What is This Project?
What is our character?
CNC is reimagining the College’s look and building a new website, a visual assets library, and guidelines/resources for print. Building an identity allows us to showcase the true culture at CNC, and set a direction for the character development of the College.
- Expresses CNC’s unique character and main draws, setting us apart from other schools.
- Is made up of all of the ways that we communicate internally and externally, including visual, written, and spoken communications, as well as the experiences that we offer.
- Allows CNC to speak with one voice.
- Creates efficiencies within the College, allowing for faster and more accurate delivery of information
- Provides a method for executing many aspects of the Strategic Plan (2017-2020)
What is an Identity?
This graphic shows the breakdown of how an identity is formed and embodied by an organization. This project tackles everything from the top of the pyramid down to the bottom. The lower levels of the pyramid are meant to evolve and adapt over the years to conform to the current best practice for communication, while the higher levels are the lasting principles and core of our brand that can be applied for many years to come.
1. Strategic Principles
An identity is the embodiment of our strategic plan, our goals, and our college’s community culture.
- Gives us direction of the College
- Sets out priority audiences
Nearly all strategic goals will be impacted by this project, but Student Success, Culture of Service, and Community Engagement goals in particular will strongly benefit from this project.
- Defined through the Strategic Plan and by extension the Accountability Plan and Operational Plans
- Sets more specific targets for success
College Community Culture
- Takes into account both the current culture and the intended direction of our College’s culture
- Determined through interviews with prospective and current students, alumni, faculty, employees, and partners from all six campuses
All of these things indicate what our strategic principles should be.
Who are we talking to?
Keeping in mind for each of our audience groups:
- The way that they like to communicate
- Our reason for communicating with them
What messages do we want to send?
These include our key characteristics, the unique value that The College of New Caledonia has to offer, and what the personality of CNC is.
Examples of these messages may include:
- We care about our students and we're here to help them succeed.
- We’re here to provide long-term value for your life.
- We are locally driven and focused, but are connected nationally and internationally.
- We’re seeking feedback so that we can continue improving.
Our message is communicated both verbally and nonverbally. It’s embodied in:
- The way we look
- The way we use language
- Our customer service
- Our pursuits in the outside community
- Our organization’s culture
- The experience that people have in working with us
How do we communicate that message?
The success of our message is entirely dependent on how well we can communicate it.
- This is decided based on both our audiences (who) and our messages (what).
- These are our strategies and general guidelines for the ways that we want to communicate, and are detailed in the next step, Rules and Styles.
2. Rules and Styles
We prepare rules and principles for:
The Language We Use
The tone, word choice, and phrasing of CNC's communications has a subtle but powerful impact on the perception of the College and our quality of communication. Ensuring consistency in CNC's written and spoken communications unites the many parties that speak on behalf of CNC into a single, more influential voice that builds trust for The College of New Caledonia as a whole.
The Look and Feel of Our Communications
Similar to the voice style, a cohesive visual style unites CNC visually, and builds trust for all of the services we offer. It can also use visual style to communicate nonverbally, including differentiating between information that applies different schools of study, campuses, or demographics more easily.
Experiences At The College
This is a huge category, including things like wayfinding, using our website, and the way that the college is marketed. Some examples of experience rules may include:
- User experience is a conversation: feedback should always be invited wherever possible
- Strive for simplicity: Information should always be offered concisely at first, with more detail available if desired
- Social proof: always use users’ testimonials/reviews/stories when talking about the value that we provide
- Contrast: choose one most important point in your communication, and use contrast to draw the eye there first
- Ask for less: remove as many barriers as possible to ensure that it is easy and welcoming for the user to take action
3. Templates, Guides, and Assets
From those rules and styles, we create templates and produce a library of assets that follow those rules and styles. This is where we see the digital assets (website and social media) developing alongside print assets, giving them a cohesive look and providing efficient methods of communication.
Templates for common needs around CNC are developed with ongoing feedback and participation of the departments that use them. They standardize the way that our materials look and make them quicker and easier to produce. Templates may include:
- Print Documents
- Business cards
- Rack Cards
- Common Internal Documents
- Page Templates
- Graphics Templates
- Digital Newsletters
- Outdoor Advertising
- Digital Signage
- Other Internal and External Signs
- Other Promotions
- Social Media Graphics
- Powerpoint Presentations
Guides are for creating materials that are not covered by the templates, and detail the rules for modifying or creating new templates. Guides may include:
- Visual idenity guide
- Marketing strategy guide
- Written style guide
- Social media guidelines
- Customer service guidelines
- Photography and videography guidelines
- Guidelines for interior and exterior spacial design
- Workflows/Standard operating procedures for producing communications
- This means that when someone wants to advertise that there are seats open in a program, they only have to provide the information, and the correct assets can be produced
Asset libraries include reusable assets that can be added to
- Photography Libraries
- Graphics Libraries
- Video Library
- Logo and Symbols
- Print Documents
4. Final Communications
From those things, we then create all of the actual final products, materials, and experiences that the college offers.
- Social Media
- Emails (Newsletter/Other)
- Other Online Products
- Promotional Materials
- Internal Documents
- Printed Documents and Forms
- Campus Signs
- Rooms and Spaces
- Digital Signage
- Individual Customer Service Experiences
Project Breakdown and Timeline
Phase 1: Discovery and Planning
January to March 2018
This is where we need the most input from you. In this stage, we gather data on best practices in general, but also information about what the best methods will be for CNC. This includes looking at our existing use of our identity and analytics, engaging our focus groups, and conducting interviews and usability tests for printed and digital materials.
Then we decide on
- what our workflows and standard operating procedures look like.
- the required templates and assets.
- website structure and functionality.
Phase 2: Building
March to September 2018
This means creating the assets, guides, and templates.
- Written content creation
- Photography and videography
Phase 3: Internal Preparation & Education
June to December 2018
CNC is a big place, and to ensure that everyone at CNC knows how to use all of our new assets and make sure that the transition is as seamless as possible we will spend this time preparing internally.
This process will include orientations, Q&A sessions, and resources for employees.
Phase 4: Implementation & Launch
It’s celebration time!
In conjunction with our 50th anniversary, we will be officially launching our new identity and website. This means celebrations and new features to explore.
Phase 5: Ongoing Improvement
January 2019 - Onward
In order to ensure that our new identity keeps up with the needs of the future, the evolving culture at CNC, and stays cohesive and practical, an ongoing development strategy will be implemented. This will include ways to gather feedback and data about how our identity and assets perform and methods for making changes, adding new assets, and maintaining the brand.