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Case study: Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design Rewrites the Rules on Recruitment with Its New Website

Case study: Savannah College of Art and Design

Open Source Drupal Backed by the Security of Acquia Cloud Allows University to Stay Focused on Creativity

As a private, nonprofit design school, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) relies on its website to represent the artistic brand of the university. Its site serves two main purposes: to attract new students and strengthen the university’s reputation within the art and design industry.

“We’re getting projects out the door quicker, focusing on our recruitment goals, and thinking in ways we never thought possible.”
— Ian Leslie, Executive Director of Interactive Services for SCAD

The Challenge

The original SCAD.edu website evolved from several different content management systems (CMS), but with the rapid growth of its digital presence on campus, the university felt that multiple platforms were too difficult to manage. Everything was a one-off, and SCAD had limited means of reusing design elements.

So the university began its search for a platform that would serve as a foundation for future growth—one that supported innovation and rapid design development. Further, SCAD has become known for its signature events, including the annual student fashion show SCAD Style and the annual fine and contemporary art show deFINE Art, and was looking for a way to quickly build and launch engaging microsites to support those initiatives.

The Solution

After testing Drupal 7 on a few smaller sites, SCAD decided on the modular, open source platform for SCAD.edu. The school worked on the web development and design, and delivered the site.

“We felt we could move quicker with Drupal,” says Eddie Edenfield, Technical Director of Interactive Services at SCAD. “After starting with smaller sites, we decided to build SCAD.edu with smarter, goal-driven objectives, and Drupal fit the bill. Over an eight month process, we rebuilt everything from the ground up.”

When developing a new concept, the SCAD.edu team prefers to test and iterate continually. Acquia Cloud supports that creative process. It handles the behind-the-scenes infrastructure, so SCAD doesn’t have to worry about servers and hardware.

Instead, the university can simply focus on creating a great website. So they don’t have to go live too soon, Acquia’s workflow feature lets SCAD conveniently stage and test designs before releasing them to production.

The Results

Today, SCAD.edu is a sleek and progressive site that appeals to prospective students, other academic institutions, and a global community. SCAD built the site using a combination of modules to achieve responsive design, including panels, pictures, breakpoints, a Bootstrap base theme, and more. This ensures optimal viewing on any device, including mobile.

The university also gained a new level of agility and efficiency with its new web platform. For instance, as the interactive team builds microsites to support signature events, SCAD has been able to bring them all under the SCAD.edu umbrella. Sharing a single code base has created a streamlined design-and-build process and efficiencies across the entire process.

“We were able to take seven or eight of these events, and using Drupal modules and hooks, quickly create a visually unique experience within the framework,” says Ian Leslie, Executive Director of Interactive Services for SCAD.

Recently, SCAD took advantage of Acquia Site Factory’s multisite capability to launch a Chinese/English multilingual site for its Hong Kong location.SCAD’s new website is an extensible solution that fits into the school’s growth strategy.

Built by creative individuals for a creative community, it is an artistic and functional success—all backed by the reliability and security of Acquia.“We’re getting projects out the door quicker, focusing on our recruitment goals, and thinking in ways we never thought possible,” says Leslie.

After starting with smaller sites, we decided to build SCAD.edu with smarter, goal-driven objectives in mind, and Drupal fit the bill.”
Eddie Edenfield
Technical Director of Interactive Services at SCAD

Company Information

Savannah College of Art and Design
Drupal user since 2011
Acquia customer since 2013
Success Enabled with...
  • Acquia Cloud Enterprise off-site hosting