Old Trail is a private, independent toddler – grade 8 school in northeast Ohio, known for its dynamic and nimble approach to education. Located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the school’s 62-acre campus offers limitless opportunities for active learning, growing, and exploration. Yet Old Trail faced a challenge: how to increase awareness in the area and make a stronger case for the value of a private education.
We worked with Old Trail to craft a compelling story that underscored the school’s innovative approach, which allows students to follow their imaginations and passions, and dive deep into learning. After extensive research and time with teachers, alumni, parents, and children, we created a brand that emphasized the engaging academic experience and family-like community, which help develop students into thoughtful leaders who advocate for themselves.
At Old Trail, education is built into every aspect of the environment and every part of a student’s day. So it was important to visually capture the richness of the student experience and the opportunities at their disposal — all from the perspectives of the real kids who attend the school, from toddlers up to eighth-graders.
For students at Old Trail, school is less about outcomes and more about what they’re learning now. Because these students have a say in their learning, with a focus on what they’ll discover today, they’re actually more likely to succeed in high school and college — which is just what parents need to know. With this in mind, we developed an overview piece that tells this story clearly and succinctly.
As part of the process of refreshing the brand, we turned our attention to the school’s logo. In a workshop setting, we collaborated with the Old Trail team to review a range of logo categories, explore possible visual directions, and determine what was right for the school’s brand. As a result, we shifted the emphasis from the school’s overused seal to a new typographical mark that’s simple and approachable.
To help Old Trail launch its new brand, we created a document that delineates all the visual and verbal assets that the school’s communicators need to maintain a consistent look, feel, and tone. With these guidelines in hand, Old Trail can now tell its story consistently and effectively.