Tradition as Identity
A solid graphic identity is the core of a school's brand. After completing the messaging platform for Forman School, the redesign of their graphic identity was our priority. Forman is a traditional New England boarding school that is exclusively focused on educating students with learning disabilities. The new graphic identity needed to carry forward a core element of the school's tradition, the school shield.
The Forman shield contains much history and instills pride in both current and past students. The design of the shield (above, left) was the result of a student competition in 1941. School founder John Forman described the shield symbols in a 1956 commencement speech this way: "The colors are green -- symbolic of life and growth [...] and white -- symbolic of purity and completeness." He explained the significance of the lion, the cross, and the inscription as "moral courage, purity of thought," and urged students to keep themselves "free of every limiting belief." The values represented by the shield symbols and expressed through the words of John Forman are still fundamental to Forman today.
Through small group discussions with the Forman community we determined that the new shield needed to include the lion, the dagger and the banner could be removed, and the phrase could be shortened based on current interpretations. After a thorough design process the resulting shield presents a refined overall shape, a more robust lion, the capital letters F and S referring to the name of the school, and colors that are rooted in Forman past and present—green and gold.
Along with the shield we developed a typographic wordmark for Forman. The wordmark and shield are designed to be used in a set relationship or independently.
Forman is pleased with the evolution of their shield and can't wait to have it stitched onto the pocket of the school blazers for the senior class—a Forman tradition worn with pride.