”
The font Modula evoked the sense of being at the school’s unique Art Deco building.
Just as you can judge a book by its cover, users judge a school by its home page. With a website redesign on the books down the road, we knew the school couldn’t wait for some updates. We aligned the design with the new admission campaign, editing the video to be image-only, adding a fun sticker effect, and restructuring the content to engage the user through multiple touchpoints.
We developed a series of emails with a clear call-to-action and bulleted copy for a quick read.
We utilized existing folders to save money and placed a sticker on the front–showing students that DCAD is an active and creative place.

The new campaign in addition to the Common App and an ambitious outreach campaign by the admission team has netted the largest pool of accepted students in the school’s 25-year history. The recent Accepted Student Day, “Do it 2Day,” was a big success with 70 percent of students depositing at the end of the event, and walking away with a fun Yield package and sign for their front yard to broadcast their future path to their neighborhood.

70% of students deposited at the end of the accepted students day event.

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