Alphabetical’s vibrant Big Welcome campaign for UAL champions individuality within its community
Working in collaboration with alumni Jack Sachs, London-based design agency Alphabetical have created University of the Arts London’s jubilant ‘Big Welcome’ campaign, greeting the year’s new student body with a host of abstract characters.
Having come off the back of the turbulent period following the global pandemic, UAL and Alphabetical sought to craft something that not only channels a fundamental sense of excitement, energy and joy, but also blossoms a sense of community while highlighting the vibrant individuals who’ve found their home at UAL. This sense of individualism – and the purposeful representation that doesn’t draw exclusive emphasis to race, ability or age – is conveyed through working directly with 3D artist Sachs on a host of thoughtful, weird and abstract characters.
“His talent for capturing characters and themes in such an irreverent way was a perfect fit for the tone of the project,” Creative Partner Bob Young tells us, with Sachs’ own personal attachment to UAL bolstering his own dedication to the project, and making the characters more meaningful in the process. “I really wanted to inject a bit of comedy, and in some small way brighten up the experience for freshers,” Sachs explains, “making it less dystopian after such a weird year and a half,” recalling how it was necessary to keep the characters relatable and cheerful, utilising ecstatic colour to contrast the monochromatic branding they sit upon.
The stark typography used across the campaign stays in line with UAL’s existing visual identity, making use of Helvetica Neue’s notorious pragmatism and legibility to support and champion Sachs’ work. “When it came to the campaign and welcoming the students back, we wanted it to be bright and fun,” Young recalls, “so that’s where we use the stripped-down feel of the identity to make the characters pop off the page and” he concludes, “really stand out in a way that the students won’t have seen before.”
Helvetica Neue by Max Miedinger and Edouard Hoffmann