A Bromley advertising student’s idea of how to improve literacy in prisons has claimed a top design award.

Alex Morris, who studies at as the School of Communication Arts in Brixton, and his partner Jay Parekh, claimed a Black and White Pencil at the Design and Art Direction New Blood awards for their idea ‘Inside Stories’.

As books donated to prisons must be brand new, the pair proposed giving prisoners the first read of freshly produced Penguin books, which ethically conscious readers can then purchase afterwards to establish a connection between them and the prisoner.

William Smith, head of brand at Penguin, commented: “Inside Stories took our brief – to enhance the reading experience – and responded with so much more than what that means for an individual.

“It asked us to consider whether we’re engaging in a reading community that includes everyone and respects every intellectual contribution, and to acknowledge that when books aren’t available to everyone, we’re all poorer.

“For these entrants, getting books to incarcerated people wasn’t a benevolent act of generosity, but a vital part of connecting readers and helping to foster sharing and reciprocity.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that this big-hearted and incisive project has been awarded both Black and White Pencils.”

With reading in prison statistically proven to reduce reoffending rates, giving prisoners access to better quality books can help foster habits that change lives.

Since 1980, New Blood has championed and inspired emerging creatives as they prepare to enter the workforce.