Willamette University

Willamette University sought in-depth strategy, brand development, and a new website.

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Visits to the Campus
Drones Lost & Found
Workshops & Interviews

Founded in 1842, Willamette University is a prestigious and historic Oregon University.

Willamette University came to us looking for foundational changes in how they message, market, and engage their audience in order to increase enrollment. We began the process with workshops, focus groups, interviews, brand audits, and more in order to fully understand their opportunities.

Willamette University User Journey Map


We visited Willamette University to conduct workshops and focus groups. These sessions were key to understanding the university’s core values and how those resonate throughout their departments, offices, and student groups. We were able to involve participants from all aspects of the university – students and parents, faculty and staff, deans and alumni.

willamette journey map slides


Willamette has a unique history and an innovative vision for the future of education. We helped Willamette reposition their undergrad school from a “Liberal Arts” school to an “Arts and Science” school. We presented Willamette with differentiation strategies that honored their history while showing the ways they are shaping the future.

two students outside a building with backpacks on

Bringing it all Together

Combining Willamette’s core values with the university’s key differentiations, we created a brand character, voice and tone, and key messaging strategies that would both inspire new students and resonate with faculty and alumni.

Murmur has guided us through a huge project of incredible importance to Willamette University. Through workshops, interviews, competitive analysis, focus groups, and more, we dove deeply into who we are and what we are becoming. This work then informed new branding, new marketing campaigns, new logos, and a massive new website that is absolutely best-in-class.

Tim Cobb

Vice President for Marketing and Communications

willamette brochures tri fold with hands
willamette university brochures


Willamette’s mailers are a key part of introducing the school to potential students. We created a series of mailers to highlight Willamette’s unique aspects. We combined heritage elements with innovative design, illustration, and photography to create one-of-a-kind pieces that could only come from Willamette.

willamette brochure spread
interior page of willamette brochures
willamette brochures
Marc Girouard

Marc Girouard

Senior Designer

“Our goal was to create an elevated, modern take on field guide illustrations, leaving the viewer with a sense of wonder and opportunity.”

willamette brochures look book cover


Seniors receive countless viewbooks from universities. Willamette needed to stand out in a crowded mail box. We designed a viewbook that harnessed the essence of Willamette’s innovative liberal arts education and the excitement of the college experience.

willamette look book spread
Working with Murmur has been a real treat. The team is professional and a blast to work with. From strategy to tactics, they can do it all - and do it all well.

J.R. Tarabocchia

AVP for Admissions Marketing


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With over 20,000 pages, redesigning the Willamette University website was no small task.

Balancing the needs of many departments and interest groups, we designed a website focused on user journeys. We identified the most important user types and crafted easy-to-navigate experiences that catered to their individual needs and funneled them towards conversion. Photography, video, and copywriting were all part of this process.

Chris Bolton

Chris Bolton

Exec. Web Director

“It was really amazing to be able to work on a project that dove so deeply into such a large organization. We built the web strategy upon the scaffolding of our in-depth brand strategy. Our user journeys were crafted to meet the needs of each audience. The copy was crafted from the voice and tone work we'd done. It was an exciting and rewarding team effort.”

Lily Martin-Chamberlain

Content Strategist

By creating pathways for each audience, we transformed the university's old website into an immersive, personalized, and clean experience from start to finish. Elements such as video clips tailored to users' interests, dynamic facts and stats, and an intuitive course finder, help guide visitors to their goals.

Tijani Stewart

Tijani Stewart

Senior Designer

“I love this site because it’s a hub of information for everyone: teachers, students, parents, alumni, and more. We paid special attention to every detail from the typographic hierarchy, navigation structure, and copywriting to the striking photography and captivating video.”


We created a breathtaking video that immersed the viewer in the Willamette experience. It would become the centerpiece of their website and the background on their homepage. We used drones to capture a bird’s eye view of the scenic campus and interspersed this with more grounded shots of daily life for students and teachers.


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