July 17, 2020 marked the official name change of The New School of Lancaster to New School Montessori.
In the past week, residents and visitors to historic Lancaster City have noticed lawn signs and billboards with geometric shapes and the message “MoreThanNew.” A similar campaign has taken place online. But, no one is stumping for a political candidate. Instead, the curious signage is the culmination of an extensive introspective process undertaken by alumni, students, and educators at The New School of Lancaster.
“The Montessori method of education is a cumulative process, so it is important that people understand what we mean by ‘new’,” said Robyn Stearne, Head of School. “Careful observation, testing preconceptions, imagining possibilities…these are the hallmarks of the young innovator who is constantly looking at the world with new eyes.”
“Children build their knowledge of the world over time. Over a century ago, Dr. Maria Montessori understood this and designed a learning environment that could be adapted to keep pace with childhood development.” Referring to her school’s name change, Stearne added, “It felt right to bring ‘new’ and ‘Montessori’ together.”
In addition to a deep dive into the Montessori pedagogy and the origins of the school’s founding more than three decades ago, the re-branding involved examining how the local Lancaster community, culture, and art are sources for ongoing inspiration. Participants redesigned the school’s logo, graphics, and communications and introduced a comprehensive package of brand assets.
“We wanted the new visual communications to reflect the same simple, symmetric geometries that can be found in Dr. Montessori’s original learning materials,” said a key contributor to the rebranding. Consistent with The New School’s educational approach, new visual brand guidelines are about translating abstract, complex ideas into simple, concrete forms. “Symbols and shapes can be powerful and memorable.”