Jennifer van Hardenberg

The Red Blazer // Campaign

open house social banner -

The Red Blazer // Campaign

Role: Campaign Concept & Strategy, Graphic Design, Art Direction for photoshoots, Production, Ad Copy, Ad Buy, and Execution/Evaluation
Client:  St. Margaret’s School
Campaign Elements: Print Advertising, Social Media Campaign, Digital Display Ads, Email Marketing, Internal Brand Evangelization

A longstanding leader in girls' education, St. Margaret's School's brand needed a reboot. The result has been a campaign that has significantly increased public awareness (17% increase in new students in a single year) and instilled a renewed sense of school pride among current students and alumnae alike.

When devising a new multi-channel campaign for the school I had a few considerations that really fuelled the final creative. 


  • The need for a fresh take. The school hadn’t changed its ad design for a few years and had never really used a campaign-based approach
  • Out of sight out of mind. The school has a significant challenge presented by it’s physical site: though the campus itself is one of its greatest assets, it also poses a major hindrance to visibility and passive public awareness as it is hidden out of view of any major streets — a natural oasis on the edge of the urban centre.
  • The need to differentiate. There is a pretty standard canon for independent school ads: impeccably clean, ethnically diverse, uniform-clad child(ren) smiling out at the viewer. SMS is one of several independent schools in the area vying for a limited slice of interested families. The challenge is how to break out of the standard mould in a meaningful and memorable way.
sample website banner ad


  • Open-ended. The campaign has been very flexible for reinterpretation for different audiences and applications. When speaking to a student it became “Where will the red blazer take you?” when it came time to promote the school’s scholarships. For parents it was “Where will the red blazer take her?” in a variety of print and online advertising to promote our annual Open House events. At said Open Houses and trade shows, prospective students were inited to "try on the red blazer" and take photos for social media with hashtags for a chance to win swag. For Alumnae it was “Where did the red blazer take you?” in a Facebook survey which elicited a strong response in the form of fabulous testimonials to be used in other promotional materials. 

    Facebook testimonial campaign

Students started exclaiming to their parents when they saw the outdoor ads, “That’s my school!” full of pride. Bank tellers started stopping our staff and saying “Oh! You’re the red blazer people!” And alumnae who had fallen out of contact with the school have reconnected. And the campaign continues...

Below: sample print ads for periodicals -- including national syndication like The Globe and Mail and Maclean's magazine -- trade show banners, and outdoor.

Below: two students "try on the red blazer" and pose for an Instagram photo at a trade show.




I create branded assets for print and web applications. My decisions as a graphic designer are underpinned by industry research, business goals, and user response. Whether working alone or leading creative teams on larger projects, I adept in distilling concepts and problems into elegant yet efficient solutions, building strong relationships and processes, and establishing stakeholder buy-in to designs. The result is projects that are delivered on time, on budget, and highest quality. 

I specialize in helping organizations tell their story. My experience as a an in-house marketing/communications professional informs my works as a designer, to develop content-based solutions that are business-, research-, and client- driven. Whether communicating through design, writing, brand experiences, or overarching strategy, I assist my clients to convey their unique brand narrative to diverse audiences in compelling ways. I solve complex problems using imagery, language, and unique experiences that are designed to inform, delight, and persuade.