The One

York St John University The One

Finding the right university for you can feel like an emotional roller coaster ride. With their supportive, caring and friendly student support services, York St John pride themselves on helping you get through this overwhelming process and into a university where you can truly be yourself.

Following on from the brand development project and website launch, York St John came to us to create a visually impactful recruitment campaign which communicates what makes them different from any other university.


  • Education



  • Art Direction
  • Brand Development
  • Brand Positioning
  • Creative Copywriting

The insight

To uncover what makes York St John unique we needed a greater understanding of why any student should choose to study there. Heading over to York, we conducted an Absolute Clarity workshop with existing students to gain first hand insights.

We discovered the university is all about embracing the eclectic. The city itself is a melting pot of old and new, green spaces and city life. It’s because of this that they attract an array of characters from both the local area as well as internationally. The small scale of the university also means there’s a greater sense community, it’s a place where students feel supported, nurtured and celebrated for their own unique personalities. It’s a university where you can really feel like you belong.

The idea

All these aspects became the focus for the messaging, which was then neatly tied together with ‘York St John is The One’ campaign line. This was visually communicated with the number ‘1’ as a graphic device, which also incorporated the brand patterns we created as part of the re brand. All these elements combined give the campaign the energy and impact it needs to cut through the clutter of the higher education sector.

Brand Development by Absolute
Brand Development by Absolute
Brand Campaign by Absolute
Brand Campaign by Absolute

The delivery

The rollout of the campaign was undertaken through a phased approach, from the initial launch to the UCAS events. We created stand graphics and collateral for the recruitment fairs that were held at the start of the year. The Covid-19 pandemic led to ‘YSJU Open Days’ online events only, featuring virtual campus and accommodation tours.

A different approach to their Undergraduate prospectus was adapted for this campaign too.

Rather than an academic-looking and heavily worded document, containing all the course information you would normally expect from a prospectus, we focused on telling the story of the university itself, encouraging potential students to go online to the new website to find out more information.

Brand Campaign Development by Absolute
York St John Brand Exhibition
York St John Brand Flag
York St John Brand Campaign Development by Absolute

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If you would like a strategic review of your University marketing plan, please call Chris Hodgen to arrange a consultation.

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