Hyde Park Montessori is a private preschool located in Central Austin. Founded in 1983, the school is rich with years of strong Montessori education and culture. The scope of this project was to build visual brand cohesion along with streamlined digital processes that simplified communication for the school.
How do you quickly understand an education methodology as complex as Montessori? You get involved, so I spent time observing community interactions and learning about Montessori directly from the teachers.
One of the first things I learned was that families dropped their children off and did not know much about the school day beyond seasonal conferences and open houses. To offer more transparency, we set up several private channels for parents to have a better understanding of Montessori, the most popular of which being an Instagram so parents could see snapshots of their child’s day. This also impacted the way I approached the copy for potential families, knowing that they would be more likely to apply if they were confident in the decision process.
In my conversations with the director, she spoke fondly of her family’s legacy in the school. She understood that aspects of Hyde Park’s visual representation needed to be updated, but wanted to retain the history of the building. These conversations, along with teacher opinions, guided the project towards a formal voice.
Throughout the project, I incorporated personal touches where appropriate. My favorite one being the fact that the main color in the palette is the same shade as the iconic fence surrounding the campus.
The largest part of this project was a complete website overhaul. In the beginning stages, I learned that enrolled families preferred email as the main communication channel and would not use the website for much beyond access to a calendar. So, the focus of the website became the needs of potential families.
The community reaction to the new visual style and communication was overwhelmingly positive. With a better understanding of what their children were doing and learning, parents began to form deeper bonds with each other and the school. Not only was this good for yearly retention, but it also resulted in a 12% increase in potential families who learned about the school through word of mouth.