Keep our NHS Private (KONP) are a campaign activist group that are based in Oxford. Their campaign aims to keep the NHS public, prevent further fragmentation of the NHS and inform the public about what is happening as a result of the governments ‘reform’ programme.
The brief was to design a pamphlet that would inform the public about the dangers of privatisation to the NHS and inform people about how the NHS has already been affected by privatisation. The pamphlet was required to reach a wide audience of people with no specific group targeted. Rather it had to appeal to a large variety of people in the Oxford area especially those with an interest in the survival of the NHS. The pamphlet will be presented on stalls and at public meetings.
KONP are a small campaign group, therefore, the pamphlet had to be designed with printing costs in mind. The client wanted the final pamphlet to be A5 in size and successfully layout the text and illustrations provided by KONP and cartoonist Kate Evans. The number of pages in the pamphlet was dependant on the size of type and the layout of text and image itself. It had also be specified that type colour must not clash with background colour, as this will not be accessible to those with visual impairment. Apart from the requirement of a blue front cover, the style and colour palette of the document itself is dependant on what worked best with the illustrations and text. Therefore, there was not a set standard that had to be adhered to. The client wanted 3000 pamphlets to be presented on stalls and at public meetings. The brief didn’t change throughout the project.
Initial designs and ideas
Initially, after discussing ideas with the client and receiving all of the necessary text and images via e-mail I arrived at a 12 paged, numbered, 2 column layout with the given images embedded within the text. The text flowed from one page to the next and followed an blue and hot pink colour scheme. As I had little specification, from the client, I had free reign over type choice and decided early on in the project to use Aileron for the body text, a clean san serif font that looked clean and didn’t detract from the important message within the body text. However, I felt that to make what could become a very serious document more exciting to any potential readers, that a more playful typeface was necessary for main headings and quotes. Therefore, I used a chunky san serif font called Mouser. This worked well in giving the pamphlet character and establishing hierarchy. As well as being in a different typeface, deciding to position the quotes separate to the rest of the text highlighted their importance well and gave the document well needed splashes of colour throughout. The front and back covers reflected the colour scheme of the inside, were simple and put emphasis on the title: ‘Privatisation: Why it’s bad for the NHS.’ The title was one that I also experimented with initially opting for ‘Why it’s killing the NHS’ it was later decided that this was too strong and so ‘Why it’s bad for the NHS was kept.’
It was decided that it would be more beneficial for each section within the given text to have it’s own page or at least have more defined sections rather than all the headings and subsequent text merging into one. It was also suggested that the cartoons could benefit from having their own space and the way to successfully approach this would be through presenting them in a cartoon strip style underneath the text. This worked extremely well, really highlighted the images and made the text clearer to read. Due to the large volume of text however, it was difficult to give each heading it’s own page whilst maintaining an attractive layout, therefore the result was that all but two headings had their own page. This also did not affect the amount of pages used in the original layout, which was 12, which pleased the client and kept costs down. It was agreed that this worked a lot better than the original layout making clear where each new section began. Moreover, the client required a chart to be included in the pamphlet. The original chart given to me by the client didn’t particularly fit in with the overall look or feel of my design and so I decided, with permission from the client, to re-make the charts arriving at a more visually intriguing and complimentary style.
After travelling to oxford to meet the client they all agreed that they really liked the design and that it had exceeded their expectations. They only required me to alter a few aspects such as the title and size of an image caption. The colour scheme went down very well as did the choice of typefaces and positioning of the images in the cartoon strip style. It was after my trip to oxford however; that the changes to the original text layout were made after me and James discussed this would be a more conventional way of laying out a pamphlet. I promptly e-mailed over to the client this new design, in order to check the client was ok with this alteration, which they were. After a few more tweaks such as ensuring spelling was correct, the table was visually clear with a working hierarchy and the spacing and document itself were all correctly set up, the pamphlet was finally sent off to print with 3000 copies ordered by the client who reassured me throughout the whole project that they were really pleased with my progress.
This job has enabled me to develop my confidence and communication skill profusely and has taught me that my work is good enough to be received by real clients. I have learnt how to set up an InDesign file professionally in order for it to be print ready. It has also taught me how to liaise with printers and determine what questions are important to ask and what to ask for.
The client was pleased with the final deliverable and overall design. If I could redo the project I would suggest to the client a different cardstock and weight other than the white 90gsm uncoated that would allow the colour scheme to ‘pop’ more. A coated cardstock may have given a better overall finish. However, in general I am pleased with the design. My only concern upon receiving the final pamphlet was that the back cover small print would have benefitted from a heavier weight of Aileron.