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The Open University

Quantity Produced


Production Cost

Production Time

6 weeks

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

30 cm (11.81 in) × 21 cm (8.26 in) × 10 cm (3.93 in)

Page Count

Paper Stock

Uncoated in different weights from 120 to 350gsm

Number of Colors





Apex (by Thirstype, designed by Rick Valicenti and Chester Jenkins)


I can’t imagine where to start on a project so open-ended as this one, geared to people from different backgrounds who are coming together—without ever meeting—to learn and explore design. I can just picture that delicious looking box waiting for me at my doorstep… to me, you just can’t go wrong when using chunky type, foil and cardboard.

U101: Design Thinking is a new 600 hour Open University course. It teaches students how to apply design thinking to a wide range of contexts, from the individual to the global. Students are encouraged to engage with issues of concern to them in their daily lives, addressing them through the use of carefully worked concepts and design proposals. These might be problems around home or work, in local government services, transport, or the environment.

Open University students are taught via distance learning and are based both within the UK and abroad. Regionally located tutors support and assess up to 20 students as they work through the course. 1500 students are expected to complete the course every year.

U101 is delivered wholly online so when students first register they will receive a physical package containing a number of elements all of which should instantly excite and engage them and make them want to start study. All this had to be contained in a package that could not exceed A4 × 10cm deep and weigh not more than 5kg (11 lb).

The package we created reflects the aims and values of the course and delivers on the following: something that delights, engages and surprises the students, that will be usable and reusable in their coursework, is playful yet meaningful and retains value beyond the end of the course.

When you have so many elements to produce, something is bound to give you more trouble, or if not trouble, something is bound to take more time and effort than you originally planned.

As there was a finite budget we had to work incredibly hard to source all of the components as quality pieces. From the t-shirt to the masking tape, all aspects were considered.

The box became an integral design feature because having no glue tabs reduced the cost again. We worked in collaboration with the printers through a series of prototypes to ensure that it functioned correctly.

The Open University Course Pack ---The Open University Course Pack ---The Open University Course Pack ---The Open University Course Pack ---The Open University Course Pack ---The Open University Course Pack


Recent Posts



The Open University Course Pack


Production Method



Spy Studio: Simon Clark, Ben Duckett



G&B Printers

This post was published in the original layout of FPO so all images are smaller. Project descriptions as well as production lessons are quoted in the main content area.

Post Author


Author Picture

Bryony Gomez-Palacio

Editor of FPO and co-founder of UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

July 11, 2011


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FPO (For Print Only), is a division of UnderConsideration, celebrating the reality that print is not dead by showcasing the most compelling printed projects.

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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

blogs we publish

Brand New / Displaying opinions and focusing solely on corporate and brand identity work.

Art of the Menu / Cataloguing the underrated creativity of menus from around the world.

Quipsologies / Chronicling the most curious, creative, and notable projects, stories, and events of the graphic design industry on a daily basis.

products we sell

Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work.

Brand New Conference videos / Individual, downloadable videos of every presentation since 2010.

Prints / A variety of posters, the majority from our AIforGA series.

Other / Various one-off products.

events we organize

Brand New Conference / A two-day event on corporate and brand identity with some of today's most active and influential practitioners from around the world.

Brand Nieuwe Conference / Ditto but in Amsterdam.

Austin Initiative for Graphic Awesomeness / A speaker series in Austin, TX, featuring some of the graphic design industry's most awesome people.


Favorite Things we've Made / In our capacity as graphic designers.

Projects we've Concluded / Long- and short-lived efforts.

UCllc News / Updates on what's going at the corporate level of UnderConsideration.

The End