The prospectus or brochure is often the first impression that a parent or prospective student has of the school or college. We all know how first impressions count, so what does your prospectus say about your school or college? Oyster has been working with schools and colleges for some time and we’ve got some tips on the process and considerations involved in designing your school or college prospectus or brochure.

Making decisions

Very often the first point of reference when considering a school will be your prospectus. First impressions are critical, a bad start is hard to overcome, a good one is a big stride in the right direction. Selecting a school is a fairly prescriptive process – you read the prospectus, (visit the school website) and then, if the impression is good, you visit the school. The school visit is probably when you make your decision but the prospectus will shape your attitude before you visit, or at worst prevent you from making that visit!

Bedales Prospectus

Design and message

The values and character of your school need to radiate from your prospectus. It sounds simple but actually it’s a refined process that needs a lot of thought. People don’t want to wade through reams of copy or endure a flat copy style, so how you deliver the written message is critical. Images are the first point of reference for the eye, we interpret a great deal from pictures of people. Paper stock and size will influence the look and feel. Design and layout need to make the prospectus easy to view and of course look fantastic!

Eastergate Prospectus

Creating your prospectus

At Oyster we like to take you through a fairly detailed process to make sure have all the information we need to design a prospectus that promotes your school in its very best light. We start by showing you a range of other prospectuses. We find out what you like and what you don’t. Then we tend to chat a lot about the school, what’s important to you, what are your school’s core values and why your school and your team make it a special place to be. We will ask for a potential parents tour and also to speak to some of your key staff. Only then do we stand back and take a view.

The next step is to present you with a range of initial visuals. We’ll show you some different ideas and get your feedback before agreeing the right direction and developing the prospectus. We keep talking with you all the way and our online management system means you can follow progress, view visuals, see agreed timescales and send messages without requiring email. The whole project is archived online, so anytime you need to refer to an action or download a visual you can.

West Dean Prospectus

The Results

The end result is a prospectus that will sell your school and it’s character and values to prospective students and parents. Lots of our clients decide to work with Oyster on a variety of projects. If you would like to discuss your requirements with Oyster, please get in touch.

Oyster is a full service marketing and design agency based in Emsworth in Hampshire.  We specialise in helping schools and colleges to market themselves effectively in a tough economy. We’d love to work with your school or college too.  For more information please call 01243 389713 and speak to Kharran, our education specialist. Alternatively email

We've created a whole section of our site about the work we do for school and colleges, you can visit it here: