Reimagining the traditional alumni magazine

'One Piece of Advice' Magazine

Arts University Bournemouth

Highly Commended Award for Education Branding
Brand Impact Awards, 2016


With a newly appointed alumni team, AUB were looking to reconnect with some of their oldest graduates. As an arts university with a highly creative output, they knew that a traditional publication wouldn't make an impact — the end result had to stand on its own as more than an alumni magazine and avoid becoming too meta or self-referential.

On a practical level, the new magazine had to become a cost-effective biannual publication that wouldn't have a significant impact on the small internal team who were working on it.


Beyond its name, we ensured that design and editorial within the magazine reflected the established 'One Piece of Advice' alumni brand we'd previously created for AUB. Through careful use of typography, colour palettes and design, we gave the magazine a visual identity that didn't feel too close to that of the university, enabling the magazine to better stand on its own.

We worked closely with an editor to commission interviews, essays and articles that showed off the best of AUB's alumni community and, where possible, linked them to the theme of advice. To accompany the editorial, we commissioned both photographers and illustrators who had all graduated from AUB, giving the magazine a level of familiarity to alumni and friends of the university.


We coordinated a handful of writers, illustrators and photographers and were able to take AUB's new alumni magazine from initial idea to print in under three months. The magazine's popularity within the university meant an increased print run so that it could not only be distributed to alumni, but shared among other departments and faculties.

More importantly, the magazine served its original purpose of standing alone and avoiding the trap of being self-referential. By focussing on the stories of alumni, including humanitarian photographer Giles Duley and architect Sir Peter Cook, the magazine developed into a publication with an appeal that stretched much wider than the AUB community.


Continuing the conversation

The reach of the OPOA brand rapidly grew from illustrations presented to graduates, to the alumni magazine and a series of podcasts.

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