Training Course Handbook Design


AK Graphics re-designed our Module One Handbook and Signbook with a fresh look and a new format that makes the information easier to follow and more engaging.  We were delighted to have such useful consultation and the resulting design showed that Anne, Eimear and the team were really listening to our needs and considering the range of potential users of these materials.  We particularly like the use of some graphics to highlight key points, e.g. a culinary theme for ‘The Ingredients of Successful Communication’.  We look forward to using the new materials in our training programmes all over the country.
Mary Cullen, Lámh Manager,
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Module One Lámh Course is for staff members and professionals who have started to work in an environment where Lámh is used and covers 100 Lámh signs and how to support a Lámh user. Lámh is a manual sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland. Lámh signs are used to support communication.

Lámh approached AKGraphics to redesign their Module One Lámh Training Course material. The previous booklet was very text heavy with little definition or separation between sections, the repetitive style of the previous design meant the content was not very engaging. The main goal was to produce a booklet that would be easy to use and to ensure that the trainees engage with the content, this would make teaching the course easier.

We selected a palette of colours that are bright and fresh, we used these colours throughout the handbook design. The colours are used to define different sections within the content and to colour code classification of sign types. The colours are visually stimulating without being distracting. As well as colour, we used a texture to add additional interest to the various section in the design of the Handbook. To make sure that the book is visually interesting we used a selection of images throughout the design. Some images were supplied by Lámh and we sourced a number of additional images to show the variety of people who use Lámh. The key to Lámh is successful communication so it was essential that the Course book design also communicated the content successfully. When designing for a training book it is important to keep the teacher and student in mind at all times. The design should be focused on making teaching and learning as easy as possible. The signs in the Signbook are clearly explained at the beginning of the chapter and we were able to reuse the illustrations from the previous Signbook to keep within budget. A full index, broken down in two ways, alphabetically and by classification, allows the trainee to easily find the sign required.

The training books consist of the Handbook and the Signbook. The Handbook explains the history and theory of the Lámh system while the Signbook depicts and explains the signs and how to use them. Both of these books are spiral bound together. This is an unusual approach but has several benefits. Both books are together so all content is quickly and easily accessed. Printing costs are also lower as only one binding is required. The only possible disadvantage would be distinguishing between the two books, this is overcome by using heavy card on the covers as that allows the user to quickly find where one books ends and the other begins.

The completed design was very well received by the Lámh Board of Directors and we are excited to hear feedback from the training courses. Lámh run a number of different courses and we look forward to applying the new design style to more course material in the future.

A similar design approach could be successfully applied to a range of training books such as; first aid course manual design, health and safety training manual design, operating manual design and indeed workbook design for primary or secondary school. If you have a course that requires a printed book please get in contact with us so that we can talk through some options with you in relation to the design of your training course material. Email or call 059-9133633.

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