What does your report card design say about your school? Design is more than a style or trend. Good design builds meaning and communicates values, which also applies to report cards. The overall layout of your school’s report card informs readers of your school’s key priorities, and the information that stands out should tell the story of your institution’s values. The secret to a successfully designed report card is the intentional inclusion of three essential elements.
What are you trying to communicate? Are soft skills like leadership and flexibility of equal value to hard skills like computer programming and foreign language proficiency? Do the core subjects of math and science carry a stronger weight on the grading scale than other subjects like geography or history? Perhaps you want to express that progress of character and conduct is just as important as academics.
The deliberate design of report cards will communicate the values which are most important at your school.
How do you want to communicate these ideas? There are many options. Narrative comments, numbered comments, standards, traditional letter grades, and layout all assist you in expressing what is of the highest value at your school. For example, by designing report cards with a religious header such as “Bible,” your design reflects the prominence of religious studies at your school. When special subjects such as art, music, or athletics use the same grading scale as the academic subjects, then your school’s report card tells the story of such subjects sharing equal academic importance. Likewise, different grading scales can reflect those subjects which are given prominence over others at your institution.
Your Signature Style
How are you communicating your school’s unique style? Style is how you communicate who the school is. This is communicated in your report card’s layout, your school’s logo, a watermark, your school’s mission, and all elements depicting your institution’s name. These components work cohesively to brand your school and embody the reason the students, parents, and staff choose to be a part of your institution.
There is no mystery to good report card design. By focusing on what is important, how you want to showcase that, and your school’s signature style, you can design a report card that accurately represents your values and school mission. You can highlight those components that make your school unique. And you can tell the story of what makes your institution great.