Click Studio brings real-world opportunities for Graphic Design and Branding students

Graphic Design students standing with UNISON staff in a classroom after pitching to them.

UCEN Manchester’s Click Studio has continued to provide real-world opportunities for students across a number of courses this year.

Students receive live industry briefs from high-profile organisations via the Click Studio, allowing them to understand the demands of work in the industry including tight timelines, client feedback and managing expectations. 

The Intellectual Property Office are among previous clients, while organisations such as Unison and The Vegetarian Society have worked with students in 2023/24.


Unison, the public service union, approached the Click Studio with a brief for an advertising and awareness campaign to help inform young people who Unison are and promote the benefits of joining a union. 

Students on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Branding course took on the brief and began by conducting their own research to help inform their approach.

The students then used the project to learn and develop their AI skills, using software such as Midjourney to help create their designs. 

Sasha Hawkes, one of the first-year students who worked on the project, said: “I found this was the best way to create my idea and bring it to life, as it was a hard concept that was effective but couldn't be done without help. I found it fun to use a new software and learn how it works.”

The students collaborated with stakeholders at Unison throughout the process, before pitching their final designs at their End of Year showcase.

Speaking about the experience, Sasha said: “I was nervous, however Unison had already seen the principle of my idea and liked it, giving me a few pointers to elevate. When they saw my final design with the edits they suggested, they were really pleased with it.”

Sophie Sargeant, also a first-year student, added:

This project not only expanded my understanding of Unison and their mission but also furthered my skills in conceptual development. Working on this campaign taught me the importance of collaboration, and alterations in the creative process. 

"Additionally, showing a real client provided invaluable experience in presenting my ideas. Overall, working with Unison was a wonderful experience. I think their friendliness made this project both enjoyable and effective.”

Vicky Knight, Unison Regional Manager, said: “A huge thank you to the students for such an excellent collection of work and such a warm welcome to Unison staff and young members.

“It was a joy to hear about their research, awareness raising and processes in producing what will be a really exciting new suite of materials that we would love to utilise on our socials, websites, newsletters and other channels. 

“Everyone that has attended on behalf of Unison has been inspired by the project and is supportive of its continued progress.”

Moving forward, Unison will be working with students in The Manchester Film School and School of Business & Computing to further their campaign using the final designs. 

The Vegetarian Society

The Vegetarian Society approached Click Studio with a brief for some new branding for their National Vegetarian Week campaign, ‘Mix It Up’.
Our second-year Graphic Design and Branding students were tasked with encouraging young people to mix up their diets for National Vegetarian Week.

Aimee Speed, student and Project Lead, commented: “We decided on a fun, colourful campaign as we thought it would stand out to our particular audience. We used Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator to create the print work and logo design, and we also used Adobe XD to create a mini prototype.”

The students worked with Dierdra Barr, Director of Marketing & Communications at The Vegetarian Society, who was thrilled with the outcome and is considering how the designs can be used in the future.

Aimee added: “A few of us were nervous about presenting our work but the pitch went very well and Dierdra loved our work. We were very pleased with the final outcome and how well we all worked together at our End of Year show. We had all of the work on display and received lots of compliments from the people who attended.

From this project, I have gained lots of knowledge around the industry, pitching and teamwork. Good communication with your peers is key and I believe that working together so well is what made our project so strong. I couldn’t be prouder of myself and my peers!

Briefs continue to arrive through the Click Studio with FdA Special Effects Makeup-Artistry and BA (Hons) Makeup Artistry students currently working with UCEN Manchester’s parent company, LTE Group, to design and make the trophies for their internal staff awards.

There are also plans already in place for 2024/25. Creative Arts & Digital Media students will be working with Unite the Union, while students in The Manchester Film School will have the opportunity to work with Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service and Bird In Hand Productions.

If you’d like the opportunity to work on live briefs with top, real-world clients via the Click Studio, find the right course for you today and see how to apply.