Core disciplines: Creative technology, Digital, Innovation/NPD/Service Design


The English-Speaking Union (ESU), founded in 1918, is an educational charity and membership organisation which believes in the power of spoken communication. It has spent the last 100 years changing lives through promoting oracy skills, and global and cultural understanding.


Campaign: Design and brand

 Experience: Digital design and build




In 2018, to celebrate 100 years of promoting better communication between people of all cultures and countries, the ESU wanted to build a campaign website, engage their audiences, and communicate both their illustrious history and the ambitious future of this world-renowned organisation.

With a wealth of personal stories which illustrate the ESU’s impact, they wanted to bring all this content together in a celebratory site which would link their rich history with their future focus: equipping young people with the oracy skills and confidence to engage with the world, discuss their ideas and share them with others.


The project started with an in-depth discovery workshop with the team at ESU, to uncover the audiences we wanted to reach, and their needs. We also looked at what determined the success of this project, and how to generate maximum value for the organisation.

From this workshop came a reimagined brief that aligned the goals for the website with organisational objectives. Alongside a vision board which would help translate needs and features into logical user journeys leading to clear calls to action, and a description of the site’s main content types, we emerged with the following goal:

“Create an innovative and immersive campaign hub that informs, updates and inspires interaction with the ESU to celebrate a landmark 100th anniversary.”

To create an immersive storytelling experience, we worked with the ESU team to define a content direction, we then iterated over the designs of page templates. Through this, we established a brave new design direction for the website, featuring full-width imagery, bold use of colour and strong typography. We achieved a fast, seamless experience for the user through use of an animated, colour-coded hero banner which would navigate between different sections of the site.




The 100 ESU website launched on January 8th 2018, just three months after the project began. The site’s bold visual direction has since been rolled out to the wider campaign. And it’s helped spearhead a campaign to empower young people to speak out about issues affecting their lives. See the results at #ESUSpeakOut

“We’re delighted with the impact that the website is having so far. It is enabling us to extend our reach further than ever before and to share both our relevance today and the importance of developing and harnessing oracy skills in young people to improve social mobility.

For the first time, we are able to share our compelling alumni stories on a modern, eye-catching platform which reflects the direction we are moving in, as a forward-thinking charity and membership organisation.”

Sarah Matthews, Digital Marketing Manager, English-Speaking Union





Read more about our work with the English-Speaking Union

Visit the 100 ESU website

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