Students in for thrill ride on Alton Towers design project

Student designers have won the chance to create new branding for one of the UK's biggest entertainment companies.

Alton Towers Education set a live brief for final year students on the Graphic Design and Illustration degree courses at Staffordshire University to come up with branding for the theme park's Education Programme.

The competition saw students present their ideas to the Alton Towers Resort marketing team and duo James Hansell, 20 from Talke Pits and Molly Turton, 20 from Derby, impressed with their creative concept.

Jonny Harper, Schools Brand Manager at Alton Towers Resort, said: “We had some insightful and innovative work on the day however I was blown away by the strength of the final proposal by James and Molly who we are now working with on the project.

“As a combination of illustrator and designer they approached the task as a brand, not only creating captivating visuals but thinking through the whole project as a full package.”

Alton Towers Resort provides educational experiences to thousands of young people every year providing schools with a unique and thrilling environment to broaden young people’s achievement though academic, personal, social and career development.

James and Molly's branding features a 'think box' exploding with ideas and they opted to create a real-life image in Staffordshire University’s specialist photography studios instead of using design software (pictured).

James, studying BA (Hons) Graphic Design, said: “Normally a brief is really specific but this was so open. It was a way to express what we wanted to do and use our creative freedom.”

The pair used invisible string to carefully arrange objects for the photograph which features a box bursting with the tools to help learners on their educational journey.

Molly, studying BA (Hons) Illustration, explained: “We found odd pens under the bed, paperclips, staplers and other items then spray-painted them in the Alton Towers Resort colours of purple and red.

“I think they wanted something a little out of the ordinary and we didn't just want to use Photoshop. It wouldn't have given the same effect.”

James ad Molly will now work closely with Alton Towers Education over the next few months to make their design idea a reality.

Once finished the branding will be used in the Education Centre, which is sponsored by Staffordshire University, and feature on the Alton Towers Resort webpages which receive around 44 million web visitors.

“Merlin Entertainment is a massive client so the practical experience of working with them will be really useful. I’m really proud that we did this alongside our course work.” James commented.

Molly added: “Instead of wondering what it's going to be like working in industry, the course really encourages you to try things like this while we are still at uni.

“Working with Alton Towers Resort there will be less restrictions and it'll really help us expand the whole idea. Rather than being a project for uni it’s now a project for the wider world.”

Discover more about Staffordshire University's design courses by attending an Open Day. Find dates and book your place here.


Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
t: +44(0) 1782 292702
m: 07799341911