London College of Communication students’ work brought to life for the NHS’ birthday

To mark the NHS’ 75th anniversary this year, NHS England partnered with the London College of Communication (LCC), part of the University of the Arts London, to provide students with real-life campaign briefs.

The first brief encouraged students to design a campaign to raise awareness of the variety of lesser-known roles in the NHS, targeting young people in particular. For the second brief, students were asked to create a campaign to encourage more young people to give blood, particularly those from black African/Caribbean backgrounds in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant.

Over 200 students responded to the NHS75 project, and winning groups were chosen for each separate brief.

The winners of the first brief created a campaign dedicated to the career of art psychotherapy, raising awareness of the role and what it can offer in a creative and interactive way. The students focussed on social media as a platform to reach younger audiences, through campaigns resources such as ‘day in the life’ videos.

Through ‘The Missing Piece’ campaign, the students in the winning group responding to the second brief created a narrative to highlight the urgency for blood donors and the profound impact a single donor can have on someone’s life.

The students behind the project

Fred Marber, who is in his third year of an illustration and visual media degree, participated in the first brief to raise awareness of lesser-known roles in the NHS.

Fred said: “I enjoyed the research aspect of the project, discovering all the different roles available in the NHS. I also enjoyed learning about the extensive history of the NHS”.

Commenting on how the team came up with the idea, Fred noted: “I was thinking about people in my life who currently use the NHS. I’ve always thought mental health is an interesting area and a campaign on different therapies that the NHS offers could be really valuable. When encouraging younger people into health care roles, I found that it was important to show the wide variety of roles available through the NHS, because there’s more out there than people may think”.

The team’s ideas were brought to life through Jed, an Art Psychotherapist at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. The team shared his story on social media, explaining what art therapy is and encouraging others to explore a career in the NHS.

Euijin Oh is in the third year of a design for art direction degree and worked as part of the team responding to the second brief on blood donation.

Euijin said: “I mostly worked on graphic designs for this project, such as making posters or prototypes for the final work. It was a good opportunity to learn about new information such as sickle cell disease, which I was not aware of before, and finding ways to help people who are suffering from it”.

Sazanias Asrat, a third-year student on a user experience design degree also worked on this brief.

Sazanias said: “In my role as a user experience designer, I learned about the importance of a human-centred approach within healthcare campaigns. Collaborating with my team, I conducted a thorough analysis of factors like age, ethnicity, and cultural background. This enabled us to pinpoint the most suitable messages that would effectively resonate with the campaign’s target audience, ensuring a more compelling and tailored experience”.

Euijin added: “To approach the target audience, we wanted to choose an object that everyone knew so that they can relate to the situation. The visual elements we developed drew inspiration from the concept of a puzzle to captivate a younger audience interactively, while conveying a vital message – the significance of blood donations”.

Sazanias continued: ‘The Missing Piece’ campaign was created with the primary objective of highlighting the urgent requirement for blood donors. In this context, donors symbolise the critical missing piece”.

You can read more about the ‘The Missing Piece’ campaign on the NHS Blood and Transplant website and on social media.