As a team we realised creating a logo for the project would be an opportunity to start testing out the best ways to work collaboratively with young people to create artwork. We knew it may take some time to find an approach that was both functional and inclusive of the young people’s ideas and experiences, so we hoped this would be a good trial run for the comic making process.
Sam, the comics artist began by sketching some initial logo design options. She focused on the rough brief of communicating the creative nature of the project and finalising a title/ tag line for it under the wider ACoRNs banner.
The team then discussed the images and highlighted the ones we felt were working most effectively. Ultimately we all decided that the best way to move forward from this point was to share the sketches directly with the young people and get their responses before we progressed the design further.
Tracie, Head of faculty for Art Design and Technology at New Forest School, ran a session with small groups of pupils, year groups 7-10 asking them to design logo ideas using the images Sam created as a starting point of inspiration. Students really rose to the challenge and had definite ideas about what the final image should highlight. One very interesting bit of feedback was the need for the images alone to give a good sense of the project, as some young people might be unable to read the text. Students were also very enthusiastic about having ‘young people’s voices’ as a concept feature strongly in the design. As can be seen in the images below students created vibrant, lively artwork using digital tools!
The team again discussed the images and decided they should aim to incorporate multiple ideas from different students’ designs rather than selecting one, to avoid singling out any particular young person’s contribution and excluding others.
Sam then worked up a second round of sketches, responding to the students’ ideas and feedback they discussed with Tracie, aiming towards designs that would honour their priorities.
We were unfortunately limited somewhat in how much more student interaction we could incorporate at this time due to Covid disruptions to schools. Ideally we would have liked to offer a further round of feedback and creative work, but the difficulties of coping with lockdown learning made it challenging for young people to engage fully.
The team therefore selected the design we felt best represented the ideas discussed so far with students and decided to move forward due to project time constraints.
Overall the team was happy with the amount of collaboration we were able to achieve under difficult circumstances and felt the general format of idea generation being passed back and forth between the artist, team and young people iteratively was a good model to use moving into the comic making process.