National Youth Orchestra launches new identity

Created by agency SomeOne, the rebrand aims to help the organisation welcome a new generation of musicians

The National Youth Orchestra (NYO) was founded in the UK in 1948 as a “post-war symbol of hope and confidence”. Its goal is to provide teenagers with optimism, confidence and skills through sharing and performing music.

Over the next decade the NYO hopes to create a “significantly bigger national community” for teenage musicians of all backgrounds and levels of ability. With this in mind, the charity felt a rebrand was needed to better reflect the adventure of musical education and appeal to a new generation of artists.

Design studio SomeOne was brought in for the redesign and this started with a new strategy to “bind the organisation together” and provide new focus. The team found that the brand needed to be a “platform of motivation, not explanation”, which led to the creation of Play Your Part, the new NYO mantra and brand strategy, as it encompasses the musicians, tutors, parents, supporters and fundraisers all coming together and playing as one.

In terms of the logo itself, a minimal but bold new wordmark spells out NYO, which includes an animated version where the logo moves like keys being pressed on an instrument. Play Your Part also features in parts of the final lock-up, for instance in primary branded materials and communications. Alongside these updates, new colour systems, typographic palettes and image guides have also been created.

The new identity is a step away from what the charity previously had, which was a combination of “jaunty angles, ‘fun’ typefaces’ and random graphics”, and replaces it with something understated but still dynamic, and most importantly inspired by the people who come to the NYO.

“In the end it was young people who made the call. Rather than follow creative routes of ‘sound-activated’ visuals or ‘orchestral cues’, the core audience wanted a brand they could wear proudly among peers,” says Mark Smith, creative director at SomeOne. From print to pixel, and of course through the organisation’s live performances, the new identity will be applied to every touchpoint of the NYO.