Gallup McKinley County Schools


Gallup-McKinley County School  (GMCS) district covers the largest geographic area and has one of the lowest income levels of all New Mexico school districts. Under new leadership, GMCS has made major strides in strengthening academic achievement and student success in the last several years. They have instituted a Strategic Plan with ambitious 3 year goals. However, the district’s old brand image did not reflect the current reality, so Studio Hill Design was engaged to develop a brand that truly showcases the positivity and success of the school district today.

The GMCS logo is full of iconography representing the predominantly Navajo demographic where the district resides. The logo design incorporates a feather (native culture) and a book (academics). The feather symbolizes a tool required for flight (success and opportunity). The book is open, welcoming and dispensing knowledge. Surrounding these two shapes is a circle reminiscent of the the Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions, and incorporates traditional Navajo colors.

The Strategic Plan document clarifies GMCS’s values, goals and objectives to all stakeholders, from teachers and staff to parents and students.

Approximately 200 GMCS vehicles received the updated logo treatment, increasing the visibility of the new improved school image across the district.

“From the beginning of working with Studio Hill, we were impressed with their willingness to listen to our goals and to learn about our unique culture. The resulting branding work is culturally appropriate while helping to build a positive relationship between the communities we serve and our school district.”
— Gerald Horacek, GMCS, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum/Instruction


A redesigned stationery package creates a positive impression in all correspondence and in face to face interactions.


“Explore the bold and exciting opportunities” was the theme for GMCS’s first ever view book representing the district. It elaborates on the value and importance of the quality education at GMCS and contains sections targeted specifically to parents, students and the community. Liberal use of engaging photos from a carefully orchestrated photo shoot create engagement and inspiration.


Video Production (Press Play)

Once all the basic branding was in place, GMCS needed to fulfill some marketing goals. Specifically they had a challenge recruiting quality teachers to live and work in such a remote location. We created a video featuring the stunning landscape, outdoor activities and local culture along with the unique financial and other benefits offered by the district. Testimonials from current staff helped build trust and a sense of community.

Video Production (Press Play)

McKinley Academy is a dual enrollment program that allows high school students to graduate with their associate's degree. The promotional video illustrates the unique features of the program such as no cost and the provision of all essentials like transportation, books, lunch and more. This makes the program very attractive to both students and parents!


A Branding Guidelines manual helps maintain the integrity of the new brand image across all uses in the large district.



Call: 505.242.8300