Gold "Brilliance" Award for Groton Viewbook

Groton School’s admission materials have won gold, the highest honor, in the “Printed Viewbook/Prospectus” category of InspirEd’s Brilliance Awards.

The school viewbook and three pamphlets, designed by Stoltze Design Group, received praise for layout and design, photography, messaging, and concept. 

Groton’s team asked Stoltze to approach the primary piece, a viewbook with the theme “dynamic equilibrium,” more as an art book than a traditional viewbook—reliant on visuals to set a mood and tell a story rather than on extensive written content. "The approach enabled student stories and insights to become the real star of these publications,” said creative director Clif Stoltze. 

Both contemporary and traditional, the viewbook design captures Groton’s progressive mindset as well as its reverence for school traditions and history—one example of the dynamic equilibrium. “For many applicants, coming to Groton is a chance to ‘find their people,’ and that’s why our viewbook is centered on student profiles,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Ian Gracey. “The accompanying publications were woven together by a clever design team, with excellent photography and thoughtful writing— a collaboration that ultimately achieved dynamic equilibrium.”

Rounding out the suite of materials is a facts brochure, an informational booklet called “20 Questions, 19 Answers,” and “Mentors,” a compilation of faculty profiles.

Among the judges’ comments:

“First off, it's lovely to look at. Next, there's a lot of material here, but it's not boring. There's always something new to see and think about.” 

“The layout, colors, photos, and graphics are beautiful. The information is well organized and easy to navigate. For me, the star is the “Mentors” booklet. I love the deep dive into the teachers that make the school special. Also, the photography is stunning.”

“The separate booklets work, especially the one called "20 Questions, 19 Answers." Of course, I wanted to see which question they didn't answer.”

“Engaging and often witty, the booklets talk straight—not down—to the reader.”

Besides Mr. Stoltze, contributing to the project were Stoltze Senior Art Director Brian Azer, written content provider Thurston-Lighty Ltd., and photographer Tom Kates. 

Created primarily for families applying to Groton today, the materials also captured the imagination of a wide range of Grotonians. A 1959 Groton graduate commented, “For me, their most notable achievement is the deft way they present the school as an institution that is totally recognizable to an alum of my antiquity despite being heavily reinvented and adapted to modern reality over the more than sixty years since my graduation. Change rarely preserves this balance."