Brooklyn Friends School (BFS) came to SMAKK Studios for a complete brand refresh. As the school approached the opening of a new upper school facility, they needed to address perception issues with a new visual identity that reflected the school's growing momentum in academic excellence, their Quaker values and commitment to the development of its students as global citizens.
Our experience with values-driven clients has taught us that just stating an organization’s mission is not enough. It must be infused in everything from the brand’s visual identity and logo design to every audience touchpoint. We approached the project with a series of audience and user interviews to fully understand what the school’s core sense of purpose meant to each stakeholder group (Students, Faculty, Parents, Alumni, Prospective Parents & Students). Our goal was to bring life to their stated mission: to cultivate an intellectually ambitious and diverse community that celebrates each individual's gifts.
Balancing a brand
Our biggest objective for the BFS branding was to balance the school’s heritage and academic excellence with the Quaker value of simplicity. We visualized this with a fresh, clean, minimal approach to a visual identity system that is built to scale across all grades from preschool to the upper school. The bright colors add an energetic, youthful feel while the overarching iconography and timeless symbol set elevate the perception of a serious Upper School.
The BFS Star
To connect with the heritage of the school we drew inspiration from three unique sources that have had meaning to the BFS community through the years and feature recurring symbology. The original school crest had five stars, the BFS Pearl Street location’s facade has a star motif in its architecture, and the eight-point Quaker Star has rich meaning for the international Friends community. By integrating this into both their new seal and logo, we were able to honor the heritage and Alumni of the school with a mark that features the Quaker belief of inner light at its center.
Addressing the new athletic program identity
The school mascot “Pearl the Panther” got a facelift and we provided designs for the Athletic Program’s materials (uniforms, jerseys, banners etc.).
Unfolding the new identity
We needed a smart way to introduce the school’s new look to faculty, alumni, parents, and current students at the same time. To align the school’s stakeholders and energize the community around the the new identity we created a short animated video that brings the elements and meaning of the logo to life.