Graphic Design students at the University of Worcester have been working with the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to develop new artwork for its nature reserves.
The Trust tasked students on the course’s ‘Green Design’ third year module to help explain its work to visitors through a range of visual mediums, including posters, leaflets, social media and digital applications. They worked on this as if for a ‘live’ client brief. Now some of the students’ designs could be taken up by the Trust beyond the initial project for use in its real on-site information materials.
Graphic Design student, Torsten Carlisle, said: “This project has presented some interesting and fun challenges. I found it interesting to explore different areas of design that are not often talked about, especially considering the impact that all of us have on the planet. I think that the lessons learnt in project management and ensuring that all outputs are cohesive and suitable is one that I will take on into my professional career.”
The designs were for use on nature reserves owned by the Trust to inform the public of its working practices, such as coppicing, wildflower cutting and heath management. Students were given an initial briefing by members of the Trust at its Monkwood reserve near the city, where they were told about the work that the Trust does to protect and preserve the surrounding woodland and its wildlife. The group also visited the Centre for Alternative Technology, an eco-centre in mid Wales dedicated to demonstrating and teaching sustainable living initiatives, for further research.
Joe Gillard, volunteer development officer from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, said: “We feel that the students have created some great materials, and it has got us thinking about how we can use infographics more in our future design projects. The students have really thought about the purpose of the materials they were creating and how and where they might be used.
“Each student has created something very different to what we’d normally use; they’ve got us thinking what we could be doing differently. We are looking at how we might use some of the designs in the future.”
Andy Stevenson, Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, said: “This has been a challenging project for our students, but an invaluable opportunity to put their skills to the test to make informative and sustainable design concepts for a major local organisation. This kind of project forms part of the course’s commitment to developing ‘design for social good’. Experiences like this help our students to see how the skills they are learning now can be applied in a real-life situation in a changing industry, increasing their experience and giving them an advantage when looking for employment after completing their degree.”