From its home in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia University has long maintained a keen focus on its mission as a land-grant institution: access to higher education and critical research. With a university system that spans five campuses across the state, WVU conducts leading research in fields such as energy, rural health and health disparities, and forensic science, with renowned academic offerings in engineering, technology, medicine, and many other disciplines.
To develop the brand platform, we tapped into the true spirit of both the state of West Virginia and WVU — a willingness to dive right into a challenge no matter how great. That led us to “Go First.” Emotionally, it’s meant to capture the rugged determination that characterizes the school, its staff, and its students, while also sharing more rational proof points that support the underlying ideas of discovery and innovation. But before launching the campaign to the public, the university’s creative team took the campaign brand and extended it internally, in communications for faculty, staff, and students. The result was the impressive set of pieces you see here—not developed by Ologie, but by folks at WVU who are living the brand every day.
With a strong brand and positioning now built, we wanted the viewbook to truly bring it all together in unique way. While this print piece typically takes the brand and expands upon it, what we created for WVU showcased the brand—the adventurous spirit and fortitude—front and center. Prospective students could not only read about what programs and research the institution offers, but they could learn the facts behind them, see how they too could take the reins, and feel what it means to be a Mountaineer.
We encouraged WVU to shake off their humble roots and declare their tenacity, work ethic, and bold reclamation of the state.
In the first year, freshmen applications rose 30%, admitted students increased 24%, and deposits saw an increase of 8%.
In year two, WVU welcomed its largest freshman class of 5,200 students, saw a growth of 18% in honor students, and 30% increase in study abroad participants.