MA Design Management students participate in brand review for FTSE-100 Plc GKN

4th floor parkside building
MA Design Management

Birmingham City University

MA Design Management students have taken part in a corporate brand review for automotive and aerospace components company GKN plc, assessing how it articulates its brand values through design.

The project follows on from an introduction by the Institute for Design and Economic Acceleration (IDEA) and includes three student teams who presented early concepts in February. They will be making a further presentation to Lord Fox, GKN Director of Group Communications in May.


The teams provided fresh insights reviewing design tools, brand articulation through language and visual media, visual mapping, social media, photography and typography. They produced an ‘animated’ GKN brand and social media video including ideas for directional use of GKN chevrons all intended to create a sense of ‘global community’ and a recognisable ‘GKN Purpose’. Beverley Nielsen, Director, IDEA, stated:


GKN plc, a FTSE 100 British multinational company with a distinguished history dating back over 200 years, is headquartered in the Midlands with revenues of over £7bn annually employing 51,000 across 31 countries. Its core specialisms are in motion technologies and systems across four divisions; aerospace, automotive powder metallurgy and land systems.

GKN recently formed GKN Future Thinkers, an initiative bringing together its brightest and best to identify future priorities for the business seen as energy, transport, artificial intelligence, workspace, with branding and communications prioritised for internal review. Caroline Norman, Course Director, MA Design Management added:

Future Thinkers

As part of this work Future Thinkers commissioned Birmingham City University MA Design Management students to investigate GKN branding through a preliminary review of how the brand communicates and is perceived by employees, customers, and most importantly by the young talent they need to recruit for the future. 

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