Open University.

Hafan. Telling interactive stories of the people of Wales.



Project type


Open University is a public and long distance university. Its courses attract over 100,000 students each year from all over the world with a small number of those courses formed around Welsh history and language.

Getting people excited about Wales.

Open University wanted to promote their Welsh based courses to a wider audience. Our creative team of researchers, copywriters, designers, and filmmakers accepted the task of bringing these courses to life.

The task was simple: draw more students to these Welsh based undergraduate courses. But how do you make a university course appealing to drive engagement and sign-ups? People don’t know about all the courses at the university simply because there are too many of them. Therefore, the approach had to be considered and concise. Wales had to stand out from the crowd.

Letting a country tell its story.

We decided to share the lives of people living in Wales. A Snowdonia Park ranger, a designer and illustrator, a singer-songwriter, and an international rugby referee. Real people that live and work in Wales who tell their own personal stories. The user can then connect on a much deeper level with a country, and more importantly, with what it has to offer.

People have told stories for centuries. But when brands and organisations tell stories to their customers, the message sometimes gets obscured. Storytelling rarely connects on an emotional level. Knowing our audience of general learners - their thought processes and behaviours - and the factors within the market, we formed the storytelling approach accordingly.

An artistic website.

Language, poetry, art and music are among the things that come together to form this unique country. Hafan was born to portray these elements.

We started by filming a series of ink flowing animations. The video footage of our storytellers shot at locations around Wales, layered underneath the ink, is revealed as the user hits the page. Video content that conveys key course details that users can access based on the topics and areas they would like to learn more about. The user journey then progresses by offering a set of challenges that test users’ newly gained knowledge of Wales.

The website is created via a series of art directed stages that consist of filming and interactive design. Typography on the site is hand-painted and compliments the natural artistic look and feel of the site. Other elements are also hand-drawn, drawing on Welsh heritage for an integrated cultural experience.

A new kind of university campaign.

When Open University asked us to help promote their Welsh courses, it was clear that the best way to do so was to get at the very heart of the courses. Pre-empting the user to progress and to discover the different Welsh based courses that can be found on the Open University website.

It’s a representation of pushing creativity, content and technology that connects visitors with a country like never before on a site that’s visually fantastic. It invites the user to engage. And once the user is engrossed within the local stories, it has the ability to change that person’s perception of Wales. The site has since been shortlisted for a BIMA Award in the 2016 Education category.

I have been really impressed with Sequence’s creativity, innovative outlook and receptiveness displayed throughout the formation of ‘Hafan.’ I am delighted with final result and the way in which the interactive encourages users to explore Welsh language and culture in a fun and accessible manner.

Georgia Axtell-Powell Open University

Products and services used

Related Work