Sandy Spring Friends School

The Quaker aphorism “Is it necessary?” is the measure of many important Sandy Spring Friends School marketing decisions—among them, the matter of adopting a new brand concept. Understanding when to add meaning to a beloved mantra, rather than to change for change’s sake, may have been the most animating decision of all.

Brand Standards


  • Merit Award / Viewbook Higher Education Marketing Report’s Advertising Awards

  • Merit Award / Brochure (Boarding Brochure) Higher Education Marketing Report’s Advertising Awards

Physician: Do no harm.

As discovery began to inform Sandy Spring Friends School’s new branding platform, a reasonable, if not reflexive, response might have been to take a zero-based approach and dismiss any communication element not nailed to the floor.

But during the research phase, the School’s “Let Your Lives Speak” tagline was often referenced. Although compelling options were considered among the proof-of-concepts, filling the familiar phrase with greater meaning—and giving school communicators the tools, verbal and visual, to use it—emerged as a powerful and best-fit solution.

The brand platform also includes the language “Question/Reflection/Action” and a visualization that interpret SSFS’s educational approach.

As the program now begins to roll out, community response has been enthusiastic.

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