Setting the Tone

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences / The Advising Project

Setting the Tone

While it may not seem a priority when launching a new program, a consistent brand and identity is imperative. Ensuring key stakeholders are on the same page, speaking with a clear and unified voice, is crucial to its success. 

Ann Hall, director of communications at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Harvard, knew this when the school’s dean set out to launch a two-year project researching and implementing best practices in advising. 2communiqué was engaged before the project’s start to discuss the importance of identity and brand with key stakeholders.

We later met with the same team for a kick-off, gleaning advising insights like “one size does not fit all,” “collaboration is the intellectual driver,” and “it takes a village,” all of which helped to define the creative strategy. Creative exploration took into consideration the need to portray a supportive and nurturing environment between faculty and students. 

Speaking with a clear and unified voice is crucial for successful communications.
The directions we explored included the Heart of Harvard, Harvard’s Intellectual Engine, and Enhancing our Intellectual Partnership.

We collectively landed on the connected speech bubbles to embody “Enhancing our Intellectual Partnership.” The final mark was part of an identity and brand guideline that included a bold use of color and approachable portraiture and voice direction. The tone was positive, supportive, celebratory, and diverse. 

The conversational approach of the identity carried through to an awareness campaign: “Tell Us Your Story.” Print and digital posters were created with the intention of being placed online and around campus, to engage faculty and students to share their experiences.

When the project launched a year later, its clear and consistent messaging was understood by all.

The call-to-action campaign was conversational, like the mark itself.

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