Weehawken School District Annual Report

The Project

Shaping Future Leaders

Design an informative and progressive print magazine for Weehawken School District that communicates its goals, accomplishments, and vision through personalized photos and articles written by its principals and superintendent.

Project Details

Helping the leaders of tomorrow ASPIRE to be something great

Weehawken School District, a public school district in Bergen County, New Jersey, came to CMDS, a digital marketing and brand-growth agency, for assistance in creating a uniquely-designed magazine to align with their progressive image. The goal was to showcase their brand refresh, while also demonstrating, through their school principals, superintendent, and featured photography, the school’s impressive programs and accomplishments. Together, CMDS and Weehawkin came up with the idea of using casual photography of real students and faculty while incorporating a modern textured feel to the magazine’s cover, elements of which helped to illuminate the district's brand refresh goals.

The district’s objective was to make parents and faculty feel like this was a school of choice, similar to a college syllabus or promotional material of a private school, providing a modern platform to showcase their achievements, impressive staff, and programs. By rejuvenating the brand, CMDS was able to create a sense of pride among students and their families.

Magazine Design & Development

CMDS worked with the client to design and develop an innovative and design-oriented magazine that was both emotionally engaging and also hit on the pain points of its target audience in a creative and reassuring manner. Readers, who are parents, caregivers, teachers and fellow students, get a unique opportunity to learn about the school's innovations and accomplishments. Articles were written by the superintendent and principals.

There were some challenges to be faced throughout the project, a main one being the tight two-month deadline. Since the project did not begin until early August, and the magazine had to be ready for distribution during the school district's Back-To-School nights, the team devised strict turn-around times for design/copy approvals and coordinated idea sharing to ensure all images and copy were approved on time. This was challenging in itself since every single piece of copy and rewrite had to be approved and/or re-approved in order to move forward. There was a lot of back and forth between the team and the district to acquire the end goal of final approval and publication within a very short amount of time.

Weehawken School District Annual Report Branding

In addition, a snag regarding the cover photo ensued when the featured student left the district and the photo had to be replaced expediently. Luckily, CMDS was able to quickly replace the photo, have it approved, and get it sent to the printers just before the batch printing deadline.

With the launch of the magazine, CMDS succeeded in creating a visually appealing and streamlined result, while simultaneously serving as an informative piece for the district and giving them an entire brand refresh that elevated them up to an entirely different standard from traditional public schools.

The piece was well received by faculty and community members, with 2000 copies printed and distributed. CMDS has agreed to prepare future annual and quarterly publications with the district as a result of its success.

Client Praise

“In the last 18 months the CMDS team has been instrumental in taking us to the next level. The interaction with the team almost seems intuitive; their knowledge, experience and marketing expertise has been a breath of fresh air for my firm. Thank you the entire CMDS team for this great experience!”

Sales Manager, BFI

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