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Princeton Theological Seminary Case Study

Reimagining a 200-Year-Old Institution

About Princeton Theological Seminary

Founded in 1812, Princeton Theological Seminary is a bastion of critical thinking and social engagement. The Seminary’s roster of alumni includes martyrs, activists, poets, writers, politicians, ministers, and theologians. This diverse collective of alumni has comforted the world in times of grief, given their lives fighting for the oppressed, broken barriers, led movements, and shaped Christian thought for generations.

Princeton Theological Seminary has always been known as one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in the country and abroad. However, much of this credit was due to the Seminary’s rich past. While much has changed since the Seminary was founded, the outward-facing expression of the brand did not reflect that change and the organizational storytelling was not future-facing.

Starting Question

How do we build on the historical significance of the Seminary while creating a compelling vision for the future?

Our Work

Our work coincided with a major initiative within the Seminary to rethink external and internal communications. Within that scope, our work focused on the Brand & Narrative as well as setting a foundation for a new web experience.

01. Brand & Narrative

Our work started with interviews of students, alumni, and faculty to establish current perceptions of the Seminary’s brand. Those interviews turned into insights we used to build the updated brand. Our primary focus centered on marrying the historical aspects of the Seminary with its innovative new initiatives. This gave us the visual language we needed to build from the past, while developing a fresh perspective.

02. Website

On the digital front, our challenge was to take a website with tens of thousands of disparate pages and transform it into a mobile-responsive, streamlined presence. We began by determining and narrowing the website’s target audience. After creating user journeys, we mapped out an information architecture that was deliberately focused on the needs of potential students and donors. Utilizing the design language that FiveStone established in the branding process, we then built a website that is aesthetically and navigationally excellent, while also designed to achieve business goals across multiple devices.

“We have a bold vision for the future of the Seminary, and a critical step was to re-imagine the brand and narrative of such a storied institution. Our faculty, students, and alumni are all thrilled with the outcome and we are excited to continue our partnership with FiveStone in the next steps of our strategy.”

Dr. Shane Berg, Vice President for External Relations
Princeton Theological Seminary

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