Students at the University of Worcester have worked to design a brand identity for a major project to transform Worcester’s Arches.
Key figures in The Arches Worcester scheme were so impressed by the marketing materials the third year Graphic Design and Creative Media students produced that they plan to use elements of their ideas to inform the final design.
Worcester’s railway arches are set to be transformed into a major new cultural destination for the city, providing a hub for business and creative skills development in the £4.5m project, with £3m funding from Government.
Eight of the Victorian arches, between Foregate Street railway station and The Hive and the River Severn, will be refurbished to become a modern and dynamic workplace for creative industries, and a cultural destination for tourists and local communities.
The Arches project team tasked students taking the ‘24hr Pressure Projects’ module to develop a set of artwork concepts to help them come up with an identity for the project, including logos and sub logos, colour schemes and fonts. These ideas were applied to example marketing concepts and scenarios to show how they might work in reality if taken on.
Students worked on the project over a tight two day schedule, which aims to simulate the occasional quick project turnarounds experienced in today’s design and media industry.
Once completed, students then pitched their concept artwork to a panel of the project team.
The Arches project team now intend to take all the concepts and ideas away and work out how to take some of them forward for further development. Students whose work is included in any final project outputs will be able to show this off in their portfolios when applying for jobs or further study.
The task fulfils the Graphic Design course’s strategy of ‘Design for Social Good’. This aims to try to use student design skills on actual ‘live’ projects that assist organisations and charities, both locally and nationally, while helping student learning too.
Elaine Knight, Arts Director for Severn Arts, one of the partners in the project, said: “This has been a really good opportunity to make us think about what sort of image we want to communicate through our branding. As a totally new project which is at the early stages of development, but also a project that needs to build on what’s already here in Worcester, the students gave us plenty of creative ideas to go away with.
“I was very impressed with the students’ professionalism, the way they very quickly grasped the complexities of the project and how much they developed over a short period of time.”
Max Mann, a third year student on Worcester’s Graphic Design course, added: “The idea of having a real-life client come in and set a brief that we were able to work on as a team was a great experience. In our team we all had different styles and methods of working. Bringing these different skills together to create a response to the brief gave an insight into working in a design agency. Working to your strengths were key in this project due the short time frame. At times things were difficult however, being surrounded by other creatives in the Digital Arts Centre meant valuable feedback could be given from both peers and the client.”
The University’s Graphic Design Course Leader and module leader on the 24hr Pressure Projects module, Andy Stevenson, said of the experience: “The Arches is a really prestigious local redevelopment project to be able to support and I know the students loved having such an open design brief to work to and the panel’s feedback made it a fully rounded experience for them.”