Direction: Steve Semanchik, Editing: Michael Farina, Videographer: Mike O'Leary

Congratulations! Welcome to Hopkins!

For a lot of students, it’s one of the happiest days of their lives. They receive that envelope they’ve been waiting years for. And when it finally arrives, that shiny, polished Acceptance Letter, the next exciting chapter of their life starts to come into focus.

For the diverse community of Blue Jays, this day is just one step in their journey to shape the future. Working with the Admissions Office, we’ve been overhauling this entire journey to separate them from the Harvards, Yales, and Ivys that are vying for the same students. Reshaping perception doesn’t happen overnight, or with a single flashy print piece, it happens with strategic touchpoints that address the needs of the varied, unique, and inspiring applicants. Each step along the way we brainstormed, designed, strategized, shot holes in, simplified, redesigned, and reimagined each of these materials to best serve these audiences, and show them that the Hopkins community is something they should be a part of.

made @ mission

Acceptance Packet

It’s just an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, but is so much more prestigious than that. The Acceptance Letter is something a student will stalk the mailman for. So it was treated as such. A certificate-style folder with soft-touch varnish and spot-uv encases the letter, with custom belly band sporting the Hopkins creed “Strong Bright Useful True”.

Closed folder w/ soft-touch varnish and spot-uv on wavy brand elements that wrap the piece

Interior spot-uv finish on a bitmap photo, mimicking light shining through stained glass

Mailing envelope consisting of textured parchment paper, spot-uv on wavy linework, and embossed university shield

Welcome Box

After 2ish years of formality for a student … filling out forms, researching schools, touring campuses, speaking with counselors … it was only fair to welcome them to the Hopkins community with something more celebratory. The JHU Welcome box consisted of materials that students could use to identify and connect with other Blue Jays … and gloat a little bit about getting in. Upon first opening there was a series of keepsakes to brand different things a student regularly uses. Stickers, a window decal, embroidered batch and decal for their graduation cap make up the introductory tray. After opening the larger chamber, students were given a water bottle to encourage adventuring out into the world, and then a latex band that corresponded with each students geographic location. This conversation starter would help students easily connect with similar bands, but also make new connections with different versions.

Community Lookbook

Accepting a student is one thing, but fending off Harvard and Yale to get them to enroll is big challenge. Showcasing all that Hopkins has to offer was a piece of that puzzle, but elevating their differentiators was the key. Showing specific stories and profiles of the diverse community of world-changers would be a much more impactful presentation for what students could expect from their next 4 years.

Perfect bound and weighing in at 68 pages, the book was not meant to be read from cover to cover, but to present materials that would be eye-catching and engaging regardless of where you jumped in. Pops of spot gloss varnish on photography in very strategic spots such as imagery of the Earth from space, skulls, and gorilla bones, were also used to grab the eye as someone's flipping through.

Intro Mailer

When students first make contact, this piece is sent out as a 30,000ft overview of Johns Hopkins. It’s meant to entice prospects to sign up for events, visit campus, or just keep them in mind as they get deeper in the search process. One way to accomplish this was to include a notebook that ideally would be used throughout their Jr and Sr year, and keep awareness as they get closer to a decision. Also included were a serious of faux instagram ‘posts’ that share profiles and aspects of Hopkins life that, in the covid-age, not every student can come to campus to see for themselves. Each card was activated through a QR code to learn more and read full stories of each post.

Application Mailer

Once students have been interacting with Hopkins, it’s most important to get them to apply … or at least get them the information to do so effectively. In order to do so, a brochure was created that met students wherever they fall in the application process. Just like each students’ story, every page of the brochure is unique. Students can jump in at any page, and get important information for their situation.