It’s that time of year again when schools are getting ready to break up for the summer holidays. But many will be looking ahead to the new academic year, and thinking about décor and school branding ideas to welcome pupils back come September.

The benefits of a successful school branding strategy 

You’ll find there are a number of benefits to devising a successful school branding strategy:

  • You should find, for example, that it helps create a more vibrant and exciting environment for pupils to enjoy learning in
  • Good branding also helps foster a sense of pride among the children attending a school, while creating a school-wide identity
  • The place will look more attractive to prospective students, their parents and other visitors
  • Done well and properly, school branding can help kids’ enjoyment of being in class and increase how aspirational they feel
  • Branding is all about reputation and schools are no exception – improve perceptions at yours with the right strategy

A school’s branding strategy should focus on the exterior as well as the interior of the premises. Exterior school signage clearly helps any visitor to the institution to find it easily, and then helps pupils and others find their way around the site, especially if they’re new to the place. Equally, the right outdoor signage can do more to promote your school and announce its presence to passers-by than you may have realised.

Great-looking branding and signage for your school

At Watford-based Rocket Graphics, we’ve been producing and installing branding and signage with the potential to transform schools for more than three decades.

Here are some of our top school branding ideas:

#1 Integrate the school’s tagline

Integrating your school’s tagline (i.e. memorable, unique phrase or slogan) with your branding and signage will help to forge your school’s identity and create a platform for conveying its ethos.

#2 Create a warmly welcoming entrance

As with any building, the entrance area in a school is an important place because it is the first thing both visitors and pupils will see. That means that big and bold signs, welcome message graphics and even branded entrance mats can all combine to create a great first impression for anyone who sets foot over the threshold.

Other areas that can benefit from branding at your school entrance include:

The welcome desk/reception area

Why not brand your reception desk with your school’s logo using acrylic graphics or even hardwearing natural materials such as wood?

Reception waiting/seating areas

Making the waiting and seating areas inviting and interesting will also help to make a great impression. Ideas to consider include full wall wraps with a welcome message and imagery to match your school’s identity. This can look really good if you aim to create a vibrant environment. For a more formal or classic look, some schools have large versions of their crest printed on the wall. Alternatively, an acrylic wall plaque with the school’s history or similar gives visitors some interesting reading while they wait.

Reception area flooring

While branded entrance mats are popular, the rest of the floor space at school entrances is a good place for some wayfinding floor graphics, especially if several directions lead off from the entrance.

#3 Fill the classroom walls

Clearly, classrooms are where pupils spend most of their time in school, so these areas are definitely worth prioritising, particularly if budgets are tight.

The various available options include full wall wraps, 3D graphics and wall décor to match the topic being taught in that particular room, e.g. an acrylic periodic table. Popular topic-related facts or formulae and encouraging or inspirational messages also work well. What’s more, they can all tie into graphics incorporating students’ work, or leave room for this to be inserted and replaced. For example, integrating pinboards for pupils’ work to be presented amongst the graphics.

#4 Creating a vibrant ambience in your cafeteria

The cafeteria or canteen is obviously where pupils relax and eat during their break, and these are meeting places that bring people together, but dining areas are also ideal locations for creative graphics and signage.

Equally, they often have big walls with lots of space for large graphics. These could include patterns, inspiring messages or just simple, fun messages such as “Let’s do lunch” or “Food for thought”. Colours can complement your branding, while your school’s tagline, logo or crest (or more than one of these) can also work well here.

Thinking about the overall atmosphere, natural light definitely makes for a more pleasant visit to this important space, so try and incorporate dynamic solutions balancing available daylight with artificial illumination to create a bright, friendly atmosphere which also optimises energy consumption.

#5 Fill in corridor space with wall wraps

Most schools have lots of empty wall space in corridors, which can be ideal spots for many different types of graphics, from full wall wraps to vinyl graphics. These could include patterns, inspirational messages and perhaps school or history timelines, documenting school milestones or key points in the past (particularly useful for history departments).

Wall graphics in corridors can complement the relevant department, helping pupils to learn even when they’re just walking along the corridors.

#6 Brighten up windows with graphics

Windows graphics with fun patterns that seem to bring the outdoors inside or cover an otherwise drab view can help give everyone a lift. And this applies to interior windows on doors and classroom windows as well as ones giving a view over the outside world.

Window graphics can be translucent, letting light in, and may be full or partial. Even something as simple as different blocks of translucent colours can look stunning, and create all sorts of nice colours and reflections as the light shines through.

#7 Outdoor playground graphics and markings

We all remember playing outside at school. Playground exterior floor markings and graphics have an important role in this. For example, floor markings for games such as hopscotch and so on create a fun playground environment for younger children and keep them entertained during breaks.

#8 Freshen up the toilet graphics and decor

If you have grim memories of school loos, you’re not alone. But these areas are often overlooked when it comes to school signage and branding strategies. Indeed some may not have been updated for years. However, they’re important facilities and should be well signposted, with good lighting and some decoration and graphics in keeping with the rest of the school’s branding and ethos. That could include tiles and doors in the school’s school brand colours, some wall graphics or acrylic signage.

#9 Assembly halls

Again, assembly halls are often overlooked when it comes to school branding, yet like canteens, they’re crucial meeting places. And they’re great places to showcase the school’s achievements in an otherwise empty space. It should be easy enough to find somewhere to display the school’s logo or crest and reinforce the institution’s identity. Additionally, lighting on the walls of an assembly room can help create an ambience in which pupils feel more relaxed.

#10 Library areas such as the desk and empty wall spaces

As with assembly rooms, libraries can sometimes be neglected, but harbour plenty of opportunities for being inspiring rooms which are conducive to reading and studying. Here, all types of graphics can work well, from library desk branding to wall wraps. For bigger spaces, wayfinding signage can help students to find their way to relevant library sections more quickly and easily.

#10 Calming rooms, relaxing spaces

These days, many schools now offer a calming or relaxing room for students. In these spaces, warm lighting and deeper colours will make for a more relaxing environment, as will comfortable furnishings with soft textures and materials. Many such rooms use wall wraps which could also feature a relaxing scene in the background, possibly something from the natural world.

#11 Helping Pupils & Visitors Find Their Way

School graphics are also the perfect solution to help pupils and visitors find their way, especially helpful in high schools where younger pupils may not be used to such a big school with so many departments.

Looking to update your school graphics?

At Rocket Graphics, we’ve worked on many school signage and branding projects for schools across the UK, and offer a full school signage production and installation service from our large-format printing facilities in Watford. Talk to us today about a school branding strategy which could enhance the mood and appearance of your school dramatically by September.