A youth-led logo design

A graphic designer holds an Apple Pencil as they design a logo on an iPad

In 2021, members of our Youth Board got together to finalise the new Shout Out for the Arts logo.

They met twice with members of the Adult Board, as well as a Graphic Designer from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Graham. They worked with him on the final design for this project.

Creating a vision

In advance of the get togethers, our Youth Board members had researched logos they liked and designed a few themselves. 

Two logos sit side by side, all with the text ‘shout out for the arts’ on them
Pictured: the journey of a logo.

They also wrote down some clear points of things that they felt the logo must do:

  • Not be too corporate.
  • Have a homegrown feel.
  • Consider initial artwork created by Youth Board members.
  • Have dominant words ’arts’ and shout’ bigger than the other words.
  • Have 3 or 4 main colours and be a consistent brand.
  • Use their original concept as a basis – the shape of an ear with sound-waves coming out to show the idea of communication.
  • Have wavy or straight lines in it.

The process of collaboration

When they met, they discussed which logos they liked and why, and most importantly, talked about what the Shout Out for the Arts logo needed to say.

Through an online session Graham, the designer, showed the Board the different variations he had created. His own creative process had begun by taking the Shout Out for the Arts mission statement as a starting point: “We believe we should be listening to young people about what they want to access in arts, culture and heritage and how they want to access it.”

He then incorporated hand-drawn elements to give an organic feel, really portraying that concept of ’homegrown’ as described in the initial brief. Other words that came out of the process were things like ’energetic, ’playful’, ’fun’, ’artsy’ and ’impactful’.

“It was a really strong process. We also met during lockdown so even though we missed being face-to-face, that session worked so well online. We had chatted to the Youth Board beforehand to ensure they felt comfortable instructing an adult designer and they did fantastically at this. They really did feed back to Graham and he could take away their ideas and form something that encompassed what the project is all about.”

Sophie, Royal Shakespeare Company
A logo is repeated on different coloured backgrounds - yellow, blue, pink, green, black and grey
The design pack for the new Shout Out for the Arts logo.

Listening to young people

Having vibrant colours was also really important to the young people and this was something very evident in the final design.

Graphic Designer Graham felt strongly that the rainbow colours were taken through to the final logo, because this is something the young people had incorporated in those early variations and talked about being important.

”This was a youth-led design process. The final logo had to be a result of their vision, not mine. The key to any design process is to understand your client’s brief so this was my goal to begin with. We met, I listened to their priorities and finally came up with what we call a ’design brief’, a document which explained the mission for the logo. Once I had created something, it then went back to the Youth Board for amends.”

Graham, Graphic Designer, Royal Shakespeare Company

The power of true enthusiasm

Graham, who usually works with adults on these kind of projects, said that the entire project was refreshing and it was exciting for him to work with young people in this way as their enthusiasm and passion for Shout Out for the Arts was very evident.

A logo which says ‘shout out for the arts’ is on a pink background
The final logo.

Many changes were made as the design journey progressed – the shape, the colours, the font and the individual elements included in the logo. One of the things to be removed, for example, was an ear which was used in some initial variations. The Youth Board felt that it wasn’t inclusive to use a body part that would have to be in just one skin tone and so couldn’t represent everyone.

“They had such specific and direct feedback. When you meet with someone you have designed something for, you never know how engaged they will be with giving you amends, and it was so nice and surprising for me to get such comments, ideas and changes. In the sessions, you could feel their energy towards this project directly.”

Graham, Graphic Designer, Royal Shakespeare Company

The final result was finished! A new rainbow-like creation, a high resolution title on a white background.

Header photo via Unsplash.

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