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There’s one audience, in particular, that’s on every higher education institution’s minds come spring: prospective college students.
However, these young men and women, faced with the task of choosing a major, a university, sometimes even a roommate, are bombarded with catalogs, brochures, pamphlets, emails, and digital ads touting the dozens of different ways each college option is the best. How’s a person to choose?
Jim Nistico, founder of Proforma Infinity, a promotional product distributor based in New York, realized this problem when he was approached by SUNY Canton. They wanted a piece that would cut through the college clutter and stand out from the crowd.
“I developed a relationship with [Red Paper Plane] and asked for some samples,” Jim said. “I showcased those samples to my clients who, I knew, wanted some creativity in their marketing. One was the Flapper®.”
The Flapper®, a patented design trademarked by Structural Graphics, is a unique piece that folds into itself allowing for multiple panels to showcase graphics and brand messaging. Not only can it be customized on RedPaperPlane.com, but it also ships flat and can be shipped in a transparent sleeve addressed to the recipient.
“They just fell in love with it,” Jim said. “They were playing with it and they handed it off to each different department, trying to break it. They couldn’t so, you know, they were like, ‘Wow! This is really durable’ and decided to go forward with a recruiting piece for all their prospective high school students that wanted to attend their college.”
The origami-style Flapper® allowed roughly 4,000 recipients to discover facts about SUNY Canton, such as student-to-faculty ratio, athletic and academic degree offerings, student life and more. The compact, easy-to-carry reference brochure was utilized by the Admissions Office during visits to college fairs and high schools.
The piece was such a hit, in fact, that they received a State University of New York Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) excellence in design award for it.
“SUNY stands for State University of New York, which has dozens of campuses statewide,” Jim said.
“So there are technical schools and engineering schools and this was just a perfect complement to the kind of people that they wanted to recruit.”
But it wasn’t just the students who were happy with the piece; SUNY Canton was, too. According to Jim, they’re always looking for ways to “raise the bar” and, with an extensive print background, it’s not easy.
“All the other schools out there, they just have catalogs. They just have eight-and-a-half-by-eleven pieces or maybe a flashy aqueous coating piece. That’s not this piece,” Jim said. “The students or the prospective students pick it up and they play with it. They set the other pieces down because this is a two-hander and they’re just mesmerized by it.”