Stafford House, owned by CATS Education Group, is an international group of high-quality English language schools that put community and experience at the heart of their business.  

CATS approached Mystery for help with a rebranding exercise, keen to draw on our experience branding and designing restaurants with the idea of translating the attention to customer comfort and experience into an educational space.    

We were tasked with overseeing the whole rebranding process, including brand identity, marketing material and bespoke interior design concepts for the existing and new sites.

Following a brand positioning process, we re-positioned the school as a place for personal development, leaning heavily on the “Explorer” brand archetype to convey the business’s focus on empowering and encouraging their students in all aspects – both extracurricular as well as academic – to give them the confidence they need as a young adult looking forward to their future. 

In order to convey the international focus of the brand, Stafford House School of English was changed to Stafford House International, using ‘Explore Your English’ as a strapline to highlight both the international element and the sense of adventure of the explorer archetype. 

We re-designed the logo (incorporating the lion motif) and introduced the Stafford House Lions, conceived during a strategic brand positioning process, following to create a sense of a proud community for the graduates and alumni and help generate an effective advocacy platform for the schools. 

Stafford House required an entirely new set of sales and marketing collateral, including prospectuses, brochures and various new graphics to be used across all collateral including their website. 

Mystery was asked to design the overall look and feel, colour concept for the sites’ entire space, while developing and defining key zones within the site, including reception area, break-out spaces and student lounge.  The idea was to create an exciting hospitality-style environment that would distinguish Stafford House from its competitors through a branded interior experience.

Each site is location-specific and aims to reference the heritage, culture and industry of its location. No matter the building’s structure, each site is also designed to be bright, inspirational and youthful, yet at the same time comfortable, welcoming and like a home from home for the students.  

The result is a warm, welcoming and fun space that both excites and inspires students to learn, yet gives them a sense of home and family. This feeling is neatly summed up with the large “Hello Future” sign at reception. 

In collaboration with local architects, Mystery has now designed the sites for San Francisco, San Diego, Calgary, Toronto and Brighton.