University Students’ Designs to Be Used in The National Archives Children’s Book

Graphic Design students at the University of Worcester have been involved in a major project with The National Archives to develop a new online children’s book.

Students were commissioned to come up with ideas for a project looking at notable figures in British history, including Elizabeth I, NHS founder Aneurin Bevin, code breaker Alan Turing, nurse Florence Nightingale and Allied Second World War secret agent Noor Inayat Khan.
Their work will be used in an e-book, downloadable from The National Archives’ website for distribution to classrooms nationwide.

As part of their research, the students, all studying on the Children’s Book Design module, visited The National Archives at Kew where they were able to handle unique and priceless artefacts and documents linked to the historic figures.

Student Charlotte Halliday, 20, said: “It was a bit daunting to begin with but the people from the Archives were very friendly. I don’t think it would have been the same if we had not gone to the Archives.  It put it into perspective.”

Genevieve Oheneampong, 19, added: “I’ve never worked on a real life project before so it was good experience. I found it interesting because I got to experiment with other materials and it was a lot of fun thinking how children would act and what they would respond to.”

Lauren Willmott, e-training manager, and Katie Fox, a Modern Domestic Records Specialist, both from The National Archives,  visited the University to see the final concepts from the students.
“It’s not often we get graphic designers in to use The National Archives’ wonderful documents and bring them to life in such a way, but it’s something we hope to see more of in the future,” said Miss Willmott.

Miss Fox added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with the University of Worcester in creating a resource that will not only be a brilliant addition to the education resources on our website, but one that will inspire a new generation of young historians. The students’ work is absolutely fantastic.  There is a real range of activities and some amazing designs.”

The collaboration stemmed from a First World War e-Cookbook designed by the University's Children's Book Design students, which was used at a family event at The National Archives last year.

Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design, Andy Stevenson, who initiated and developed the live brief with the Archives, said: “This has been an invaluable experience for our students to get to work with live briefs and real clients and particularly with such a prestigious national organisation.  It’s fantastic that our students’ Children's Book Design outputs could soon be entertaining and helping to educate schoolchildren all over the country.”