How do you judge a book?
Norwich University of the Arts produces an annual prospectus. This little bible covers all of the detail a prospective student could possibly need on the courses, classes and community of NUA. But they’re difficult documents to design well, and NUA had reached the point that their current publication wasn’t performing. Too cumbersome to navigate easily – too dry to engage prospective students meaningfully – and not an accurate reflection of the incredible creativity they’re home to, We got to work…
Flick. Find. Read. Repeat.
We knew the prospectus needed to better reflect NUA as an arts and design powerhouse, and that meant crafting the execution and ensuring the whole thing felt contemporary. But when it came to solving the navigation issue, the task felt tricker – we’re used to talking about UX in digital – but what about print?
The solution was actually the same thing.
We placed a simple coded ‘nav bar’ at the side of the prospectus, and gave each section of the prospectus, be it a course, a map or an intro to city living, it’s own mini design identity. This allowed users to flick through the book and find the content they were after quickly again and again, remembering the distinctive feel of each section.
We solved the engagement issue by not using any templated design, meaning each page was a new experience for the reader, without repetition – which takes ages but is totally worth it. And we pushed the use of illustration across the prospectus as typically it produces a higher dwell time, as readers take the time to understand the intricacy of the design.
We were left with a high impact publication, crafted to be worthy of NUA, that prospective students could simultaneously get lost in – and actually use.