St. Gilgen International School

  1. St. Gilgen macht Schule — again


    In September 2009, we had the honour of working with the world-renowned St. Gilgen International School to craft a radically new and fresh approach to academic branding, that would reflect the school’s unique stance on quality education.

    Encouraged by the success of its online platform, the school recently approached us with another challenge: translating their highly dynamic and fluid website into a printed brochure, making sure we took advantage of all this high-touch medium has to offer — permanence, high-resolution images, gorgeous type…

    The resulting brochure retains the visual language we introduced with the site, starting with the strong, unabashedly traditional crest, and the constant layering of frames and perspectives.

    By putting images in close spacial relationship, we enhance both their kinship and their dissonance, thereby inviting the reader to imagine the stories and events that make them go together.

    Nothing, not even a multimedia website, replaces the vivid colours of the mind and we made sure the imagery both represented and suggested the reality of the school: there are no clip-arts or bromides to be found there!

    While the medium may not be all the message, it certainly accounts for a lot of it. Therefore, the school’s core values of excellence and self actualisation are evidenced in the materials used for the brochure. Thick, tactile paper and highly saturated inks help the photos, drawings and type spring to life in ways that a vertical screen could never afford. This brochure is like the values it promotes: modern but deeply rooted in tradition and, most of all, here to stay!

    We are delighted to see the new St. Gilgen aesthetic, which wollzelle originally devised as a primarily online language, progressively evolve into the school’s trade dress, the sure sign of a solid and flourishing brand that has found its one true voice.

    Feeling inspired? Let’s make something together today!
  2. St. Gilgen macht Schule


    The St. Gilgen International School offers a novel perspective on education by immersing students in a unique setting, the typically Austrian village of St. Gilgen, and helping them shape their minds and personalities through repeated interaction with this pristine environment, as well as the thriving community it fosters.

    Much like St. Gilgen, the School, and St. Gilgen, the village, are immersive experiences, we at wollzelle wanted the institution’s website to draw the visitor in a unique, interactive, self-paced adventure. Building upon powerful cutting-edge technologies like Flash 10 (including the new 3D API) and HTML 5, the site allows the visitor to experience for himself the sights and sounds of this jewel of the Wolfgangsee. At St. Gilgen, the school is the village, and the village is the school.

    The project takes roots in the output of photographers, painters and writers whose works were instrumental in crafting the school’s original vision. We set up a fluid creative process, around a dialogue between the school’s founder, a renowned architect by day, and wollzelle’s creative think-tank. Throughout our brainstorming sessions, we defined the ideal visitor experience, and balanced our client’s dream with our own views on design and interactivity.

    The result of this unique process has little to do with your average business web site. Instead, we like to think of it as an art project, an experience, a true reflection of what we felt during our own stays at St. Gilgen, of the school’s latent and patent views on education. Much like the school allows students to develop and expand their minds over time, the site evolves and progressively deepens, the longer the visitor explores it.

    Creating a truly immersive experience requires skilful blending of images and sound, which we achieved in two complementary ways. Throughout the web site, context-appropriate sound effects, taken live at St. Gilgen, allow the visitor to associate a sound, a feeling, with the environment they find themselves in. For example, the visit of the school is accompanied by sound-bites taken from classrooms or the school’s central plaza. Of course, we have taken image and sound all the way to video as well, by filming a special school tour, headed by the webmaster himself. This sequence walks prospective parents and students throughout the school, as well as throughout the school’s philosophy and values.

    Unlike many educational institutions, St. Gilgen opened its doors wide, allowing us to delve deep into its history, interview current students and highlight the many little architectural details that give the place its soul. Indeed, History is also a key part of the school’s personality. Did you know, for example, that the administration building once was the summer residence of Marie Ebner-Eschenbach?

    Visitors in a hurry can access a convenient PDF page, from which all documentation, forms and, generally speaking, printed matter related to the school, can be downloaded in a single click. This synoptic view gives immediate access to application procedures, learning processes, teacher bios and more, thereby replacing the need to refer to a bulky paper brochure.

    Music is part of the site’s quintessential experience. The theme song, typical of the salzkammergut, was composed by local musician Hubert von Goisern.

    The St. Gilgen International School web site was a challenge to imagine and create. We hope you find it as enjoyable to visit as we did the school itself, and, as always, are looking forwards to hearing your thoughts.

    Feeling inspired? Let’s make something together today!