Pharos Academy

Lighting the Way: Pharos Academy’s Journey to a Standout School Brand

Pharos Academy, a K-12 public charter school in the Bronx, partnered with Commence Studio to develop a bold institutional identity and an engaging website. The project aimed to reflect the school’s forward-thinking vision and inspire students and faculty alike.





Bronx, NY USA


Business type



Creating an Inspirational and Recognizable Identity

Pharos Academy needed a brand identity that resonated with students, faculty, and the broader community as they broke out from their parent company into their own entity. The challenge was to create a modern, flexible design system that reinforced the school’s commitment to education and achievement in one of New York City’s lowest-performing districts.


Developing a Dynamic Brand and Engaging Web Presence

Brand Identity

A Brand that Resonates with Students and Faculty Commence Studio collaborated with founding principal Travis Brown and the school’s directors to create an identity that encourages exploration and intellectual curiosity. The brand elements were designed to inspire and motivate the school community.

A Guiding Light Pharos Academy, named after the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria, stands as a beacon of light and achievement. Commence Studio developed a graphic toolkit that provided creative flexibility and strong brand recognition. The primary mark combines the monogram “P” and “A” with a lighthouse, symbolizing guidance and enlightenment.

School Crests and Mascots The school believes in the power of team, or “CREW,” as they call it. We designed a set of crests to represent this concept. Additionally, we created a series of designs featuring the seagull, the school mascot, reflecting the lighthouse theme and adding a sense of community spirit.

Illustrating Community Culture To support Pharos Academy’s values of Radical Inclusivity, Collaborative Curiosity, and Storytelling, we developed illustrations that visually communicate these principles, fostering a positive and inclusive school culture.

Web Development

Showcasing the Brand Online After establishing the brand identity, we moved on to web design and development. The goal was to create a digital space that was easily navigable for prospective staff, students, and their families.

Custom Framework and Interactive Pages We built a fully customized framework for the Pharos Academy website, ensuring quick and easy navigation. The design incorporated unconventional layouts to bring a refreshing look while maintaining usability and professionalism.

Visual Storytelling The website was designed to match Pharos Academy’s sentiment of encouraging unique pathways. Through interactive pages and visual storytelling, we highlighted the school’s commitment to fostering individual growth and achievement.

Merchandise and Environmental Design

School Merchandise Design Inspired by sports branding and streetwear, we created merchandise that conveyed a “cool to stay in school” message, appealing to both students and staff.

Brand Systems for the Halls Banner designs were developed to showcase the school’s brand throughout the hallways, evoking a sense of pride and familiarity for students.


Empowering and Inspiring the School Community

The new brand identity and website significantly enhanced Pharos Academy’s visibility and engagement. The modern and flexible design system inspired students and faculty, reinforcing the school’s values and commitment to excellence.


Building a Recognizable and Inspirational Brand

The collaboration with Pharos Academy resulted in a bold and dynamic brand identity that resonates with the school community. The engaging website and visually appealing merchandise fostered a sense of pride and motivation among students and staff.

"The new identity perfectly captures Pharos Academy’s values. The modern design system and engaging website have elevated our school's presence and inspired our community. Commence Studio’s work has been transformative."


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