Home History books Compass Greater Atlanta and SCAD: A Match for the History Books

Compass Greater Atlanta and SCAD: A Match for the History Books


Atlanta is full of diverse people from all walks of life and of all ages. Families have lived here for generations and new faces from different corners of the globe seemingly move here daily. It’s a mix of old and new, traditional and progressive, classic and modern. It makes perfect sense that an innovative design institution like the Savannah College of Art and Design would call Atlanta home.

Moving to an area where there is so much cultural diversity can make connecting with the community difficult for anyone, including businesses. Compass, a national luxury real estate brokerage firm, opened its flagship office in Buckhead in 2018 and has expanded to four offices in the Atlanta metro area. Although the brand has grown successfully during the pandemic, it has faced limitations in developing partnerships with its new home.

In late 2021, Alex Page, Head of Luxury in the South East at Compass, began researching some of the city’s most influential cultural institutions that aligned with Compass’ mission in order to make meaningful connections. He identified one of the best ways to connect a brand to the community by supporting its arts, culture and history. Through education, he wanted to collaborate with the city’s budding creatives, and the SCADpro program was the obvious choice to achieve that goal.

“We are thrilled to partner with SCADpro and help shape the next generation of innovators, artists and doers,” said Page. “Education and innovation are key parts of the Compass culture, and as a brand built on leveraging technology to enhance the relationship experience, I knew the SCADpro collaboration would create something amazing to share with Atlanta.”

SCAD-pro, a collaborative design studio offered by SCAD, connects its creative young students with Fortune 500 companies looking for inventive solutions. The Savannah and Atlanta campuses of prime design institution offer these entrepreneurial opportunities to their ambitious students every academic term.

Classes of 10-15 students are led by one or two SCAD professors to dream up creative solutions to real-world problems that big brands present. Some examples of companies that have participated in previous Atlanta-based SCADpro collaborations are CNN, Coca-Cola, and Delta producing products and campaigns that have been rolled out internationally.

Coincidentally, the students selected to participate in the Compass x SCADpro collaboration closely mirrored the brand’s target community. Thanks to SCAD’s diverse student body, passionate graduates and undergraduates from countries like China, Germany, Iran, Indonesia, India, Korea, the United States and the United States. ‘South Africa, they specialize in graphic design, advertising, industrial design, user experience, writing, and more. Together, the students immediately immersed themselves in the Compass brand to better understand the challenge facing Compass and conceptualize innovative solutions. Graphic design professor Sam Eckersley and foundations professor Margot Ecke were the SCAD faculty members overseeing the project.

Page and the rest of the Compass team met with the students to make presentations and present the overall vision for the collaboration. Sitting in the SCADpro lecture hall with freshly baked cookies and 15 eager students ready for a challenge, Compass began a valuable professional partnership.

“While Compass initially had a clear focus, they approached SCAD with an open mind and really challenged students to think big,” Eckersley said.

Maintaining an open dialogue throughout the term, there were several touchpoints where students had the opportunity to connect with various members of the Compass team such as marketing, technology, leadership and luxury section. One of the most valuable experiences for the students was visiting the office of Compass Buckhead where they spoke with some of the top real estate agents for a question and answer session to better understand the real estate industry and current trends in the market.

After the visit, it was clear to the students that Compass needed something innovative that would connect the brand to its new home. They wanted to create a product that was perfectly suited to the needs of Compass, an Atlanta-specific show. Before they could do that, they had to fully understand the intricacies of Atlanta, its people, and its real estate market.

Led by a student creative director, a strategy lead and a design lead, the class broke into sub-groups focusing on different areas of the campaign. The students began their in-depth research followed by a formal presentation of their proposal. They presented seven key concepts to the Compass team, all of which were meant to celebrate the Greater Atlanta community and bring Compass closer to it. Concepts ranged from physical structures like murals and sculptures to digital campaigns like virtual maps and treasure hunts. Graphic designs, copy and physical deliverables were all masterfully created by the SCADpro class.

From these initial concepts, Compass chose two options that best fit the objective and after constructive feedback, the students developed these proposals. The reimagined ideas were pitched and a winning campaign was selected: an interactive digital experience that highlights and celebrates Atlanta’s history.

“One of Atlanta’s most valuable resources is its historic architecture,” Page said. “Each historic site has years of stories that have shaped Atlanta’s heritage. That’s why we felt so drawn to this specific concept. This legacy will continue to grow over time, and we want to both celebrate it and be part of it. »

The students proceeded to finalize the elements. They considered every detail right through to the final presentation experience, carefully curating stunning artwork, masterful graphic designs, and professional-grade prototypes in a matter of weeks.

Upon completion of the program, Compass retained three SCADpro students as summer marketing interns. Working closely with Page and his team, they gained hands-on experience and developed the campaign that began in their SCADpro classroom. What began as an idea led by students at one of the state’s premier institutions has blossomed under the professional guidance of Compass. Now Atlanta will soon experience the perfect blend of art, culture, education, and history.

Be on the lookout for a new historical experience, called the Atlanta Legacy Trail presented by Compass, launching in early spring 2023!