University of Leeds: Health and Wellbeing
Encouraging staff to take care of their health and wellbeing
Following the arrival of a new Vice-Chancellor in 2020, the University of Leeds set out a new strategy to transform the University and prepare the organisation for future challenges. Focused around community, culture and impact, the new strategy highlighted a need to support health and wellbeing across the University's staff in order to foster a positive and productive environment.
The University already had a strong infrastructure of health and wellbeing services and programmes for staff and students, but the communications around health and wellbeing at the time focused principally on health and safety. A broader, but more coherent approach was called for to address a wide range of issues such as mental health, women's health, stress management and better sleep practice, as well as promoting the benefits of physical exercise.
Our brief then was to develop a visual identity that would support the University's health and wellbeing strategy, incorporating campaigns, activities and services and help staff to feel empowered to take steps to improve their own health and wellbeing.
The primary audience for the project was the entire University staff — around 9000 people working in a variety of roles from professors, researchers and lecturers through to technical support, admin, maintenance and security staff. Given this diversity, it was important to understand that health and wellbeing means different things to different people – for some it's lane swimming at lunchtime, for others it's about getting a better night's sleep. Both equally valid.
Working with the University, we arrived at a broader definition of health and wellbeing that could inform the visual identity. Health is about state — how you are physically and mentally, while wellbeing is about how you feel about different aspects of your life. On this foundation we developed an identity based around a softer colour palette and a free, accessible illustration style to appeal to all audiences, with messaging that could adapt readily to specific campaigns.
The identity was launched to mark the University's week-long Window on Wellbeing in 2022, a programme of events, workshops and shared activities to encourage participation across the campus.Since then, the identity scheme has been applied to a series of other health and wellbeing initiatives including Wednesday Wellbeing Walks, the recruitment of Health & Wellbeing Champions, Meno-Pause for Thought Cafés and the provision of free period products, as well as 2023’s Window on Wellbeing week.