Redefining The Phelps School

June 26, 2015 Books, Branding, Publications


The Phelps School in Malvern, Pennsylvania is a unique and extraordinary boarding and day school for boys in grades six through 12. But it faced a challenge. The School’s external identity was not reflective of its true character—it didn’t capture what differentiates Phelps from other educational institutions, nor did it clearly communicate why a prospective student or parent would choose Phelps.

In the fall of 2014, The Phelps School reached out to Masters Group Design to develop a comprehensive communications program that would establish a more accurate and compelling identity, and redefine what the School represents. It was an incredibly exciting opportunity to partner with a client that has such a rich history, and yet was so open to new ideas.

We began by completely immersing ourselves in the School’s culture. Our research included conducting focus groups with administrators, faculty members and students, and distributing targeted surveys for parents, alumni and board members. The insights provided by these stakeholders illuminated the School’s strengths, distinguishing factors and current perceptions, and helped us to gain a much deeper understanding of what Phelps has to offer.

We then synthesized all of the data we had gathered into a detailed findings report that gave voice to our learnings. This invaluable exercise brought great clarity to the strategic and creative processes, and informed and guided our messaging strategy moving forward.

The next vital step would be to translate our research into meaningful language, which took the form of a carefully crafted positioning statement, key messages, descriptive wording, and a compelling theme to be used in an ad campaign, a new view book and marketing materials.

The theme proposed by MGD and selected by The Phelps School is Education. It’s personal. It’s a powerful statement, and serves beautifully as a framing device for the many attributes that differentiate The Phelps School—from small class size and an individualized approach to learning to a deeply involved faculty and so much more. And it lends itself to countless creative applications.




The view book, shown here, features the people, practices and culture that distinctly set The Phelps School apart. Photos by MGD collaborator Beck Photography, help to capture what makes the School such an extraordinary place for learning, growth and achievement.