The Juilliard School

Case study hero
  • Services

    Branding
    Web Design & Development
  • Industry

    Education
  • Services

    Branding
    Web Design & Development
  • Industry

    Education

The Challenge

Despite being an institution famed for its artistic and visually arresting contributions to society, Juilliard had an aging and fragmented visual brand and communications platform that were failing to live up to the school’s promise. Brochures, advertisements, and other marketing and admissions collateral were becoming dated and inconsistent.  Adding to this, a lack of clear brand standards and an established visual language meant that marketing efforts were becoming discordant and difficult to manage. 

The Solution

Digital Pulp worked to refresh the brand, starting with a return to refined, elemental basics. From an asset portfolio that had grown to include dozens of patchwork logo variations, Digital Pulp refined the visual identity to rest on a signature color - “Juilliard Blue.”  The wordmark was rebalanced and strengthened using Univers (an evolution of the predecessor, Frutiger), and included subtle customizations to kerning and spacing. When re-launched, the new visual palette was familiar to the institution’s many audiences but carried a significantly modernized aesthetic and a far more dynamic modularized system.

Our team then created a wide array of executions and standards to guide future expressions of the Juilliard brand, establishing a broader visual language based around the passion, hard work and artistic focus of the Juilliard experience. Candid photos, rich depth of field, and a consistent focus on the individual (rather than the orchestra) made Juilliard feel more open and warm.

We also worked to re-shape the tone and voice of the brand, working to bring messaging and positioning to life in a way that felt resonant to Juilliard’s personality, but kept language and content succinct and relevant.

Ultimately, we helped to bring the brand to life across a wide array of executions – from more than 60 divisions leveraging a consolidated signature system, to printed admissions materials, to Lincoln Center billboards, to a complete overhaul of the school stories enormous selection of school pride merchandise.

Our branding continued into other areas of the organization, including designs for a wide range of new brand merchandise for  the store, core Admissions print collateral, campaign messaging and signage design and wayfinding.

We didn’t stop there.Juilliard.edu had to cater to a wide array of visitors, from prospective students to members of the public buying tickets for a performance, and from current faculty and students to potential benefactors considering a donation. Digital Pulp’s task was to show the school as the elite institution it is, but simultaneously to demystify it, to tell human stories, and to make it feel exuberant, supportive, and inviting. 

Digital Pulp saw the impact a well calibrated online presence could have for Juilliard. Its vibrant culture could be captured on a site that combined simplicity with movement. A regularly updated social media feed could heighten the sense of an active, collaborative community at work, high quality images and video could produce a vivid depiction of artistically intimate student-teacher relationships, of the intense creative process, of budding talent coming to fruition.

With high-quality content and media, Digital Pulp told the stories of Juilliard’s individual students and faculty members. These human stories help prospective students imagine their lives at the school and their futures after and help to portray the school’s diversity and commitment to equal opportunity. In addition, with this approach their accomplished faculty could be celebrated by the site.

Prospective students have to understand the specific requirements for their chosen degree. That means different things for a modern dancer than for a bassoonist. To help the many different talented people looking to matriculate to Juilliard, we created a simple to use (and maintain), flexible, and robust application requirements system allowing users to filter down from discipline, program and degree type without having to resort to site search or a call to the school.

A clear and intuitive user interface was also essential, especially given the wide range of pathways the different types of visitor would be following. Offering tickets to performances in a prominent place has two benefits, driving up performance attendance by making it easier for members of the public and the performing arts community to attend, while also, for prospective students, amplifying the impression that Juilliard provides them with an authentic audience, and real-world performance experience.

 

The Result

Digital Pulp designed and built a brand and a site to match Juilliard’s worldwide prestige. The site welcomes all visitors to a school characterized by its modernity, diversity, and vibrancy. By emphasizing performance attendance and highlighting the school’s location at the heart of New York’s cultural center, Juilliard.edu lends its weight to establishing the school as a world-class institution, and beyond, as an epicenter of the Performing Arts.