Revolutionising university recruitment

University of Reading

Bell were commissioned by the University of Reading to improve their student recruitment uptake, beginning in 2014. An acknowledged world leader in many subjects, the University had an image problem. It wasn’t perceived negatively, it simply wasn’t well known and was very much perceived as a second choice University. We needed to help reposition the way students and influencers viewed the University.

Our response

We developed a new core brand proposition: LIMITLESS, which became the foundation of the new visual identity: bold, challenging, confident. It featured striking, thought-provoking images, a new campaign typeface and modern icons and infographics. This was driven by the key messaging “Are Your Ready?”, “Be Ready” and “Get Ready”. The brand was consistently conveyed across a multitude of marketing channels. Applications increased by a cumulative 14.4%, six times the 2.4% national average. For two years running, Open Day registration was closed well in advance as registration capacity was reached. Additional Open Days were needed. From safe second choice, the University is continuing to transform into a clear first choice.

What our client thought

“Bell is a well established and respected agency. Their work is creative and original. Bell has the strength to get under the skin of a brief, finding options and solutions through their design. Account Management is excellent – they are a dynamic and enthusiastic agency with attention to detail and an excellent customer focused approach to projects. Bell is an outstanding strategic design agency and I would recommend their services without hesitation.”

Karen Smalley, Head of Brand, University Of Reading


HEIST Awards 2015 – Best Student Recruitment Campaign / Gold
Transform Awards Europe 2015 – Best visual identity for a charity, NGO or NDFP / Silver
Transform Awards Europe 2015 – Best creative strategy / Bronze
Transform Awards Europe 2015 – Best implementation of a brand development project / Bronze
Transform Awards Europe 2017 – Best brand evolution / Bronze