Undergraduate Campaign 2024

Standing out in a flooded higher education market


No. 12485 | Campaign

The Challenge

Design of the overall Durham University undergraduate campaign for 2024 entry.

The Outcome

A fresh, Gen Z-focused approach, taking inspiration from work outside of the sector.

Cutting through with creativity

Choosing a university is a long-term commitment, and students are looking at more than surface-level factors like course options, rankings or where the campus is based. This is an emotional, daunting decision where students want to find a space they can belong – somewhere they can thrive both academically and personally while being themselves. Somewhere young people from all backgrounds can feel inspired and challenged, supported and encouraged, included and welcomed.

This thinking formed the basis for our concept for Durham University’s 2024 undergraduate recruitment campaign. Durham wanted a brave approach that would stand out from the crowd, attract the best students and help to widen access to the University. The campaign would set the style for all other undergraduate-focused recruitment applications, including digital advertising, prospectuses, departmental brochures and open days.


Be extraordinary. Be you.

Taking Durham University’s brief and emotive student decision-making into consideration, we created the ‘Be You’ campaign concept. Inviting students to ‘Be extraordinary. Be you.’, the campaign presented Durham University as a place they can feel championed, feel recognised, and mostly importantly feel at home. Aimed at ambitious students looking to be both accepted and challenged, the concept used snapshot images of students at exciting new experiences to be found at Durham, each with a variation of the campaign message: be inspired, be passionate, be pioneering.

The concept had a fresh, modern look, taking inspiration from Gen Z-focused work outside of the sector to stand out from the flood of higher education marketing students were likely to see. Photography is inset on a stark white background, with text going from black to white when overlayed across. This is combined with pieces of Durham’s recognisable ‘tapestry’ to tie it into the wider Durham brand.

Photography was student-focused, showing both individual and groups finding their home at Durham in whichever way that might mean to them – exploring the University’s extensive library, meeting new friends on campus, or perhaps experimenting in a state-of-the-art laboratory. The simplicity and flexibility of the campaign message meant we could adapt it to fit both Durham’s academic and extracurricular opportunities, showing students what university life looks like.

We provided Durham University with a set of campaign guidelines showing how to apply the concept’s design to digital and print applications, including social media assets, digital marketing ads and exhibition stands. We were also commissioned to redesign their undergraduate prospectuses to fit the new campaign look, including their international edition and a mini-guide.

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