Explore. More. SAIC.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

by Henriette Nass

It’s a privilege to be able to work with one of the finest art schools in the world as a creative partner. We’ve worked with SAIC since 2005, and their projects give us a huge kick every time.

SAIC Books

It’s a privilege to be able to work with one of the finest art schools in the world as a creative partner. We’ve worked with SAIC since 2005, and their projects give us a huge kick every time.


Not only do we get to flex our creative boundaries and push our ideas, we also get to nurture our own creativity through our encounter with the thoughts and work of the many talented artists in the SAIC community.

Branding the Best

In 2005 TimeZoneOne worked with the School to develop a new visual identity. We explored an extraordinarily broad range of expressions of the School’s excellence from intensely creative and avant-garde to extreme minimalism. After a long collaborative process, the School’s brand steering committee selected a simple elegant expression of their brand. Over a decade later the SAIC logo still holds its own. We’re proud to have created a classic piece of design, that resists the ravages of fashion’s vagaries.

Inclusive Evolution Creates Affinity

Creating a visual identity for an institution full of talented artists and designers is always going to be a tough ask! We won’t pretend otherwise. It was pretty nerve racking.

When the School launched their new brand, students surveyed felt the logo was clean, modern and contemporary, although some bewailed the simplicity as conservatism, craving a more artsy creative expression of their institution.

This reaffirmed the vital importance of including your key stakeholders in your brand evolution. While decision by committee is rarely a rewarding experience, paying your audience the compliment of seeking their input on your image and giving them an insight into the design process, can pay dividends by creating a sense of ownership.

Making Student Recruitment Material Engaging and Effective

In 2007 we created an award-winning suite of recruitment material for under graduates. The beautifully boxed brochures produced excellent results for the School, increasing the number of student applications and admissions. SAIC also received enthusiastic feedback from students, parents, art teachers and counselors.  

“When you receive this in the mail, you have to sit back and take notice, like you are receiving a beautiful present. This piece beats every other piece of material we have received from other art schools, hands down!”

SAIC Undergraduate Applicant, 2007

domestic student applications

22% growth

international student applications

41% growth

student admissions

35% growth

Back for a Fresh Take

In 2014, we again collaborated with SAIC to refresh their graduate and post-graduate prospectuses. Our goal was to produce interactive recruitment marketing material to engage students’ creative imaginations and grow enrollment.

We considered:

  • Ways to encourage interaction with the materials
  • Creative modular formats, and interesting sustainable materials
  • Profiling student work and stories in innovative ways
  • Reflecting domestic and international design trends and influences

The final promotional piece was a suite of informational booklets and posters, in a sleeve designed to repurposed as a tablet cover. Once again, the School received exceptional feedback.

As we write this case study, our design team are busy working on the School’s recruitment material for 2018. We’re proud to be once more collaborating with the SAIC team to inspire and inform young artists.

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