Reimagining Live Oak's Visual Identity

Francisca Guzman
When you think of Nike, you think of the swoosh. When you think of NASA, you think of planets and stars. When you think of the Warriors, blue and gold rise to the top. Each of these brands has fine tuned their visual identity, making it easier for followers to connect a feeling to these organizations, which in turn (marketing theory goes) elicits a response or action.
Over the past eighteen months, Live Oak has engaged in the work of turning this theory into practice. Guided by the school’s Strategic Directions, and using the momentum inspired by our 50th year, we undertook the work of evaluating our “brand” story to ensure alignment with our mission and vision, and the values central to our school.

Working with a team of consultants from DISTINC_, we pulled together a Brand Council composed of Trustees, Parents/Guardians, Faculty, and Administrators to bring a variety of voices and perspectives to this process. During the first phase, the consultants spoke with more than 80 stakeholders, asking questions about their connection to our mission, their understanding of the school’s educational philosophy, and their overall perception of the school. In short, does the school’s narrative align with our community’s narrative? 

The answer to that question was in many ways YES. The value of a Live Oak education rests in the school’s commitment to educating students who use their education to make an impact in their communities. Changemakers is not just a word we use; it’s how you view our students and our alumni. Working with information from these interviews, the results of the brand audit produced by DISTINC_, and an analysis of peer independent schools, the Brand Council engaged in deep thinking exercises to develop a brand positioning statement that centered on two principles.
  • Celebrating Live Oak students’ individual identities while elevating the collective
  • Constructing the foundational values and ambitions that will guide Live Oak students in changing their world for the better
The creative expression and design of this brand has been unfolding over the Summer and we’re ready to share it with you at the Brand Launch on October 8 during Around the Live Oak World. Live Oak’s new brand expression is not a departure from the past, but rather a joyful and proud declaration of the potential and promise of a Live Oak education. 

Contact Francisca Guzman, Director of Advancement, at francisca_guzman@liveoaksf.org. 
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Live Oak School welcomes and admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and faith to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities of Live Oak School. Live Oak School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and faith in administration of its educational policies and programs, admissions policies, Adjusted Tuition program, and athletic and other school-administered programs.