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Inspiring Projects

Alistair Bullen
guest Tinderblogger

Inspiring projects

I am so inspired by a three year project I’m working on at the moment. We’re creating the brand for Oasis. Oasis is a charity that helps set up and provide ten secondary education academies across the UK as part of the Government Academy Program. What’s so amazing about it is seeing what happens when you take children from a poor environment into a good environment – physically, educationally and emotionally.

To see the transformation in their lives is really inspiring. The students ‘get’ the branding because they get visuals – they’re a visual generation, and they get the sound bite, they get the energy of imagery, they get all of that and it becomes a very powerful tool for them.

So what I do is this: I go and meet with the Academy Principal and begin to think through the designed environment - how they want to communicate their values and ethos and how they want to inspire and create growth in the students. Then we talk through the ways we could communicate those values through graphics, photography, animation, film and everything else – then, out of all of that we formulate a brief and branding strategy.

From that we derive, what we call, a tailored design proposal which goes right down to all the detail around where graphic panels or plasmas and sculptures might be placed. We involve the children and the staff leadership team to help them on the journey through workshops. That helps them to understand what it’s going to be like in the new academy. Some of the children might come from a very deprived background; some have never even been on a train or been to London. So we you want to help them imagine being in a twenty million pound academy - it seems impossible – but that’s what we do!

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