Port Regis, the iconic English Prep School, came to us at a pivotal moment. The school is steeped in history, providing first-class facilities set within 150 acres of stunning grounds in rural Dorset. Port Regis has offered an intimately personal education since 1881, preparing them for the great adventure of life.
Welcoming a new headmaster for the first time in over a decade, Port Regis sought to bring their history and tradition through to today. Our challenge was to emphasise what it means to be a pupil or parent at Port Regis, bringing to life their values and showcasing the exceptional staff and facilities.
We placed a sense of ‘belonging’ at the heart of our strategy, through this sense of community and vibrant school experience we could tie the facilities, staff, pupils and their parents together to deliver the holistic Port Regis experience.
In order to fully understand what makes Port Regis so impressive we were invited down to get a total 360 experience of the school. Through staff interviews, dining with the pupils and getting to grips with the facilities – we became immersed in this totally unique environment.
We learned unequivocally that this passion, distinctive ethos and spirit matters — this level of teaching brings more value to our lives, nurturing character and how to navigate life beyond the school, and only through close collaboration with key stakeholders could we bring these values to the forefront.
A rebrand was already underway when we joined the process, which unearthed unique opportunities for the visual language and how we could develop a design system that felt cohesive.
Leading user experience and working alongside ongoing brand work, we were able to work with a set of assets that translated well on screen as well as off.
Retaining their history and traditional values was paramount, this was achieved visually through devices such as storied graphics, monograms and the school’s roundel and motto; altiora petimus (we seek higher things).
The original school’s structure still stands and is used to this day, visually represented by the use of arches within the design. A conceptual nod to a new beginning and the start of a new journey.
Over the years, new pages had been added to older pages, resulting in a large number of pages that were rarely found by users. We carried out a full content audit of the existing site to identify key areas of importance, and areas where content could be merged to give an overall improved user experience and a cleansed site structure.
The holistic view of Port Regis gave us a key insight into an obvious but overlooked audience, the parents. Not only new visitors but also existing or past alumni, the site structure has been influenced by understanding their needs and motivations.
Reusable container blocks are at the core of our content delivery system. With an impressive array of containers available to the team at Port Regis, they’re able to build and edit pages at speed, while editing the structure themselves to focus on the correct audience.
The sense of belonging that drove our design strategy is brought to life through the presentation of the impressive imagery on display. By utilising different aspect ratios, it delivers the grandiose and extraordinary experience in a more thoughtful and sensory way. Fullscreen video and images, tall and towering images, editorial displays and the archway are all being used to convey Port Regis’ unique story.