In its 42nd annual design competition, the University and College Designers Association (UCDA) awarded William & Mary’s Office of Creative Services four awards for its work with design, videography, illustration and photography. The office was recognized for a variety of projects including the Ampersandbox, the William & Mary home page and 2011’s holiday video.
Receiving the silver award in the recruitment/viewbook category and the excellence award in the campaign strategy category, the Ampersandbox has turned heads for its simple yet eye-catching concept to attract prospective students.
“The Ampersandbox is undergraduate admission’s signature recruitment piece,” said Director of Creative Services Tina Coleman. “It replaced the traditional viewbook last year and consists of unique postcards packaged in a cardboard box.”
On the front of the cards is a pair of words that describe the College with a matching image and green ampersand in the background. On the back, a brief description is given to elaborate on the pair of words. The two words are meant to instantly catch the reader’s attention and, ultimately, allow the reader to have an immediate understanding of the College’s identity.
Some of these pairs include, “Fast & Furious,” “Heart & Soul,” and “Naked & Friendly.” With witty words, vivid imagery and a quick context, prospective students are given both an informative and entertaining way to learn about William & Mary.
The Ampersandbox has not only caught the attention of prospective students but other colleges as well, and it has become a source of nationwide interest. In February, the Chronicle of Higher Education mentioned the Ampersandbox in an article on how colleges are re-conceptualizing viewbooks.
For presenting William & Mary in a fresh and aesthetically pleasing way online, the William & Mary home page was given the excellence award in the website category.
Earlier this year, the home page got a makeover. Now adaptable for tablet and mobile devices, the hom epage is more accessible, enforcing the idea of a “responsive design.” With the student body in mind, Justin Schoonmaker, acting associate director of creative services, and Coleman, project manager of the “refresh” project, worked to create the improved home page.
Creative services also received the excellence award in the video category for the 2011 holiday video.
Schoonmaker explained the background behind the video.
“In 2010, our office, creative services, produced a video that featured two students; one sang ‘There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays’ while the other painted a watercolor of the Wren Building. The video was a big hit with our audiences, so we wanted to produce something equally as poignant and well-received in 2011.”
The team reached out to Paul Bhasin, director of bands, to see if the jazz ensemble would be willing to perform in the video. They also asked the Accidentals and the Gentlemen of the College, respectively female and male a capella groups, to assist with the performance.
“We were happy to know that during the 2011-2012 academic year, we produced a video that set the bar for excellence in higher education,” said Schoonmaker.