UI Design & Illustrations for AA4S Student Accommodation

Illustrations for AA4S Student Accommodation in London

Giving the AA4S brand a personal touch
that appeals to the core audience, the students.

Background

When working as the creative director at www.nvisage.co.uk, I was asked to bring to life the AA4S website which recently had undergone a branding exercise.  The task: to revitalise the student accommodation brand and to speak directly to the audience, to aid engagement and help maximise room occupancy.

Collaboration

The site needed to be competitive to stand against a vast amount of student accommodation websites out there. The new branding carried a very clear language, so I needed to bear this in mind when creating the illustrations.  They needed to appeal to the target audience, whilst complementing the strong photographs.

Solutions

The illustration's clean lines help align the visual language with the new simple branding. I wanted the drawings to be timeless, I simply hand-drew them and added a spot colour and some movement to some of the illustrations.  I hope they added a certain exclusivity and personality to the new AA4S brand. The focus groups, their students, have reacted positively to these changes and the client is pleased with the outcome.

User-Interface Design for AA4S webiste

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“Our customers are students looking for accommodation, we decided we wanted to make our website more playful and illustrative through the use of illustrations. These images tell students a story far better than any text. Sandra was able to capture the culture and essence of who we are and what we do in a very simple form."

AA4S team

Out of adversity arises a new name and branding

In 2020, Cass & Claredale found out, that their company name had historical links with slave trade and exploitation. They urgently needed a new name and a new brand presence and commissioned NVisage to guide them through this process and help them re-establish their brand and name with a fresh outlook, that would appeal to students.

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Why use illustrations?

Custom brand illustrations are a powerful and versatile tool. When it comes to conveying complex messages in simpler ways, nothing can beat them. That’s why many brands use illustrations as a part of their branding.  They provide the brand with a way to tell a story in a memorable way and become part of the brand’s aesthetic. The illustration will become part of the brand guidelines and the design system.

The client and I discussed the style of the illustrations and how the project could be practically organised, bearing in mind that illustrations add time to the project timeline. We also needed to be sure of continuity throughout other publication materials,  as the style of illustration would add a strong personality.

Quickly, I figured out the form and function of the illustrations: to take on an iconographic, straightforward language that communicates the atmosphere of the place. I created them in vector format so that they could be used in digital media and print too. I will make sure that the website is updated regularly to keep it fresh and lively.

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AA4S Studnet Accommodation
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"The focus groups, our customers, have reacted so positively to these changes. We are pleased with how our website has been advanced and updated. Sandra was able to capture our USP and understand our mission and core values and express these through graphic design.”

AA4S team