Students engage with a revitalized mural on a wall, exploring their cultural identity.

Transforming Tradition

A New Chapter for a Historic School

  • Created bold, fresh identity for an iconic boarding school
  • Established new brand promise centered on the school’s mission
  • Changed the name of the school in its identity to produce a more contemporary feel
  • Achieved unanimous endorsement of the new direction from the Board of Trustees

The Hill School is a leading coeducational private boarding school in Pennsylvania that has been shaping the lives of its students for more than 150 years. In an attempt to get ahead of the demographic and economic shifts affecting boarding schools across the country, The Hill partnered with MBLM to create a new strategic brand platform and revitalized identity.

A group of people in suits are holding up their phones, showcasing a revitalized identity.
The logo with descriptions of its different elements such as typography and graphic elements.
Examples of the brand identity created for The Hill School. Primary logo, Secondary Logo, Academic seal, complementary assets, and athletic logos
a group of people sitting on a stage with a large horizontal blue banner with the Hill School logo
A large vertical banner showing how the design identity could be represented
and example of how the academic seal could be displayed

Following quantitative research with multiple stakeholders as well as several school visits, MBLM developed a compelling brand promise centered on the Brand Intimacy archetypes of nostalgia and identity—nostalgia for the memories the school and its traditions invoke; identity because of the shared sense of community and belonging. Building upon the school’s existing motto, from the New Testament passage “Whatsoever things are true,” we focused the brand promise around the idea of “True To You” and targeted it to potential students themselves. This created linkage with the school’s traditions as well as celebrating the diversity and values of today’s teenagers.

a vintage photo of a group of students in a sports uniform
a group of younf students holding a blue flag with the Athletic Logo

To support and reinforce this new promise, MBLM also developed a new brand identity symbolizing the school’s continuing evolution while remaining true to the core elements that have defined the school over the years. Distinct among competitors, the new brand has a number of related identities, including athletics, to showcase a variety of bold depictions of the school’s visual presence.

a teenage student holding a flag with part of the logo of the Hill School
a group of boys in sportswear with the complementary logos
a series of examples of how to apply the brand identity on white and blue t-shirts
a large group of people standing on a soccer field to form the logo

MBLM continues to work with The Hill, helping train their design team and creating fundraising collateral. The rollout of the new brand identity was executed swiftly to coincide with the start of the new school year, and its adoption across all of facets of the community is continuing into 2020 as the strategic and creative outputs continue to focus on the new promise and identity.

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