How We Helped a School Make Waves with a New Visual Identity

Private Schools Marketing

Learn how we helped an established independent school in Massachusetts set sail into a new chapter by updating their visual identity – adding a fresh new logo and flexible brand toolkit.


Tabor Academy – the School by the Sea – is a Massachusetts institution, founded in 1876 and known for its long history as a top tier boarding and day school. Tabor balances elite academics with a unique range of extracurricular activities and sports that are made possible by their seaside location, from sailing to marine science and so much more.


Like many schools, Tabor’s brand had been managed, represented, tweaked, and evolved by many teams over the years. Their existing seal – a beloved single-color mark first introduced in 1918 – was steeped in tradition and honored the history of the school, but it didn’t work for all aspects of the school’s marketing and only worked in limited applications. Inevitably, this resulted in different departments, teams, and programs creating their own logo versions and variations – resulting in a school that had one official mark but dozens of unofficial representations. 

Key stakeholders at Tabor wanted to see a logo that was more forward-looking and more consistent, with clear tools and guidelines for internal teams to follow. Metric partnered with their marketing team and other key stakeholders to develop a new logo along with a user-friendly brand guide to help keep the team rowing in the same direction going forward.


When we joined the project, Tabor had been working with our friends over at EdwardsCo on extensive brand research and a new messaging strategy. This provided an excellent foundation and starting point for our work on their new visual identity. 

Our process kicked off with a conversation, as we dug deep into Tabor’s brand history, current state, and desired future state. We heard about what was working – and what wasn’t – and we took that back to our creative team.

It was very important to us to honor Tabor’s rich heritage in our work. Our designers worked to incorporate key elements of Tabor’s brand that we wanted to bring forward – including ocean elements and the existing Tabor Red brand color, which found new life among two new brand colors.


Tabor’s new logo was born out of a collaborative process between our two teams that included committees, surveys, and focus groups to help ensure that all voices were represented and heard. 

Flexibility was a key goal, so the final logo solution blends an icon with a wordmark. Both elements can also be used independently, allowing for lots of flexibility and countless use cases at the school while ensuring these elements are always used consistently. 

The icon features ocean waves, which nods to Tabor’s School by the Sea tagline and their highly differentiated location and programs. A second shade of blue completes the sky – with both colors complementing and refreshing Tabor’s existing brand red. In the sky, we added a new design element: the North Star. This star has been used by sailors since ancient times for wayfinding – and today, it represents what students will find at Tabor Academy as they look to chart their own path for their education and their life beyond graduation. The round shape of the icon echoes a ship’s porthole, and we used heavy white lines to accent each design element – providing a clean aesthetic while also creating a bold new icon that can be used and replicated in many different ways, from print to digital to embroidery to signage. This new icon is anchored by the new Tabor Academy wordmark. Small details like the wave in the Tabor “R” help make the logo truly unique.

Because Tabor often uses their tagline – School by the Sea – we also developed logo versions that incorporate this, both with the Tabor wordmark and with the standalone icon, and we designed the tagline in a way that it can be used on its own within a larger design. The icon was designed to work on its own too, and the elements can be pulled apart to create compelling shapes and opportunities to reinforce the brand while staying flexible.

The school’s iconic and historic seal was retained as part of the overall brand vocabulary, with outlined use cases that allow it to work alongside the new logo.

We chose primary and secondary fonts that would work in every possible application and pair together nicely to maximize style, legibility, and usability.

Our brand color palette features the existing Tabor Red with a new Midnight Blue, complemented by a new secondary Ocean Blue, a crisp white, and a new Fog Grey neutral shade. By introducing Midnight Blue, Tabor was able to move away from black in many use cases – adding a fresh new nautical-inspired feel to their branded materials.

To help the Tabor team envision how all of these elements would come to life and work together in fresh new ways, we developed a series of sample applications – including visitor passes, hoodies, stationery, and hanging banners.

Finally, we developed a photography guide to help guide the Tabor team as they look to build up their photo library with images that are on brand, consistent, and differentiated in their look, feel, and approach.

All of this direction was gathered into a comprehensive and easy-to-use brand guide so the Tabor team could all work off the same page (literally).


Like any big change, the new visual identity at Tabor has its fans and its skeptics – you might even say that it rocked the boat – and the school’s marketing team has done an excellent job educating its community about the reasons behind the change, the strategy and collaboration that went into its development, and the exciting new opportunities it’s already providing to the school. Hear about how Tabor launched its new logo to their school community here.

It’s been so great to see Tabor Academy start to apply their new brand and use it in real life – including an award-winning new website design, compelling logo animations, lightpost banners on campus, and their athletics logo that received a facelift and an update from black to Midnight Blue. 

“Working with Metric on our visual identity project brought a new level of clarity and direction to Tabor Academy's branding efforts. Their team provided the expertise, adaptability, and collaborative spirit necessary to navigate our project's complexities and deliver a brand identity that truly represents our school and our vision for the future. Their team demonstrated exceptional patience, adaptability to our evolving deadlines, and a deep commitment to understanding and incorporating our feedback. Metric's collaborative approach, especially in their coordination with EdwardsCo for brand messaging, was instrumental in refining our vision into a vibrant and forward-looking visual identity. Their willingness to revisit designs and present new ideas based on our input showcased their dedication to achieving excellence. The professionalism and positive partnership of the Metric team made them feel like an extension of our own, elevating the project beyond our expectations. We are thrilled with the results and look forward to future opportunities to collaborate.” - Stacy Jagodowski, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications, Tabor Academy

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