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Branding the Future

After a competitive tendering process in 2017 Narrative was appointed to create and develop a new visual identity and supporting collateral for FutureMe to take forward.

The North East Collaborative Outreach Programme (NECOP) is a consortium of all of the universities and colleges in the North East working together to encourage young people to consider higher education as an option for them. Activity and support is delivered to young people and their key influencers under the name FutureMe.


The Brief

The brief required the brand to be launched in Summer 2017.

The target audience was young people in the North East aged 13-19 who live in areas where progression to higher education is low overall and lower than would be expected given key stage 4 attainment in those areas (areas defined by the Higher Education Funding Council for England). These are likely to be young people who are disengaged with the idea of higher education. They also wanted to reach young people aged 13-19 across the North East generally, as well as parents/carers/key influencers of young people.

The purpose was to raise awareness of higher education opportunities in the North East (generally – not institution-specific) and encourage young people to consider it as an option for them. To challenge misconceptions about what higher education is and the ‘type’ of students who study higher education qualifications.


Our approach

The FutureMe team, educational stakeholders and both current and past students were all consulted during the creative process for input, feedback and ideas.

The final route is based on the concept that FutureMe’s focus is to reach a demographic who feel excluded from higher education, to highlight that it is an option to them and they are special and part of the FutureMe campaign. The concept clearly features the idea that higher education gives students a forward momentum. The final identity also uses negative space within arrows to reiterate the point of FutureMe in identifying suitable students suited for higher education and helping guide them with additional information into potential higher educational options.

The colours were specifically chosen so that the brand was not identifiable as related to just one of the institutions – it was a separate brand for the consortium, not led by any existing colour palette.

The typeface ‘Planer’ was chosen for the brand as it was a unique typeface, not currently being used by any other brand, and it originated from a local foundry in Hexham (The Northern Block), which felt right for a profoundly North East brand. It is accessible with beautifully soft edges.

The identity was rolled out across several outputs:

  • Collateral style guides – for partners to use to ensure consistency
  • Brand guidelines and templates for business cards, email signatures, powerpoint presentations, letterhead, comp slips and other stationery
  • Brand awareness outdoor campaign including 6-sheets and streetliners
  • Annual reports and review documents as well as internal documentation
  • Exhibition materials including banners, tablecloths and printed materials
  • Social media graphics and collateral to use for ongoing content


Over 20,000 resources have been supplied to consortium members to support activity with young people (all of which include the FutureMe brand).

The client at FutureMe has given the following testimonial for our work to date:

“We are very pleased with the work that Narrative have done for us. We worked with Narrative in the very early stages of our project to develop our logo and branding. Narrative not only produced a range of excellent options for us which our students loved, but also provided some really useful advice and guidance about how we should approach branding. We are really happy with the work Narrative produced for us and are looking forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”



To find out more about our work or to see if we can help you with your next creative project, please call us on 0191 543 6550 or email

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