Cannes Lions

Pearl Academy: Pioneering a Design Institutue's website


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Case Film






For a design institution with a 25 year legacy, the leadership envisioned to set a standard for creative education by repositioning its identity from being perceived as a fashion institute to a pioneering design college. The institute wanted to create a world class digital presence while improving its user journey to enhance the brand perception and give a unique experience for each user in a seamless way. Hence the need of the hour was to revamp its website along the lines of a communication strategy which positioned the brand as a global institute of repute and establishes design as a path of mainstream future education and careers, to tract parents and students as serious takers of design education. The emphasis was to get across the idea of a world class creative education which lead to promising futuristic opportunities, assuring stakeholders of its relevance and importance in the 21st century.


To align and bring to fore the brand’s key values into reality, a strong visual creative identity of the academy was worked upon to position the brand as disruptive, creative, intellectual and futuristic. The uniqueness of the brand was envisioned through a magazine style layout which could simulate the feeling of a prospectus, reasserting its identity as a world class institution. Disruptive storytelling as a key idea was introduced to engage and attend to the key users. Persona driven content (for parents, prospective students, applicant) was formulated to engage and answer queries of stakeholders through a compelling visual and content narrative, drawing to address problems driven from their key motivations. While a well structured content strategy was used to emphasize the depth and seriousness of design education’s intent, less templatized, dynamic and visual driven look was ideated to bring in the contemporary angle of a creative and new-age institution.


The direction for the design was taken ahead through a stakeholder workshop to understand the business requirements, perceptual mapping, competition audit followed by gaining user perspectives and understanding persona based needs. Technology vision(google analytics, important devices) also served as important feeders to directing visual design.These informed the anatomy of the information architecture and in guiding the design strategy and development. Some design elements incorporated were a magazine style approach, with bold design, offering a candid style of imagery for bringing in impact. While contextual usage and placement of buttons, action items made navigation simpler, for both regular and persona driven navigation styles. Embedded videos were added for making it easier for people to understand and allow the brand to communicate. Whereas a consistent layout and reuse of components made the website efficient, scalable and maintenance appropriate, supplemented with a responsive and liquid design for mobile.


The kind of communication which was envisioned by the leadership was found to be given justice through the responsive platform. The website achieves to showcase the seriousness of creative education, while establishing credibility of courses and college in the minds of users, especially parents. It keeps up with the standards of global ranking and supersedes the competitors in terms of ease of navigation, clarity of content, visual consistency, data representation, mobile responsive behavior and its look and feel. The website also accredits to answer most of the questions for users during their website journey.

The visual direction set for the website is now guiding the format for the brand’s other communication material and has created direction for all its creative communication. The project having delivered in time(launched before the next academic session) has set the precursor to drive more admissions and is being appreciated by all stakeholders.