School of the Art Institute of Chicago

“What comes next comes from here.” 

This is the message at the heart of our work for The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s first-ever standalone fundraising campaign. Our challenge was to develop a campaign case that captured the extraordinary and wide-ranging impact of this institution: consistently ranked as one of the nation’s premier colleges of art and design, and an incubator for artists, scholars and creative thinkers who elevate their fields and drive Chicago’s creative economy. 

Collaborating to Get the Message Right

After an extensive process that involved staff, faculty, and volunteer leaders, we developed a campaign theme—Beautiful/Work—that conveys the special, elevated quality of creative work while reinforcing the grit and effort behind it and paying homage to “The City That Works.” Reflecting the School’s distinctive personality as well as its outsized impact on students, faculty, Chicago, and the art world, this core campaign message spoke to a diverse philanthropic audience: alumni, art collectors and cultural philanthropists, and business and civic leaders alike.

Creating Distinctive Collateral

In collaboration with SAIC’s in-house design department, we developed a unique campaign brochure with interchangeable insert cards that tell the stories of prominent SAIC students, faculty, and alumni and allow staff to alter the brochure’s look, feel, and emphasis based on the prospective donor. Bold, lean messaging lives on inset pages to maximize space for photos of students and faculty and their beautiful work, while the paper stock and stitched-together spine give the piece a hand-made look and feel. 

The brochure has received several awards, including a 2016 Silver Communicator Award presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts—an invitation-only group consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms.

Carrying the Message Beyond SAIC

SAIC’s communications and design teams used the messaging developed for the brochure to create additional campaign collateral over the life of the campaign, including a designated page for Beautiful/Work on SAIC’s website, additional story cards to tuck into the brochure, campaign videos, signage around the city, and more.

Get started on your success story right this very minute.

SPEAK WITH AN EXPERT