Next Steps Cornwall was a fixed-term partnership project, funded by universities in the South West, that aimed at helping to increase the disproportionally lower number of students from Cornwall attending higher education. As a project, their aim was to engage young people and their influencers, and to ask them to re-consider the idea that university wasn’t for them.
We had one year to build their brand from the ground up, including a name, new logo, brand guidelines, social media channels, content, film, photography, and a range of printed promotional material that they could take into schools. To get us started, we were given three colours to work with… everything else was up to us!
One of our big challenges was to come up with a name; we suggested Next Steps, which epitomises the work that they do and came up with a logo that reflected this mission. We filmed video case studies featuring inspiring students from each of the universities to provide real life stories that young people could connect with and took photos of the subjects in their current work environments, as well as establishing social media channels where we could distribute these materials and hold conversations around higher education myths.
We also utilised the photography and branding to design a 66-page brochure containing case studies, advice and information about possible career paths, which was distributed to schools across the county. This brochure was supplemented by individual posters that could be displayed in careers offices and classrooms and by an interactive top-trumps style ‘Career Challenge’ card game.
What happened next?
Not only did the body of resources that we created have longevity, but the project itself turned out to have more permanence than we could have imagined. When it was launched, other outreach projects with similar objectives, stemming from the same funding resource were operating all over the South West, all using antonyms to represent their brand. At the end of the initial one year partnership, and subsequent to introducing our branding, the programme was expanded and all of these organisations came together under the name of Next Steps.