The Aurora Group

About the client

Spring 2021 – Present

The Aurora Group is the UK’s fifth largest provider of education, care and support services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The group includes vibrant independent day schools for children and young adults, and nurturing residential homes that cater for young people with more complex needs.

They all share the Aurora values: Caring, Ambitious, Collaborative, Trusting, Innovative

Aurora values banner

The Problem

When the Aurora Group came to me for help in early 2021, they already had an established brand, a logo strategy and a colour palette but, with minimal inhouse design capacity, each service was often left to produce graphics with limited experience and resources.

This had resulted in a haphazard interpretation of the brand guidelines and dilution of the brand identity, particularly when it came to using the wide and vibrant colour palette.

My initial brief was to review their current brand position, update certain branding elements and look at how some stricter rules could be applied to the use of colour thereby ensuring a more cohesive application of the brand across the various services.

These could then be used to create prospectus templates which could be adapted for each service.

One of the key issues was how to maintain the Aurora Brand, while giving each service its own identity and a structure to work within that would be easy for internal staff to maintain.

The Auroroa Group Hedgeway School Logo
The Auroroa Group Meldreth Manor School Logo
The Auroroa Group Hanley School Logo
Examples of the school logos
The original Aurora values “ladder”
Example of previous prospectus
Except of an original school prospectus (face blurred for GDPR)

The solution

Working with the Aurora Marketing Team, we identified the primary brand colours to be used across all services and for central/internal communications. We assigned each Region one of these primary colours and then assigned each service it’s own secondary colour.

I then created a prospectus and overview template for several of the schools to ensure that these brand guidelines would be flexible enough to apply to each of the wide variety of service offers.

Part of the brief was to soften the brand language and use of colour, which previously had been quite basic and blocky. I introduced a “tab” detail to reference the dividers often used in school/college binders and folders.

This shape became a common visual language used throughout Aurora Marketing materials and helps to tie everything together.

<images of examples (folder cover, prospectus details etc), updated values banner>

The Aurora Group Primary colour palette
The Aurora Group Secondary colour usage byt school and region
Updated brand guidelines: showing colour restrictions by region and school.
That Aurora Group Folder cover design
Development of tab design on a multi use folder cover.
Aurora Severnside School Prospectus Cover Design
The first prospectus cover design for Aurora Severnside School.
(click image to view full prospectus)
AuroAurora Severnside School Prospectus Inside Cover with Values banner and tab details
The inside cover showing: tab detail, updated values banner and school specific use of colour.
Aurora Hyde Lodge Prospectus
Prospectus for Aurora Hyde Lodge
(click image to view full prospectus)
Aurora Foxes Prospectus
Prospectus for Aurora Foxes catering college
Inside the Aurora Foxes Prospectus
Inside page of Aurora Foxes prospectus
(click image to view full prospectus)

The Outcome

I have continued to work with Aurora over the last 2 years, creating over 20 prospectuses and a vast range of branded internal and external visual communications, plus a fully branded internal staff magazine!

As a result, we have built a strong brand identity through which each service can easily express their uniqueness while still encompassing the Aurora brand values and identity.

<images below (pull up banners, social media tiles, internal posters, foxes outcomes etc.>

Three Aurora services banner mock ups
Aurora Incident report poster
Internal poster for HR: Incident report
Aurora Perks Poster
Internal poster for HR: Employee Benefits
Aurora mental wellbeing poster
Internal poster for HR: Mental wellbeing
The Observatory – The Aurora Staff Magazine
The Observatory Issue 1: front cover and contents spread
The Observatory Issue 2: front cover and feature spread
The Observatory Issue 2: front cover and jubilee feature spread
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