First of all, let us take just a minute to brag on our powerhouse of a design team.

Meredith, Andraya, and Joaris steal the show with design that is not only creative, but uniquely represents each of our clients. Their work is often more than logo design or page layouts, but includes a bit of engineering, architecture, and user research.

For Christmas, they mail the most unbelievable 3D cards you’ve ever seen (maybe you got one?), and they’ve even taken on projects to use paper in constructing a collapsible box that sings and lights up. They. Are. Top. Notch.

So, you should be pretty excited to hear that this team of renowned professionals is offering a list of seven design tips for you to consider in your admissions materials. Here we go!

Tip #1: Consider your audience.

A lot of your budget goes toward communicating with teenagers. Do you understand them?

Knowing what makes your audience tick enables more effective communication.

Just as you wouldn’t use a 10-point typeface for senior citizens, don’t use copy-heavy design for high schoolers.

Think about their needs and concerns in every part of the enrollment cycle and be sure your designs show just how aware and responsive you are.

Tip #2: Strategically portray your institution.

It’s up to you to tell the story of your school, and the right look is worth at least 1,000 words.

Choose to represent your institution through organized selling points or fluid concepts; bustling campus photos or images of austere buildings; subtle and scholarly tones or bright and bold ones.

Tip #3: Let design highlight your discriminators.

What makes you different? Focus on highlighting these key points with visuals.

Students are skimmers and they may not stay tuned for a full paragraph of facts, but their eyes can’t help but linger on off-set infographics, pull quotes, and stats.

Tip #4: Stay consistent.

Throughout all print materials and designs used online and in ads, remain consistent with the brand of your school.

Consistent design, photography, and quality help students easily identify your institution and develop familiarity throughout the admissions cycle.

Tip #5: Avoid stock photography.

Students can see right through stock photography.

They’re savvy and aware that marketing materials only show the very best angle of your institution.

If the photography is too generic to be real, the assumption will be that your campus isn’t worth photographing or, perhaps worse, that you’re hiding something.

Showcasing real students and real life at your school ensures greater credibility and engagement.

Tip #6: Stand out.

Your school is anything but cookie-cutter boring, right?

Unique personalities, programs, and traditions create a distinct flavor, and those are tough to express in a boring brochure.

While printing standard sizes are typically more economical, it’s worth considering different folds and sizes of publications to reference the personality of your institution in the personality of your materials.

Tip #7: Foster excitement.

You would not believe the items you can mail without a box.

Want to really stand out? Send your accepted students a message in a bottle, a frisbee, flip flops, or a box of candy with a well-designed note attached.

A more conservative approach could allow design around stickers and koozies to celebrate acceptance and urge students through the funnel.

Keeping your institution top of mind is key!

Higher Ed Marketing Design with The Parish Group

Now that you’re armed with these essential design tips, what will you do next? Whether it’s new branding, print materials, web design, or banner ads, we’d love to help. Contact us at to take your design to the next level!