Following the design of a new institutional identity for Colgate University, the prestigious private liberal arts college located in Hamilton, New York, Pentagram put the system to use in a viewbook and other admissions materials for the school. Titled “This Is Colgate,” the brochure introduces prospective students to life at the University and is accompanied by an outcomes piece focusing on paths of success during and after college.
The goal was to create an engaging portrait of Colgate and help it stand out in a highly competitive field. Founded in 1819, the University offers the quintessential college experience with a rigorous academic program, world-class faculty and Division 1 athletics on one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. It has bold ambitions to be the finest of its type and seeks to attract a highly qualified and diverse student body.
The campaign, developed with the admissions and communications teams at Colgate and writer/strategist Ben Feller at Mercury, builds on the visual and verbal identity Pentagram previously created for the University, which launched with its bicentennial in 2019. The creative strategy highlights the qualities that set Colgate apart and is captured in a new positioning statement: “The school of first choice for students who seek rigorous classes, passionate faculty, a campus of enduring beauty, and the assurance that they will learn to thrive in work and life.”
Extending this approach, “This is Colgate” showcases the experiences that make Colgate unique to an audience of high school applicants, parents and advisors. The viewbook gives prospective students access to essential information in a way that makes them feel like they are already part of the Colgate community, spotlighting interesting facts and perspectives that offer an insider’s view of the school.
The book is dense with details about the school’s strengths, all presented in a highly visual way in maps, charts, annotated images and illustrations that describe the opportunities available on and off campus. These range from a look at students pursuing a variety of majors and profiles of faculty to an overview of core reading and study partnerships around the world.
Colgate is known for its picturesque classic college campus with stately architecture set on a tree-covered hillside in the heart of Central New York. The viewbook shows off the school’s location, diverse community and contemporary amenities with strong photography. The cover appears in the official Colgate colors of maroon and maple red and sports the distinctive monogram “C” of the new identity.
A bookmark features a typographic pattern of the word “thirteen,” the school’s surprising lucky number, which dates back to an 1817 meeting when 13 ministers gathered and offered 13 prayers and $13, then settled on 13 articles for a constitution that ultimately led to the creation of what is now Colgate. Aspects of the printed piece were translated into a microsite that guides students through the application process and offers a virtual tour of the campus.
A second brochure, “This is Colgate Success,” outlines the various ways the University helps to guide students along their path and position them for achievement during their time at the school and beyond. The piece introduces Colgate’s Center for Career Services and the range of internships, fellowships, grants, graduate school placements, corporate recruiting and other opportunities available to students. Alumni share their own stories about their post-collegiate lives, showing the value of a Colgate education.
Pentagram also redesigned Colgate Magazine, the university’s alumni publication.