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.
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.