Branding & Signage Initiative

  • Evanston Township High School kicked off a multi-phase branding and signage project in September 2014. The primary goal of this project is to refresh the ETHS brand and develop a new visitor-friendly signage and wayfinding system to help students, staff and visitors better navigate the 1.2 million square-foot school building and 62-acre campus.

    The District 202 Board of Education approved a recommendation to hire Evanston-based Glantz Design and Allegra print and sign company to partner with ETHS staff, who led the efforts on this project. The District also received Board approval to contract with the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) to conduct a communication audit that provided feedback on the school’s communication efforts as well as ETHS’s image in the Evanston community.

    Branding Phase

    The initial phase of this project included a comprehensive review of ETHS’s brand identity, including the school’s logos and overall image. In September 2014, members of the school community were invited to participate in a brief brand survey to share their thoughts about the ETHS brand and current logos. Feedback from more than 1,500 survey respondents was used to help define several draft logo design concepts. In February 2015, these draft logo concepts were shared with the school community and an online vote was conducted over the course of two weeks. Over 3,500 votes were cast and logo design concepts were vetted in feedback sessions with students, parents, residents and alumni to help shape the direction of the new branding and to determine the final designs.

    On May 26, 2015 the final ETHS school seal and Wildkits logo were presented to the District 202 Board of Education. The redesigned ETHS school seal and Wildkit logo became effective June 1, 2015, at which time school staff, coaches and sponsors may begin using the new designs.  In July 2015 an ETHS Brand Book was produced and made available to staff to provide graphic and style standards for all versions of the approved logos.

    Signage & Wayfinding Phase

    The signage portion of this project includes an analysis of the system of directional signs and maps, or "wayfinding," that exists in the ETHS building and around the high school campus. In June 2015 the project team introduced a phased approach for internal signage to address the complexities of the wayfinding needs of all stakeholders.  The district partnered with Cardosi Kiper Design Group (CKDG) in Chicago, a company specializing in signage for educational campuses.

    On February 8, the Board of Education received an update on the signage project. The Board report, which includes project goals, a summary of stakeholder feedback, and a detailed list of approved recommendations, is available here: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=38245793

    To view these recommendations along with the new sign design concepts, please refer to the Board presentation: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=38268466

    The District has approved changes to certain existing terms as well as a recommendation to renumber rooms that are out of sequence. Details about these changes are provided in the above resources.

    Because of the complexities involved in replacing signage and renumbering designated rooms in a building as large as ETHS, a floor-by-floor approach was planned for sign installation over the course of three summers.  In March 2016, ETHS announced a revised timeline to expedite the installation, and as a result, new signs were installed on all floors during the summer of 2016.

    As part of the interior phase, ETHS began evaluating the exterior door numbers of the building and renumbered the primary entrances (Entrance 1, Entrance 2, and Entrance 3). In November 2016, all exterior doors received new numbers to work around the primary entrance numbers.

    The final phase of the Branding & Signing Initiative focuses on exterior signage and wayfinding. In February 2017, the Board of Education approved the request to award the exterior signage project bid to Cardosi Kiper Design Group, the firm that successfully completed the design services for the ETHS interior signage phase. The Board memorandum is available here: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=40073970.

    The goal is to complete the exterior phase during the 2017-18 school year, including the planning, design and implementation of campus and parking lot signage and wayfinding to assist visitors as they approach and navigate around the ETHS campus. A system of signs will be installed to help people find their way around the school’s 62-acre campus by guiding them to outdoor facilities, key destinations such as bike racks, bus stops and parking lots, and school entrances. The exterior sign system will be designed to work cohesively with the interior sign system.

    Funds for the Signage and Wayfinding project are issued from the Capital Improvements Fund which must be used for improvements to school facilities and infrastructure. The ETHS Communications Office collaborates with school departments, district offices, and administrators to complete all phases of the project.

    For more information about the branding and signage project, contact Evangeline Semark, Director of Communications and Engagement at semarke@eths.k12.il.us or 847-424-7515.

Branding & Signage Project Timeline