Brand strategy for institutions and nonprofits

Messaging for comprehensive fundraising campaigns

Messaging for recruitment campaigns




"Where You're Most Likely to"
Recruitment Campaign

Already, one of the top-ranked liberal arts colleges, our charge was to position Williams to compete for undergraduates against top universities. We needed to convey Strength vs. Quirky, Cosmopolitan vs. Remote and University-level vs. College-level Advantages. Underlying many of the most impressive facts and experiences about Williams is an unspoken idea: At Williams—as opposed to almost any other college or university—students are more likely to experience or enjoy particular advantages. Our strategy was to make this unspoken idea explicit.

Following this successful project, Pentagram and I were invited to develop the strategy and messaging for the college’s Teach It Forward comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Design: Pentagram


"Columbia Blue"
Recruitment Campaign

Our strategy was to move “blue” from school color to school creed. Columbia Blue means living in a city driven by the smartest, newest ideas — both ambitious and humble. Working among intellectual giants past and present inspires students to take their own giant steps. Being the most diverse student body of any campus makes life more interesting, more fun, in a word – better. Connecting students to talented and successful alumni early and often is embedded in the Columbia experience. Having intellectual confidence forever is earned through Columbia’s one-of-a-kind Core Curriculum. “True blue” to all of this is the story we tell in these publications and complementary website.

Design: Pentagram


"Declare Yourself"
Recruitment Campaign

An esteemed university building on its past and intentionally remaking itself in the new higher education landscape, Drew’s communications are all about the student’s perspective rather than the institution’s point of view. Speaking to savvy students, Drew’s recruitment voice is a little irreverent, smart, sophisticated, friendly, honest, and real. Building from Drew’s founding ethos of “freedom," we built a recruitment campaign calling students to “declare” their financial freedom, professional freedom, and the freedom to make their dreams come true at Drew.

Design: Pentagram

MIT Libraries

"Saving the World Bit by Bit"
Brand Identity

Pentagram Design was invited to develop a new visual identity to capture the work of MIT Libraries' Task Force on the Future of Libraries. I was asked to develop the verbal messaging guidelines to accompany the new design. The result is a communications strategy and story that upends what many think about libraries today: powerful versus vulnerable.  

Design: Pentagram


"This is Why"
Comprehensive Campaign

Described as an alumni body “allergic to brand” we set out to turn the bug into a feature. We embraced Wesleyan’s question-the-status-quo ethos with an “uncampaign” that built from the ground up with #thisiswhy hashtags and a slow-building reveal to the campaign, which was designed to make a Wesleyan education a cause worth fighting for.

Design: Pentagram


"Yale*: An Insider's Guide"
Publications and Website

Designed to give undergraduate applicants an insider's view into Yale University, this recruitment campaign aims to make Yale more accessible to students from all backgrounds. The goal is to put every inquirer and applicant on an even footing as they explore Yale’s opportunities. The viewbook (complemented by a related website) is intended to be so interesting with its dense layers of detail from an annotated map of a residential college, to an illustrated listing of all the theater, music, film, and fine arts offerings in a typical weekend, to a series of vignettes detailing students’ studies abroad, accompanied by the students’ own photographs — that prospects would find it hard to throw away.

Design: Pentagram


Abington Friends School

Alfred University

American Law Institute

The Baldwin School

Bowdoin College

The Brearley School

Bucknell University

Carnegie Mellon University

Cheshire Academy

Chestnut Hill Academy

China Institute

Choate Rosemary Hall

Columbia University

Concordia College
(Moorhead, MN)

Dickinson College

Drew University

Emma Willard School

Episcopal High School
(Alexandria, VA)

EXPLO (Learning through Exploration)

Flint Hill School

Fredericksburg Academy

Friends' Central School

Germantown Friends School

Girard College

The Hamlin School

The Hotchkiss School

Kenyon College

Lafayette College

Manhattanville College

Mercersburg Academy

Middlesex School

Millbrook School

MIT Libraries

New York Public Library

NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Wagner School of Public Service

The Newman School (Boston, MA)

The Nightingale-Bamford School

Occidental College

Oglethorpe University

Oldfields School

The Orchard School

The Pennington School

Penn Law

Philadelphia University (PhilaU)

Phillips Exeter Academy

Ridley College

Roanoke College

St. Andrew's School

St. Anselm College

St. Bonaventure University

St. John’s University

Scripps College

Sidwell Friends School

Spelman College

Swarthmore College

Stanford University

The Thacher School

United States Naval Academy

University of Delaware

University of Pennsylvania Libraries

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

Wesleyan University

Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

William Penn Charter School

Williams College

The Winsor School

The Wharton School (UPenn)


Yale University




Andrea Jarrell has led brand, comprehensive campaign, and recruitment message strategy for over 50 institutions. Her work marries marketing communications strategy with creative storytelling and has received numerous honors from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and Admissions Marketing Report, as well as being recognized by The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).

Jarrell is the former director of public relations and communication for Scripps College of The Claremont Colleges, and, later, its director of development. She has worked in magazine and book publishing in New York City, public affairs in Los Angeles, and nonprofit media and government relations in Austin, Texas.

Jarrell holds a B.A. from Scripps College and an M.F.A. in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. She has contributed to several books on brand strategy and fundraising communications. Her essays have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, The Huffington Post, Literary Hub, The Christian Science Monitor, and CASE CURRENTS magazineamong many other sites and publications. A Los Angeles native, she now lives in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.



Andrea Jarrell
Andrea Jarrell Communications Strategies
545 Beall Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850

Voice  301.591.3777