SUPPLEMENT: DESIGN AWARDS 96; Industry Sector awards: Best use of design in healthcare marketing sponsored by MCA Group



Client: Greater Glasgow Health Board

Consultancy: Northcross

Project: Alive handbook


Client: Boots

Consultancy: Lewis Moberly

Project: Nicotine patches


Client: Boots

Consultancy: Newell & Sorrell

Project: Daily supplement systems


Client: Norton Healthcare

Consultancy: In-house

Project: Easi-Breathe


The Glasgow Health Board wanted to provide the youth of the city with a

practical and influential health directory as part of its multi-media

campaign, Get Up and Glasgow.

The aim was not simply to provide a reference guide to life, but to

provide information on a wide range of important and sensitive youth and

health-related issues, explaining and interpreting each in a positive


It was recognised that good design was essential to appeal to the

discerning 16-25 age group, and the open brief asked for an imaginative

use of colour and bold graphics. Northcross got a feel for the project

through discussion groups with fifth and sixth formers, asking what

motivated them, the nature and extent of any pressures, and where they

went for information.

The handbook’s design reflects the style and imagery of current youth

literature and the visual language of youth culture, with each section

clearly identified by bold headings, graphics and amusing anecdotes. It

has been well received, due to the nature and relevance of the content

and the frank editorial.


Many consumers want vitamin supplements, they just don’t know which

ones. And perusing the list of ingredients on most bottles is a

thankless task. Faced with increased competition, Boots decided to focus

instead on the needs of different lifestyles.

Last year, it launched an initial six products, aimed at groups such as

vegetarians, menopausal women and those leading active and demanding

lives. The design used simple silhouette illustrations to communicate

the lifestyle of each product line, with the Boots logotype drawing on

Boots values. The success of the initial six lines has been immediate.


The market for nicotine replacement products (NRT) exploded in 1993 when

over-the-counter sales were first allowed.

Nicorette and Nicotinell, the leading brands, built a market worth

pounds 60m, but after the first year, sales slid to pounds 40m due to

consumer disenchantment and misuse. However, Boots was convinced it

could attract new and current users of NRT products, growing the total

market and its share.

It asked for packaging and literature which would grab consumers’

attention, stand out on shelf, and give its brand a completely different

positioning and an innovative identity when compared with its rivals.

Lewis Moberly came up with a rainbow illustration which conveys

optimism, while stressing (unlike other brands) that this is a course of


Within eight months of launch, the Boots brand had become the third-

largest brand. The design paid for itself in terms of profit by the end

of the second week of launch.


When an asthma attack hits and the chest tightens, the hardest task is

to co-ordinate pressing an inhaler and breathing in the medicine. So

when it became obvious in 1988 that the CFC propellants used in inhalers

would have to be replaced, Norton Healthcare set about designing a low-

cost improvement which would overcome this problem.

Its solution, launched last year, operates with both current and new

ozone-friendly propellants. ‘Easi-Breathe’ is used simply by opening the

dust cap, inhaling and closing the cap, a big improvement over the

complexities of the standard actuator, which requires eight to ten steps

for use.


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