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September 30, 2019

Your library is not the ocean: a student’s campaign

It may surprise you to know that ocean creatures have a lot to say about how we behave in the library. That is the premise of a brand-new campaign to encourage safe and respectful use of library spaces, particularly during peak busy periods like Study Week.

No one likes being told what to do, but everyone likes to use a safe, quiet and clean library when preparing for their assignments and exams. To make the library a great place for everyone to study, we set out to respond to the most common challenges our visitors face – lack of seats, noisy ‘quiet’ areas and messy spaces. It was important to develop messaging that engaged students, so why not involve the students themselves?

The brief

To do this, the library collaborated with Senior Lecturer Tonya Meyrick and developed a project brief that would form the basis of an assessment for her design unit in Trimester 1.

‘Working with Deakin University Library on a new advertising campaign with the call to action “respect library spaces,” allowed our final year Bachelor of Design – Visual Communication students to engage with a stimulating design brief in a real world context close to home,” Tonya Meyrick said. ‘The brief involved exacting alignment with Deakin University style and brand guides…requiring our students to inventively consider how creativity may be pushed within the confines of an established style.’

‘The students themselves formed the major target market of the audience for this new campaign and as such were well placed to consider a design strategy that aligned fluidly with their own interests and experiences. This presented a new scenario for the final year students, one they hadn’t encountered prior.’

‘From an insider’s perspective, students brought fresh ideas with detailed considerations and specific motivations behind the need for such a campaign. This insight carried them well to achieve a successful engagement with this brief allowing stimulating and though-provoking outcomes across the cohort.’ 

The challenge

Develop a campaign that would appeal to fellow students and get serious messages across in a fun, unique way.

The messages

The selection process

Several students’ final projects were considered by the communications coordinator and director of client services in the library, Clare Carlsson. Carlsson was pleased with the high calibre of the projects from students, saying: ‘What better way to have a deep and authentic engagement with the students than to work with students on the campaign?’

A shortlist was reviewed by members of DUSA and the Library Executive leadership, and in July 2019, we selected the winning project. We then invited the student to complete an internship with Deakin Library to implement her campaign.

The project

Using the unique characteristics of five aquatic animals, third-year design student Maddison Trainor created a fresh, exciting campaign called ‘Your library is not the ocean.’

‘As a student of Deakin University Waterfront Campus, and as a country surrounded by the ocean, an underwater theme seemed appropriate for the campaign. The posters follow the journey of a scuba student, who progressively gets distracted by the bad habits exhibited by the sea creatures.’ – Maddison Trainor

The result

The ‘Your library is not the ocean’ campaign launches today with animated digital screens and print signs across our campuses. You can see the gorgeous illustrations on the digital screens at your campus libraries, as well as our social media accounts.

Maddison finishes her internship with Deakin Library next week. The library design and communications team has loved working with her.

Amy Clarke, the Communications and Engagement Coordinator and Maddison’s internship supervisor in the library, said: ‘Maddison has excellent work ethic and has tackled every task we’ve given her with enthusiasm. It was great to get the student’s perspective on how to communicate these important messages. We’re excited about this project and hope that students love it too.’

Now that she’s wrapping up her work with the library, Maddison has had time to consider her ten weeks with us. ‘Being granted the unique opportunity to intern with the talented digital design team at Deakin Library has allowed me to expand my skillset and discover exciting areas of design I wasn’t previously aware of. I’m confident that what I’ve learnt throughout my internship has prepared me for a professional work environment and will be invaluable when applying for graduate jobs in the coming months.’

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