Guildford School of Acting (GSA) website and brand
tradition meets innovation – rebrand brings
250,000 visitors to GSA website


  • Rebrand consultancy
  • Brand guidelines
  • Brand collateral redesign
  • WordPress, mobile ready website design and build
  • Prospectus print brochure and leaflet
  • Ongoing marketing
  • Ongoing marketing

Guildford School of Acting has long blended tradition with innovation and has an international reputation as a provider of high-quality vocational arts education. Its move to join the School of Arts at the University of Surrey was a tough challenge for GSA to maintain its unrivalled, valued identity, while embedding its sense of self within a different culture.

The University of Surrey’s state-of-the-art facilities, strong central support and opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration brought great benefits to GSA’s students, but GSA’s brand and marketing collateral needed to catch up with this new phase of its journey.

The Brief

Preface won a competitive bid to review and renew GSA’s existing branding. We showed how GSA’s existing brand didn’t reflect the benefits for prospective students. It also didn’t speak to students directly, or showcase the cutting-edge technology and innovative facilities on offer.

The Solution

We soon saw that, rather than throwing away GSA’s rich history, its heritage was a key element of its brand. So we included its founding year “est. 1935” within the new look to permeate an undercurrent of solidity and expertise. GSA’s new creative contemporary architecture was also striking enough to echo within the branding itself, so we created the line running through the logo. This brandmark is a simple graphic device that creates a relationship between the tradition of GSA and the bright future ahead. It’s a positive mark which highlights progression and growth.
We created a new brand for GSA powerful enough to take it into the future. We worked across all communications media: identity, brand guidelines, prospectus, website, advertising templates and stationery – to ensure consistency of message within a visual landscape.

We have now been working with GSA for three years to produce the annual prospectus and have just completed the 2015 prospectus – this time consisting of nine booklets showcasing the undergraduate, postgraduate and MA courses to allow for more targeted marketing.
We’ve also recently upgraded the rebranded website to make it mobile friendly.

The Results

In the last year the website received nearly 250,000 visits: 18% mobile and 14% on tablet, with each visitor spending between two and three minutes on the site. Since updating to a mobile ready site in November 2013, there has been a 21% increase in visitors in eight months, compared to that time period in the previous year. The bounce rate also reduced by 14%.

Download PDF Case Study

The new brand has been fully adopted and commended by the University of Surrey and we continue to work with GSA to develop their communications. We’re very proud of the feedback we have had from GSA:

“Preface achieved a great deal for us in a short time. It was important that the new brand identity communicated GSA’s heritage, its position as a conservatoire and its vision for the future. Preface achieved this in a structured, informed and above all creative manner. We look forward to working with Preface in the future.”

Emma Gray, GSA


Ideas on wall

Est 1935 mark

Business card proofs

White GSA logo on black

Letterhead, business card and compliment slip

Prospectus cover

Silver foil logo

GSA prospectus pages

GSA prospectus pages

Colourful prospectus page

Colourful photo

Large GSA banners

Prospectus cover

GSA prospectus cover

Website on laptop

Website on laptop

Website on iPhone

Pile of GSA prospectus'

Folded leaflet

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Arps Patel Avatar

by Arps Patel
Managing Director

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Contact details

Preface Studios Ltd
1, Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7QR
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Phone: +44 (0) 1252 820 022