An evolution, not a revolution

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Picador Design, reveals how they refreshed the branding and literature for The Royal High School Bath

The Royal High School Bath (RHSB) is a renowned independent day and boarding school for girls in the historic city of Bath and was formed by the merger of Bath High School and the Royal School almost 20 years ago. The school is also part of the Girls’ Day School Trust, (GDST) a network of independent girls’ schools throughout the UK whose ethos is ‘where girls can,’ empowering girls to reach their full potential.

In late 2016, the school was running out of prospectuses and faced with either opting for a reprint or commissioning a redesign and all that it entails. RHSB decided that in addition to producing a new prospectus which would last for another four years it was the right time to evaluate their current brand and look at the ‘bigger picture’ and not just the prospectus in isolation. The aim was to strengthen the brand by refreshing their logo typography and colour palette… more evolution than revolution.

Picador Design was appointed following a three-way pitch to undertake a complete review of their current marketing material and implement a new set of style guidelines which would act as a template for their future literature. As branding specialists in this field we were able to demonstrate the importance of strong branding and presented examples carried out for other schools and universities including Monkton, Clayesmore, Stonar and New College of the Humanities. As part of the selection process we also had to agree to work within a set budget determined by the school so there could be no risk of overspending.

The chosen concept put forward by our agency celebrated and captured the girls’ journey throughout the school from 3 to 18 years… and beyond! This was reflected in the photography we carried out over a two-day period at the school, plus copy theming in preparation for the artwork production. 

The iconic photograph selected for the junior prospectus front cover was also picked as the focal image for a local bus advertising campaign. In tandem with working on the prospectus, our designers were kept busy compiling the new brand guidelines encompassing the logo, stationery, press advertising, signage and minibus livery. 

Picador worked very closely with Jenna Baker, Marketing Manager at RHSB, throughout the exercise and managed to complete everything on time and, more importantly, on budget. Apart from having a new prospectus, RHSB has now received a new set of brand guidelines which will stand them in good stead for the future. 

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“We recently worked closely with Picador to create our new prospectus and refresh our branding. Their guidance was invaluable in helping us to make decisions during the process. I was particularly pleased with the images captured which have been used throughout the prospectus and subsequently formed an engaging advertising campaign. Picador’s approach was highly supportive and professional; they delivered on time and on budget and I have no hesitation in recommending them to any school looking for design services.” Jo Duncan, Head of The Royal High School Bath

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