Case Study - The Power of Experiential Graphics at Perry Middle School

Perry Middle School was the first school officially constructed by Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD in 1915, becoming Carrollton High School in 1936 and Perry Junior High in 1962. From 1962 to 2008 the campus had numerous additions and renovations and was always the “old high school” with pieces added. In 2017, CFBISD had a vision of a renovation to make this campus into DeWitt Perry Middle School; through the creation of grade level “villages” to intentionally create a learning environment that visually represented their legacy and unified the student body while providing a next-generation learning facility.

Living Room

The VLK Pixel team worked with the district, students, teachers, and alumni to create a comprehensive experiential graphic package for the campus. This included the collection of the history of the campus, research of current artifacts and elements that would need to be preserved, and a study of the culture of the school.

The school’s mascot (the eagle) was leveraged to tell the story of the history of the school, as well as to create a unified environment for the students and teachers. The VLK Pixel team studied the life stages of an eagle from an eaglet to a full-grown eagle, and the changes in habitat and routine that eagles progress through as they grow older. These stages were then tied directly to each of the three grade level villages on the campus and function as an immersive visual representation of the stages of life a student is experiencing as they progress through middle school.


Sixth grade is the Nest, as our learners in this grade level are just entering their middle school careers and transitioning into adolescence. They are welcomed with the straw textures of an eagle’s nest, and accents are meant to be bright and white at this level. Seventh grade is Perch, as our eagles grow to adventure away from the nest but aren’t quite ready for full flight yet. Perch employs imagery of tree lines and features gray tones and accents throughout the village. Eighth grade is the Summit, as our learners have reached the peak of their middle school career and are ready to take flight and transition to high school. This village features expansive mountain ranges, representing the many adventures these learners will journey into during their year.

Nest Perch Summit

Perry Middle School serves about 1,000 students and includes a significant population of students that come from dual-language backgrounds and families. Wayfinding graphics are translated into the five most spoken languages in the school to ease navigation for students and family members for whom English is not their first language.

Experiential graphic design is just what it says it is – using graphic design in a space to enhance the experience of the user. It enhances those architectural solutions by telling a story and providing an intentional destination for the students that call these places their educational home during the three years they spend at Perry Middle School.