Campaign for the University of Denver

New fundraising campaign identity spotlights what DU can do

What we did
  • Campaign Messaging
  • Campaign Naming
  • Campaign Source Deck
  • Campaign Visual Identity
  • Case for Support
  • Discovery
  • Video
  • Website
Campaign Size

What we do for DU

When Parisleaf met DU, it was the start of a great partnership. Our strategists and creatives clicked with the University of Denver’s Advancement team to co-create a standout fundraising campaign identity – The Denver Difference: What DU Can Do. The new campaign identity expresses DU’s can-do spirit and commitment to doing higher education differently.

DU brought us on board to help with its $1B campaign. Plus the launch marked a dramatic turning point in what a top-tier university can offer students and society. DU is challenging convention by establishing a new, holistic approach to higher education called the Four-Dimensional Experience (4D) that sets a new bar for its peers to match. 

Our campaign had to answer why a pivot was necessary. Complement the university’s brand. And reflect DU’s “wildly authentic” roots in the Rocky Mountain West – and their work for the public good. Plus they were facing down the same tough problems besetting other leading universities. Our job was to build a campaign identity around 4D, coalesce stakeholders, and fire up donors.

Messaging speaks volumes

We did our homework, immersing ourselves in all things DU: talking to lots of in-the-know people and taking in its two unique campuses. We conducted a Campaign Messaging workshop to glean concepts that described the campaign from DU’s POV. Then we nailed down key messaging – creating a Campaign Story and Campaign Messaging Guide emphasizing DU’s many differences, visionary leadership, and independent nature. It all culminated in a creative Case for Support disguised as an attention-getting Field Guide.

We never lost sight of the fact stakeholders and donors need to see themselves in messaging. Key statements evolved into headlines to draw them in and amplify the campaign call to action, such as: You make The Denver Difference, or Be a difference-maker, and Let’s show the world what DU can do.

The Denver Difference workshop
The Denver Difference purpose
The Denver Difference type
The Denver Difference magazine
The Denver Difference fundraiser toolkit

We took a different look 

Campaign Identity development started like the Messaging did: with a deep dive into DU and a workshop that brought decision-makers to the table to create a wishlist of design styles, fonts, palettes, and more. From reams of info, we built a design architecture to express the campaign’s optimistic, can-do, and independent nature – and packaged it in our Campaign Guide to set the direction for visuals for the life of the campaign.

The logo became a star design element, featuring a distinctive type treatment that gives The Denver Difference an impressive collegiate presence. It plays well in lockup with the university’s logo, carrying over the DU ‘D’ as a frame to showcase all that DU can do.

The Denver Difference billboard
The Denver Difference brand guide
The Denver Difference posters
The Denver Difference folder
The Denver Difference banner
The Denver Difference pocket guide
The Denver Difference swag
The Denver Difference gonfalons The Denver Difference sneakers