In 2018, SLU received a historic $50 million gift from Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield. The Sinquefields placed research excellence at the heart of their gift, giving SLU ample resources to extend its unique brand of Jesuit research to humanity’s challenges all over the world.
With so much momentum behind it, the Research Institute needed a higher education marketing agency with creative and strategic ideas to tell new stories of research innovation and humanitarian impact.
Since its formation, the Research Institute has invested in several new faculty-led research groups pursuing meaningful answers to life’s biggest questions. Despite their infancy, these groups stand to earn global reach and recognition for their efforts. With our skills as a higher education marketing agency, we were able to ensure each group was ready to go public with a confident brand that reinforced their mission.
We designed logos for several of the Research Institute’s newest groups, each one alluding to the group’s vision and aligning with SLU’s parent brand. These logos communicate a level of maturity and confidence not typically seen among emerging research segments.
As a higher education marketing agency, we’ve learned that it’s the nature of a university to translate research innovation into fundraising opportunity, and SLU is no different. As we looked at everything the Research Institute had accomplished in its inaugural years, we began thinking of a way to immerse potential donors in the scope and scale of its work.
Working as SLU’s higher education marketing agency led to a comprehensive effort to produce what came to be known as the Research Institute Impact Report, an annual publication celebrating the scholars, discoveries and ambitions that define SLU’s distinct brand of research excellence. We envisioned the annual report cover design to mimic a coffee table book, designed to be picked up and flipped through at your leisure.
Inside, you’ll find feature-length sections for SLU’s most established research centers as well as smaller highlights for emerging faculty. Going beyond the contributions of many higher education marketing agencies, our team wrote most of the book’s copy — relying heavily on one-to-one interviews with faculty to discuss the origins and impacts of their research.
As an annual report design agency, we had the expertise necessary to host a lead story that would highlight the most prevalent example of the Research Institute’s value. In 2020, there was no clearer choice than the COVID-19 pandemic, against which SLU mounted an aggressive response that united researchers at every corner of the University, including its nationally recognized Vaccine Treatment Evaluation Unit.
For the book’s design, we relied on rich photography showcasing SLU’s brightest minds at work, focusing on every page and not just the cover design of the annual report. Through our work as an annual report design agency, we’ve learned that to laypeople, research often feels like an abstract concept involving white coats and test tubes. In reality, SLU’s researchers are tackling widespread, deeply human issues like water quality, racial inequity and historic preservation.
The Impact Report was designed to be highly skimmable, like flipping through a National Geographic. As a higher education marketing agency, we understand that a reader never wants to be on the hunt for information, so we emphasized key items with pull quotes, in-line highlights and infographics.