Make the possible happen

York St John University Make the possible happen

York St John is the oldest higher education institution in York and has been at the forefront of Teaching and Education since 1841.

Absolute were commissioned to develop brand guidelines and an online digital toolkit to give colleagues across the university a clearer understanding of the creative vision and brand narrative underpinning the University’s development. This supported the launch of a bold suite of new brand collateral.


  • Education



  • Brand Campaign
  • Web Development

The idea

The brand’s initial launch in February 2019 included refreshed brand assets and a video that demonstrates the University’s strengths and reflects the new creative direction. As part of the brand development process we created a set of ‘Patterns’ to differentiate the schools within the University giving them a unique identity complementing the refreshed brand. Later in the year, the launch of the full version of the new website will complement the institution’s digital transformation.

The delivery

With the new brand and vision there was a need to apply a set of clear rules and standards about the creation and application of brand assets. Producing the toolkit in a digital format has made these easily accessible to staff and stakeholders and allows the university marketing team to share specific sections with third parties who require guidance on application. A wide range of content can be found from the brand essence and design principles, to tone of voice and downloadable assets. The Digital Toolkit has helped to improve adoption of the new brand internally and will be able to grow and develop alongside new creative brand work that continues to be done by the university.

An essence video which centres around ‘Make the possible happen’ was created to communicate the new vision for the university, reveal the new brand style and attract a new all-inclusive type of audience. The video, which uses a combination of film and animated typography, supported the launch of the new brand and digital toolkit internally, whilst the new identity was being implemented around the university campus.

York St John University print guidelines by Absolute
York St John University digital toolkit by Absolute

The results

Adam Hewitt, Deputy Director Marketing and Communications at York St. John University said:

“We wanted to partner with an agency who understood York St John University and were excited by our ambitious vision for the future. We’ve found that with Absolute. Their experience in the HE sector, along with their flexibility, creativity and collaborative approach has created a strong relationship over the last 6 months.

We’ve worked together so far on introducing the new brand in a creative and engaging way across digital, brand and campaign projects. Now we’re looking forward to taking our website to the next stage of its development and offer an even stronger user-experience.”

Graphical quote from YSJU's Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications testimonial

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