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October 24, 2023

Celebrating 20 years of Effat University

Sam Forster-Spira
Client Services Director
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We've worked with Effat university for over two decades

It’s been 20 years since Effat University opened its doors. And, not just any doors. Effat was the first private higher education institution for females in Saudi Arabia.

Founded in 1999 by Queen Effat (wife of King Faisal Bin Abdulaziz), her eponymous legacy began with just seven students and three programs: Information Systems, Psychology, and English Language and Translation.

Today, Effat has expanded into four distinct colleges covering business, engineering, humanities, and architecture and design. It delivers world-class education to nurture a new generation of female leaders. And Proctors has been with them since the start.

It’s more than a university. It’s a vision. It’s a home. It’s a future.

Over the course of the last 20 years, Effat has gone from strength to strength, gaining international recognition and ranking accreditations.

This February, their annual graduation ceremony was like no other. It was an opportunity to reflect on the last two decades, to tell Queen Effat’s story, and to celebrate its amazing people and achievements.

Proctors has been working with this inspiring educational institution since its inception, helping to craft their brand from the ground up and support its flourishing success. Subsequently, we had a pretty big role to play in the huge 20-Years Celebration event.

The ideas hub

Our ideas hub is collaborative. It’s our designers, our writers, our videographers, our animators, and our account managers. Everyone has a vital part to play.

Effat’s brand gives us a lot of creative freedom and we’ve always utilised this freedom to make bold, eye-catching design choices, while staying true to the brand identity and positioning.

So, when it came to the event starting blocks – the logo and visual theme – our lead designer, Katie, was in her element. In the very first stages of planning, and amidst lots of free-flowing ideas, she made sure we kept two key things in mind:

That the 20-Years Celebration logo needed to complement the existing Effat logo.
That this was just the start, and our list of applications and collateral wasn’t yet clearly defined.

We needed to be creative, yet flexible.

Design acceleration

After 20 years working with Effat, we’re used to keeping their brand consistent across collateral, dual language requirements and deadlines. We’re also well versed in supporting their growth.

At the beginning of a six-month lead-up to the event, we began with invites, envelopes and pull-up banners.

Soon, we were taking it beyond the ordinary, and rolling out beautiful brand designs across all touchpoints – from the tiny details, such as golden lapel pins, email signatures, gowns, sashes and graduation hats, all the way through to videos, the celebratory book and a freestanding model.

Katie’s sharp brand ambassador eye was on every element, as she designed for impact and excitement, while staying true to Effat’s core identity.

Telling the 20-year story

Condensing Effat’s history was always going to be a challenge – there are so many stories to tell! So, we approached the narrative and design of the 160-page celebration book in a way that would capture the essence of the university.

We wanted to let Effat speak for itself. To empower the people who have driven, and continue to drive, its success.

Each spread captures key stories from each college and highlights some of the inspirational leaders that have driven the university’s success.

It reflects their vision, honours their achievements, and voices their passion ­– using their views and their words.

The 20-Years Celebration book was a high-spec, luxury memento for Effat University. It was to be presented to special guests and long-standing faculty members; those who have invested their lives into the progress and development of the institution.

So, it needed to be special.

For maximum visual impact, we worked with several print suppliers to produce a stunning hardback book and slipcase with silver-foiled, embossed logos.

It’s coffee table worthy, and an impactful display of our talents, and theirs.

Visual impact

We also rolled out three 20-Year Celebration videos – shown at the event on enormous 25m screens.

There were three important stories to tell:

1. The students’ story. The video reflects their energy. It’s an uplifting and high-tempo focus on their experience and their achievements.

2. The alumnae story. What happens after Effat? See how students follow their dreams to not only forge a career but make a real difference to society.

3. A signature tale. We tell the design story behind Effat’s logo and the real connection it has to Queen Effat. Simple, powerful CGI.

The Effat 20-Years Celebration was a huge undertaking for us. We made the most of our multi-talented team and gathered resource from across the studio to deliver greater and greater results as the project grew and grew.

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