Tasked with effecting a ground-up redesign, we set out to make the most of the new brand (which was actually still in development) and to use its various elements in a purposeful, co-ordinated and cohesive way to enable a seamless connection with the digital user experience, particularly on mobile.
We created a bold new prospectus design with an eye-catching cover. But it was inside where things got really interesting.
Until then a colour-coded polygon graphic device had been used purely as a design element. Now we developed the device to create identities for each faculty, making it easier for students to navigate the wealth of information within the prospectus. Another navigation aid was the use of varying weights of stock to differentiate sections, including a thicker ‘bookmark’ divider at the beginning of ‘Courses and Guides’, which we knew students would refer to most.
More exciting still was the introduction of augmented reality (AR) to bring the content to life and create a direct connection with the University’s online content. As well as incorporating the AR links, we advised on the kind of features it should lead to if candidates were to get the most out of the experience. Our advice was based on discussions with students from Bucks New who we’d invited to spend time with us at Penna for some real world experience and an insight into the nature of our work. This helped us develop a really thorough understanding of our audience, which of course we can also feed into future campaigns for this client.
With quality controls embedded in all Penna processes, the prospectus underwent multiple stages of checking including being proof-read by members of the creative team at every stage of its development and regular referrals to the brand guidelines, followed by final sign-off and approval from our client.
To ensure the successful integration of digital and print, testing was vital. So our Digital Development team worked hand in hand with the third party AR provider to ensure everything worked on all devices and met the necessary penetration testing requirements, thereby guaranteeing a seamless, on-brand experience for potential students.
Mixing digital and print enabled us to drastically cut the volume of printed information without reducing valuable content overall. With pre-existing content continually being updated in real time, it remained relevant and of consistent value throughout the application cycle, ensuring greater return on investment on something whose relatively short shelf-life had always been considered an expensive, loss-making item by Bucks New University.
Equally important, we gave readers a much more immersive experience than any traditional prospectus, with 360° tours of halls, campus video guides and filmed interviews with students, alumni and academics all bringing stories to life in a compelling way.
In fact, it proved so successful in terms of engagement, delivering the information and reducing production costs, it was nominated in the category for Best Prospectus at that year’s Heist Awards.