The Stony Brook School

Connecting a classical school with a new generation of learners.

The Stony Brook School is a boarding school in Long Island, founded in 1922. Their longtime commitment has been to holistic education—the formation of not just minds but of leaders, as encompassed in their stated priority to build "character before career." But Stony Brook was still hungry to put a finer point to their story. They came to Open Book looking for help to distill their point of view and the markers that shaped their students and faculty.

Impact

A distinctive focus

Stony Brook is positioned to celebrate how their students "see beyond" the immediate to the enduring—and with vision formed through the dual lenses of wisdom and imagination.

Beautiful new materials

For both admissions and fundraising uses, Stony Brook has compelling new branded materials and messaging to lead with, including an animated video and long-form Look Book.

Positioning for the future

The Stony Brook School is equipped with a fresh way to communicate their unique positioning to a new generation of students, parents, and partners in education.

Strategy + Story Formation

Our Open Book team spent dedicated time on the campus talking to students and faculty and observing the Stony Brook experience. And we saw a unique combination emerge—a dual celebration at Stony Brook of both wisdom and imagination. There was both a grounding in principles of wisdom and an unleashing of imagination. We honed in on the overlap of these two qualities and the ways they combine to create vision. By bringing wisdom and imagination together, Stony Brook is cultivating the ability to “see beyond” in their students, preparing them to be the leaders of the future.

Story

We developed a unique, signature theme for Momentum Weekend that simultaneously spoke to the overarching vision and the the real-time growth of the movement on the ground.

Story

The story we developed focuses on the core idea that life is not meant to be a series of disconnected dots. At the modern university, the issue of living a divided life can feel like the norm for people who see themselves as both academics and Christians. Faith and academics are seen as parallel at best—and, at worst, in opposition, But Anselm House is inspired by the Scripture that says, “In Christ, all things hold together.” We helped Anselm give voice to their grounding mission: "to connect faith and knowledge with all of life."

Logo + Visual Identity

Open Book created a new logo that embodies this refocused mission and story. Core to TreeHouse’s point of view is a belief that transformation is possible—and it happens from the inside out. So, we developed a logo that’s a nod to the growth rings of a tree, which develop over time, from the inside out. This rings also show the compounding impact of a transformed life on individuals, communities, and beyond.

Story

We worked with Riverbridge to flesh out the story that surrounds "invest with endurance." It was important to highlight both the optimism and specificity of their approach. Their lead messaging now elevates their belief that what is true endures⏤in investments, people, and companies. Both visually and narratively, we positioned Riverbridge as builders. In a world where people are not experiencing superior returns on their investments because of shortsighted behaviors, Riverbridge is on a mission to invest with endurance.

Story

We helped Stony Brook crystallize that the kind of leadership vision they emphasize is the ability to "see beyond"—beyond information to application, beyond what's expedient to what is wise. Our storytelling captured Stony Brook's heart to raise up life-long learners who don’t just wait for answers but keep asking the right questions, leaders who transform information into insight, and citizens who approach their communities with eyes for the common good.

Visual Identity

We crafted a visual identity that represented the three-part strategy of new leaders, new churches, and new buildings—plus the most important part: YOU, represented by a red location pin. This was a strategic choice to underscore that Rise was about activating everyone into new service and outreach from right where they are. As a whole, the logo was also reminiscent of the four-square cross that had long been a feature at one of the Redeemer sites, as well as a grid of city blocks, since a neighborhood call to action was central to the campaign story.

Visual Identity + Branding

With “Every home loved” as a cornerstone message in the brand, we focused on building it out with simple language and a visual tone that was low-pressure, friendly, and invitational. The outline of a home became a visual connection between the EncounterLife logo and the campaign vision.

Creative Direction

We simplified Vivo's existing color palette to the simplicity of black and white accented with a vibrant green. We introduced multiple typefaces and shapes to create a sense of playful imagination in the brand. Like the meals they create, Vivo's new brand led with a sense of creativity unleashed before-your-eyes. We also built momentum around the hashtag #tastepossibility and social media ads as they generated excitement for their grand reopening.

Creative Direction

We took close-up portraits of students in a way that captured light in their eyes—a literal way to illustrate vision. We used different color backdrops to serialize them as a set, so that a long-form Look Book of portraits and stories would look cohesive. In all materials, we created branded elements that positioned Stony Brook with the dual intelligence and creativity true to them.

Website

A new streamlined website leads with the story and provides clear pathways to the tools and resources EncounterLife offers. 

Website

We built a website that invites visitors directly into the opportunity to invest with endurance, providing clear and efficient pathways to key information. The new site is a clean and modern shift from their old site, while also providing flexibility to build upon as they customize messaging to core constituents in the individual, institutional, and retail channels they seek to serve. 

Website

We created a straightforward website that featured the different dimensions of Vivo—dining, catering, and gathering spaces. The platform features Vivo’s story and vision, as well as visually sets the table for what guests can expect.

Website

We created a robust Rise website that connected vision to action through streamlined content, photography, and resources. During the campaign, users also had a custom page where they could place a location pin, which allowed people to see engagement growing across the five boroughs of New York.

Website

We designed the new TreeHouse website to be equally relevant to donors, volunteers, teens, and community members. We aimed to build a site that was simple to navigate while clearly telling the story of what TreeHouse does and the invitation it makes.

Website

We created a new website to house their content, and to position Anselm House as not only a credible, academic resource for the University, but also as a community of prayer, shared meals, open discussions, and faithful presence.

Look Book

We concepted and produced a 92-page Look Book for Stony Brook. With beautiful and bold photography, the book makes the diversity of students and range of faculty the star. We built upon the central idea of vision, layering it with a multiplicity of themes—asking big questions, innovation, faith & culture, diversity—while threading wisdom and imagination through it all.

Event Strategy + Execution

Open Book advocated for, and helped plan, a major kick-off event that generated 2,750 people in attendance. Attendees were not told that it was a launch event for a capital campaign, much less told the name Rise. Instead, we helped position it simple as an important night of vision-casting. Then, at the event, the Rise story, vision, video, and invitation were unveiled comprehensively. Nearly everyone in the room ended up walking forward that night to fill out a personal geo-marker card with their commitment to be part of the Rise campaign.

Live Messaging + Talking Points

We developed overall event messaging and talking points for the lead speakers and communicators of the New York Project team. This involved finding both succinct soundbites and effective narratives that reinforced the big-picture vision at play while also illuminating specific metrics and reporting.

Event Materials

EncounterLife decided used the new brand story as a launchpad for a state-wide event for Colorado churches. We worked with them to name the event "We Love Colorado" and developed materials and custom packaging to serve as invitational outreach tools.

Print Materials + Environmental Design

A restaurant needs a brand you can experience at every meal and every visit. We created menus, table signage, gift cards, and a 30-foot mural to surround the place in the feeling of possibility.

Video

We told the Stony Brook story with a bright and bold video that pairs beautifully with the Look Book. Internally, the video produces a sense of pride and inspiration among students, alumni, and donors. Externally, the video compels potential students, parents, and partners to think of what could be as a result of Stony Brook’s unique approach to education.

Up Next

A fresh approach to serving teens—with a brand positioned for national growth.