Case Study: Lea Manor High School
Lea Manor is a secondary school in Luton, Bedfordshire. The challenge for us was to create a single connected theme for the school that would give it a distinctive and unique identity in the local community. The theme needed to be based around the key value of 'learning for life' and it's purpose over the medium term was to promote the school in the hearts and minds of the local community and make Lea Manor the first choice for secondary education in the area.
Learning for life
Our first job was to create a fresh new website from scratch. As it was the first example of the new theme it had to act as a standard bearer for the strategy and to demonstrate what we meant by 'learning for life'. It also acted as the first introduction of the new brand design which featured a stripe motif that was to become a key part of the new branding for the school. The website features an integrated calendar, gallery, blog and learning platform and conforms to Ofsted requirements for content. It is built in a responsive way, which means that it resizes depending on which device is being used to view it. This saves cost overall as there is no need to create dedicated apps or versions of the website for mobile devices. www.leamanorschool.org.uk
The stripe motif is a key part of articulating the theme in school stationery, signage, digital and in promotional material. The stripe motif features in many works of 20th Century art (Tom Phillips, Barbara Hepworth) and in the case of Lea Manor it symbolises diversity, inclusion, energy and parallel journeys. Over time the stripe motif will be reimagined with additional colours and varying stripe widths, but it will always remain a key part of the schools' visual identity.
Lea Manor is a designated 'thinking school'. We wanted to demonstrate what this meant by creating inclusive art projects such as the Thinking Chair where pupils we encouraged to help design and craft a chair that would then form the centrepiece of an interactive communication project. The Chair will be placed around the school and students will make short film interviews about various events that occur, whether it's a key football match, an exhibition or just to discuss something that they care about. The Thinking Chair is also the first time the stripe motif was re interpreted with bold new colours.
We created a bold new prospectus design that introduced the concept of the student being at the centre of the conversation. The photography showed a child's point of view looking down at a striped line in the playground which was their first step on the journey of learning for life. We chose this design route as it reinforced the idea of empowerment and the child making their own choices, but it also resonated with their previous experience such as playing hopscotch in the playground. At busy school open day events the design was different and stood out among the competition but more importantly it illustrated a key value of Lea Manor, and that is that the student comes first. Additionally, the design introduced the stripe motif as a subtle reminder of the new brand and the design was professional and modern throughout. We designed some gold stickers that promoted the fact that the school had done well at their most recent Ofsted report.
In addition to the new stripe motif we looked at modernising the school logo with a bold new swoosh and a more modern type style. We then analysed how the students wore their uniforms and rationalised the new uniform to match the new theme and logo. Our purpose was to promote the school at every opportunity, and smart well designed uniforms helped project the right message to the local community.
Working with the art department in the school we introduced bold new display pieces with the purpose of making the students and teachers 'experience' the new brand. Banners, artworks, art displays and even a whole ceiling made up of suspended umbrellas in multi colours helped convey the new energy in the school. Many of these display items were created with students and these 'events' were recorded in photos and on video and then were shown on the website.
Bold new signage featuring the new logo and stripe motif was commissioned for all public areas around the school.