The Reading Agency commissioned Back to Front to provide design support to the ‘Reading Hack‘: a volunteer programme designed for young people (aged 13-24) that re-positions reading as a way to gain new skills and experience.
They needed something that balanced eye-catching design (able to engage the target audience across a library or a school hall) with visuals that could carry lots of info (like how, when and where to get involved). Other key considerations were language (posters need to be in both English and Welsh), accessibility (the designs needed to work for people from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as those with low reading levels), and versatility (not only did the designs need to work across posters, bookmarks, and social media – they also needed to be customisable to the specific recruitment needs of libraries, schools and other youth spaces).
Our first step was to run a workshop with ten of their youth volunteers – to pick apart and collaboratively re-write the brief to ensure our strategy and designs would reflect their preferences. This led to the idea of highlighting the reasons why people choose to volunteer – putting these tangible benefits at the front and centre of our design.
Working with a young intern to fine-tune our concepts, we then went on to develop a full campaign for digital and print (including posters, bookmarks and social media assets).
We’re very chuffed that our work is now being used in thousands of youth spaces across the UK, and (according to recent research) is playing its small part in helping young people feel happier, more confident and better connected to their community.
“We were hugely impressed with the way the team at Back to Front worked with our panel of young designers; they really listened to the young people’s ideas and responded with a series of creative and imaginative interpretations. We would definitely work with Back to Front again in the future.”
Megan Graham, Assistant Programme Manager for Young People,The Reading Agency