From Best to Bold: A School District Branding Journey

Developing a brand that resonates with students, parents, teachers, and the school board, while also embodying your mission, vision and values can seem overwhelming. However, through our MissionIgnition™ branding process, we successfully transformed Stafford Municipal School District (SMSD) from being known as the best little school district in Texas to a powerful bold brand, known as Stafford Nation.

Located in the heart of Stafford, Texas, the school district is located on a single campus that fosters a sense of belonging and home, serving as a vital hub within their historic community, closely tied to the illustrious railroad legacy.

spartan strong and posters
kelly may and director touring campus

Brand Strategy

Similar to any school district with a longstanding history, the brand had slipped over the years into various logos and colors, leading to confusion about its true representation. To maintain respect for their history, we held focus groups and listening sessions where community members emphasized what was important to them: words like “together,” “family,” “strong,” and “integrity.”

As we explored the school campus, CEL staff sensed the immense pride that permeated the atmosphere. However, there was a strong desire from the community and staff to showcase their pride in a singular way that could bring people together as a cohesive unit.

Ultimately we designed a unified logo while expanding their brand colors and imagery, and developed consistent key messaging, stories, and language. This brand consistency would allow SMSD to portray themselves in the way their community already viewed the district: strong, community-driven, and family-oriented.

numerous old stafford msd logos


new stafford municipal school district logo


Stories of Stafford

Every day, #StaffordNation expands the frontiers of exploration, helping students gain skills for college, careers, and life. Learning is enriched through technology, offering simulated real-world experiences in collaboration with their small but mighty municipal community. Working together, we have empowered them to STEAM ahead to prepare each student to become a critical thinker and an ethical, productive citizen as a part of everyday learning PK-12.

stem to learn stem to earn flyers for stafford msd
spartans poster

Brand Identity: Every Day is a Chance to LEARN

We created a visually striking logo that embodies the spirit and values of SMSD. The logo represents unity, progress, and inclusivity. It incorporates elements that symbolize education, growth, and community. The vibrant colors reflect the district’s energy and commitment to fostering a positive learning environment.

We meticulously chose a typeface and complementary colors that exude professionalism and approachability. The typography maintains a balance between modernity and tradition, capturing SMSD’s progressive nature while honoring its rich educational heritage.

social media graphics for smsd
stafford business cards
home of the spartans

Beyond a Logo Design

In addition to the logo, we crafted a suite of visual elements that harmonize with the brand identity, enhancing its impact. These elements comprise custom illustrations, patterns and graphic treatments, adaptable for use in diverse marketing materials, whether digital or print.

Furthermore, we also established a consistent brand voice that strikes the right balance between professionalism, warmth, and accessibility. The messaging emphasizes SMSD’s commitment to empowering students, fostering a love for learning, and preparing them for a successful future.

Stafford Municipal School District website

Putting the School District Brand to Use

We designed a range of print materials, including brochures, flyers and posters, to showcase SMSD’s programs, achievements, and offerings. These materials are thoughtfully designed to engage and inform parents, students, and the broader community about the district’s educational opportunities.

Recognizing the pivotal role of activities and athletics in brand awareness, especially in Texas, #StaffordNation Home of the Spartans employed decals, embellishments, and typography that expanded the brand’s representation. The design exudes a bold, strong, and distinctive flair for #StaffordNation.

To serve as a central hub for information about SMSD, we made enhancements to the website. It features the district’s core values, highlights achievements, and provides essential resources for students, parents, and educators.

Additionally, comprehensive social media graphics, templates and materials amplify SMSD’s brand presence and engage with the community. Through a mix of informative content, student success stories, and community involvement initiatives, we aim to foster a strong online community and promote positive engagement.

Finally, to ensure consistency and uniformity in all brand communications, we established comprehensive brand guidelines. These guidelines offer detailed instructions on logo usage, typography, color palettes, and overall brand tone. The guidelines serve as a valuable resource for all stakeholders involved in promoting the SMSD brand and are available digitally for all stakeholders.

brand guidelines for stafford municipal school district

Stafford Municipal School District’s brand identity represents its commitment to academic excellence, student empowerment, and community engagement. Through a thoughtful and collaborative branding process, we have created a distinctive brand that resonates with all stakeholders. The visual elements, brand messaging, and brand applications come together to communicate SMSD’s core values and achievements effectively and consistently. We are proud to share this portfolio as a testament to the successful branding journey of Stafford Municipal School District.