When Springdale College in South Carolina contacted us about using sunglasses for their incoming freshman class, our Art Department was asked if we had the traditional school font that is known as freshmen font. Well, we sure do!
For many years, Springdale College has been a customer of ours. Each year, they included a pair of high quality sunglasses in the school colors in the packet that each freshman class receives as part of their initiation into the school.
The students also receive maps of the campus, a Student Directory that includes the telephone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses of key members of the College Administration, Dining Services, Student Grievance Services and the Infirmary, etc. They began to include a pair of sunglasses in each of these packets, with the name of the college imprinted on one side and the graduation year featuring the phrase Class of 2018, for example, personalized on the other side are of the sunglasses.
When the college first began to distribute the sunglasses, they realized what a huge impact the sunglasses would have on creating a group sense for these incoming students. Incoming students of a freshman class are just teenagers from different parts of the country. These students are not a group, rather they are just individual teens coming to a place that will have to become a group quickly.
The school found the sunglasses with their class name customized on the arm became a very fast inexpensive way for unrelated individuals to suddenly share something in common.
When the student put on the sunglasses, they can identify very quickly each other as members of the same group. And so cohesion and friendships begin to form with the simple addition of sunglasses as a icebreaking idea.
The school further found several interesting experiences began to emerge. The first is that the students held onto their sunglasses for all four years that they were in school. To have the sunglasses became a badge of honor for a student to wear them the sunglasses they were given as freshmen to their Senior Class graduation ceremony. When this first occurred, four years after the college began to distribute the sunglasses, the school administration was completely surprised and taken aback by the large percentage of the graduating class who still had those four-year old sunglasses.
The second interesting phenomenon to emerge was that 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students began to wear their class sunglasses during the first week of school each year. It became a trend. Students would wear their class sunglasses for the first week of school. Was this in solidarity with the incoming class? Was this to show off that this student still had their class sunglasses? We don't know. What we do know is that we love getting a phone call the season that starts our process to create yet another class nearest sunglasses for this wonderful college.
Note: Our customer stories are composites of actual customer backgrounds. Locations and names have been changed to protect our customer's privacy.