Hidden History: Philanthropy at the University of Kent

Client The University of Kent

Format 240 x 190 mm paperback book, A1/A3/A5 posters and flyers

Skills InDesign, Photoshop

Hidden History is the story of philanthropic activity at the University of Kent. The book covers the university’s fifty-year history of philanthropy – including case studies of donors, fundraising drives, art collections and the stories behind some of the campus’s emblematic buildings.

Hidden History book design for the University of Kent. This is a double page chapter opener from chapter 2. The left hand page features a large number ‘2’ as an outline with an image ‘hidden’ within in. The title of the chapter is ‘Setting the Scene: A Philanthropic Campus Tour’. The main chapter text starts on the right hand page and features a large purple drop cap at the start. This page also features a painting of the exterior of Darwin College and a portrait of Charles Darwin.

Hidden History book design for the University of Kent. This is a double page spread from chapter 2. The left hand page continues the main chapter text and features images of a bust of Charles Darwin and a photograph of the exterior of the Colyer-Ferguson building. The right hand page is a full page case study spotlighting Sir James Coyler-Fergusson. The background is a solid purple, matching the colour of the front cover, and features a line art image of the university crest. There is a also a black and white image of Sir James Coyler-Fergusson and the exterior awning of the entrance to the Colyer-Ferguson building.

Hidden History book design for the University of Kent. This is a double page spread from chapter 2. The left hand page features a full page image of a music performance inside the Colyer-Ferguson building, showing a vocalist and a piano player. The right hand page continues the main chapter text and features a large quote in right hand margin and a small inset image of the Gulbenkian Theatre sign.

Hidden History book design for the University of Kent. This is a double page spread featuring a timeline illustrating fifty years of philanthropy at the university. It features a solid line, broken up into decades and includes entries under each one for the events that occurred during that time. Special philanthropy events are highlighted in white against a solid purple box to distinguish them from normal events. The background of the spread is a full bleed dark duotone image of an aerial view of the university campus.

Hidden History book cover design for the University of Kent. The book cover is in a solid dark purple colour. All the cover text is in a solid white, bold condensed sans serif typeface, apart from the ‘Hidden’ part of the the title. This is text is an outline with images taken from the book ‘hidden’ behind each of the letters.

Hidden History flyer design. A two-sided A5 flyer promoting a conference about philanthropy and the book launch of the Hidden History book. The front of the flyer features a large, purple duotone background image of an aerial shot of the university campus. The text contains the conference details including the date, time and location. The back of the flyer lists the speakers attending the conference and includes a small image of each of them along with a brief bio. At the bottom is 3D image of the book cover along with details about the launch.

The brief: Hidden History

The Philanthropy Department, at the University of Kent, approached me about designing Hidden History: Philanthropy at the University of Kent. They wanted the design of the book to be informative, image heavy and accessible to the general reader. The design also needed to work within the university’s design guidelines – fonts, colours, logos, etc.

The design: Hidden History

I did not know how much text, or images, I would have when I started work on Hidden History. To accommodate this, and any later additions, I needed the design of the pages to be simple and flexible. So, for the design, I chose to go with a simple one column layout on each page. This allowed me to use the wide outer margins for captions, quotes and smaller inset images – without disrupting the flow of the main text.

There are several full-page case studies, which serve to highlight the University’s biggest donors. I wanted these pages to look different from the regular pages, so I used a full-bleed purple tint – taken from the University’s colour palettes. Reversed out of this background is part of the university’s coat-of-arms.

It was tricky to find one image for the front cover, especially one that summed up what the book was about. I decided to do something that played on the ‘hidden’ part of the book’s title – I turned the word Hidden into an outline and included a cropped image in each of the letters. This acted as a tease, and encouraged the reader to look within the book to find out more information. It also allowed me to use a selection of images from the different sections within the book.

The chapter opener pages use a large outline of the chapter number. They also included a cropped, ‘hidden’ image, which continued the ‘hidden’ aspect and connected them to the front cover design.

In addition, to promote the book’s launch, I designed flyers, posters and Twitter banners.