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Building Brand Awareness at Carnegie Mellon School of Music

A collection of print materials for CMU School of Music.
For all of our print collateral, we decided to move away from text heavy recruitment viewbooks and event calendars.

The vision for Carnegie Mellon School of Music was to position the school as the international leader at the intersection of education, music, and technology. After new leadership joined the School of Music, we embarked on a rebranding process to lay the groundwork for realizing this vision. A core tenant of the rebranding process and the subsequent brand awareness campaigns was shifting the way we represented the School of Music online to focus on the faculty, the multi-disciplinary opportunities at the university, and high-quality performances.

Branding for the School of Music's social media.
Social media channels were brought in-line with the new website branding.


In embarking on this brand awareness campaign, we had three overarching goals that became central to all of the work:

  1. Attract and retain highly talented students.

  2. Raise the profile of School of Music faculty, students, and alumni.

  3. Increase attendance at School of Music events.

Hero images and text were selected to appeal to primary audiences.


To address these goals, we collaborated with Wall-to-Wall Studios (a brand design agency) to assist in the initial rebranding process. Once started, the School of Music entered into a multi-phase approach to reposition: the website, social media, digital communication, and print materials.

A color palette and font family was chosen to align with Carnegie Mellon University’s brand standards but also allow for a unique sub-brand for the School of Music. Keeping our primary audiences in mind, the home page of the website was designed to highlight upcoming events, social media, news, and videos.
“Dana is an advocate of smart work as well as a champion for a brand-driven, integrated approach to communications strategies. He consistently articulated clear goals for each initiative and was able to hit project milestones to ensure the timely delivery of marketing collateral.”

— Pete Popivchak | Wall-to-Wall Studios



To assess the effectiveness of this work, we regularly surveyed prospective students at key interactions during the recruitment process. With an initial benchmark data collection in 2014, we then saw a subsequent reporting of the School of Music’s online presence as the first touchpoint for prospective students. This represented an 1800% increase by 2016.

Additionally, the brand awareness campaign also had an impact on increasing attendance at events. We saw a growth in attendance of events by 40% in the first year and over the course of four years by more than 90%.


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