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University of Reading

Case Study

The University of Reading were looking to have a set of Happy Family styled cards designed to promote the diverse nature of the Pharmacy professions. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that a Pharmacy degree can only lead to a career as a pharmacist, this is an issue that our client and his team are keen to change.


Our client wanted the set of cards to be fun and engaging to capture the imagination of school children ages 14 –16 who may be wondering what a career in Pharmacy looks like. The cards should also have accurate information regarding each job role.

Creative Director

Ella Griffiths

Scope of work​





The primary aim of the cards is for schools to be able to use the cards as a method for breaking down misconceptions surrounding a career in Pharmacy. It was paramount that we developed a set of visually appealing and fun illustrations that work together as a consistent set. It was important to create a balance between the educational elements of the game and the fun aspects of playing it — we did not want the aim of the cards to be overlooked in favour of visual appeal and entertainment. The cards needed to be both engaging and informative for children aged between 14 – 16. ​


  • A set of twenty-eight Happy Family styled cards

  • Three/four printed A3 pieces to be used to showcase the course.

  • A family card outlining the different families and a rules card to outline the aims and guides of the game.

  • A box to contain and carry the cards


Whilst we knew of the game Happy Families, we had no knowledge of the rules or aims of the game. Therefore, this was our first step after receiving the brief. We looked at the wide range of approaches to the game, there were a vast array of different concepts and illustrative styles adopted. We decided that we wanted to adopt a modern, vector style approach to our illustrations. Furthermore, it was paramount that the cards were visually appealing to the intended audience and we believe that a modern approach would appeal to a younger audience.

After our initial meeting with the client we were provided with prototypes that he and his team had created. These prototypes included written outlines of each profession. It was our responsibility to edit the copy accordingly so that a younger audience with no prior knowledge of Pharmacy would be able to understand each job role. As we also had no previous knowledge of Pharmacy professions, we did our own research into each role to ensure that our editing of the copy was successful and accurate. The cards provided us with a detailed outline of each profession, allowing us to edit the text with greater speed and ease. In addition to this, the images included were also very useful during the initial design phase as we were able to replicate some of the images using our own illustrations to reflect our client’s original ideas. 



The client had intended to call the game ‘Happy Pharmacies’. The response we received from the market research echoed our own thoughts — that this was not the most effective name and that it could be ambiguous. Therefore, to make the link to the Happy Family’s card game more apparent we decided to rename the game, calling it ‘Pharmacy Happy Families’. We felt that this not only avoided any ambiguity, but it also reflected other sets of happy family cards that also took on a theme. We proposed the name change to the client who was very open to a change in name and agreed with us. Once we had addressed the name we moved onto designing the cards.

The Name


It was paramount to both the client and ourselves that the cards represented a diverse range of individuals. It is important that the intended users see a diverse range of people in the cards to represent reality. We created and adapted a set of illustrations to reflect the diversity of the pharmacy professions. We tried to create an even balance between genders and ethnicities throughout the set of cards. However, during the process our client felt that we had not quite achieved this equal balance in some of the families; in response, we edited our cards further to ensure this.


We were provided with extensive copy by our client after our initial meeting which we edited so that the intended audience could clearly understand each profession without any prior knowledge of the job or pharmacy. 

Editing Copy


Once we had finalised the design of the front of the cards with our client; focusing on typographic details, appropriate wording, the diversity of individuals, and a successful layout, we turned our attention to the back of the cards. We created a pharmacy themed pattern early on in the process which we thought would work well on the back of the cards. In addition to this, we also thought that this pattern could then be applied to the box which would help to ensure cohesion between all components of the game. We proposed this pattern to our client who approved of the pattern proposal. We decided to only add the name on the back of the cards as we wanted to create a simple design, keeping the main focus on the front of the card. It was important that all of the cards had the same design on the back as during the game the cards will be turned face down and the players must remain unaware of which family each card belongs to until they pick up a card. Therefore, cohesion was paramount.

Back of card displaying the use of an illustrative, pharmacy themed pattern.

The client liked the design that we had proposed but after a discussion with the rest of his team, he decided that he would like some additional information added. He wanted to add the names of the production and design teams. In response to this we altered our design to accomodate this additional information. We then proposed three different ideas for the client. However, after consulting with our lecturers during a real jobs meeting we were told that the University of Reading’s crest could not be used without the accompanying copy. Therefore, we had to alter the design of one of our proposals. We then sent the amended proposals to the client who chose the third option.

Rear design


Before we could move onto the design of the box, we needed to create cards that included the rules of the games and the families included. The client provided us with a list of rules to format. We ensured the rules were simple enough to quickly understand, whilst remaining informative. Although the rules included a large amount of text, we ensured that formatting into individual steps prevented the users from feeling overwhelmed and confused. In addition to the text on the card, elements of the pattern from the back of the cards and box have been subtly included around the edges. This certifies coherence across the entire set. The family card has also been designed to ensure that the users are able to easily and quickly understand which colour belongs to which family. As this displays the seven different family colours, the card utilizes a white background. This is to ensure each individual shade stands out and does not become a risk of blending into the background.

The Rules


"The final product was just what we were looking for. Throughout the project, the team generated exciting and creative ideas that will enhance the engagement of our product."

Final Outcome

Throughout the design process, our work evolved continuously as we experimented with different aesthetics, typographic details, and the adaptation of illustrations to suit each profession accurately. Our designs changed in response to feedback from the client and Real Jobs meetings to ensure that the final set of cards were accurate with regards to each profession and engaging with regards to the overall design

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