Darebin Youth Services

A Council brand identity that made us feel young again! Building a mix of illustration, interpretive shapes and colour, we co‑designed an identity that could be played with and owned by young people of Darebin.

Scope
Engagement driven identity development for Darebin Youth Services


Team
Bec Nally, Creative Director
Jason Rohmursanto, Designer
Pollyanna Guthrie, Junior Designer
Hilary Walker, Site + Studio Photography
Bri Hammond, Decibels Workshop Photography


Client
City of Darebin



Engaged through 2018–19

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Decibels Indie supports young emerging artists, musicians, bands, singer-songwriters, producers and creatives to develop the skills and networks needed to be independent artists.

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The program is a Darebin Council initiative and is one of three core programs within Darebin Youth Services.

To support Decibel’s recruitment activities, Public Journal were engaged to develop an authentic brand narrative, applied to core collateral and adaptable for young people to work with.

The tone and mood of the brief was developed with young people and started off as a conversation something like this:


We want our friends to dig it.
We want it to go with our music.
Can it not be shit?

When developing the potential aesthetic directions, we were conscious of providing a flexible framework for ongoing use and design by young people. After some early check-ins with program officers and young people, we developed a series of flat vector illustrations, colourways and typographic treatments that had scope to be played with and owned by the program’s participants.

To support young people to feel confident in working with their new suite of tools, Public Journal ran a full day workshop where a series of pieces were co-designed for the group’s upcoming showcase.

The program is a Darebin Council initiative and is one of three core programs within Darebin Youth Services.

To support Decibel’s recruitment activities, Public Journal were engaged to develop an authentic brand narrative, applied to core collateral and adaptable for young people to work with.

The tone and mood of the brief was developed with young people and started off as a conversation something like this:


We want our friends to dig it. We want it to go with our music. Can it not be shit?

When developing the potential aesthetic directions, we were conscious of providing a flexible framework for ongoing use and design by young people. After some early check-ins with program officers and young people, we developed a series of flat vector illustrations, colourways and typographic treatments that had scope to be played with and owned by the program’s participants.

To support young people to feel confident in working with their new suite of tools, Public Journal ran a full day workshop where a series of pieces were co-designed for the group’s upcoming showcase.

The program is a Darebin Council initiative and is one of three core programs within Darebin Youth Services.

To support Decibel’s recruitment activities, Public Journal were engaged to develop an authentic brand narrative, applied to core collateral and adaptable for young people to work with.

The tone and mood of the brief was developed with young people and started off as a conversation something like this:


We want our friends to dig it. We want it to go with our music. Can it not be shit?

When developing the potential aesthetic directions, we were conscious of providing a flexible framework for ongoing use and design by young people. After some early check-ins with program officers and young people, we developed a series of flat vector illustrations, colourways and typographic treatments that had scope to be played with and owned by the program’s participants.

To support young people to feel confident in working with their new suite of tools, Public Journal ran a full day workshop where a series of pieces were co-designed for the group’s upcoming showcase.

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Off the back of our work with Decibels, Public Journal were engaged to develop a complimentary suite of visual tools to support Darebin Youth Hub’s visual identity.

Darebin Youth Hub is an accessible space for young people, providing them with support and services as they transition from dependence to independence. The Hub is a hive of activity on the creek side of Northland shopping centre — providing skills development, legal and social services, creative activities and a safe space for young people to take responsibility of and engage with.

While the inside of the Hub was lively and engaging, the outside of the building lacked the same visual energy. The brief was for Public Journal to work with young people to develop a visual story of their experiences inside the Hub and support their sense of ownership of the space with an authentic narrative that could be applied to the outside of the building.

Public Journal developed a co-design framework that sat alongside the Hub’s existing ‘Create’ workshops and led to a series of interpretive shapes and colours based on young people’s photography of the space. These shapes were then produced as die cut pieces to be used in a co-design workshop and facilitate the design of unique compositions produced by young people, photographed as flat lays during the workshop.

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This co-design process enabled authentic engagement and connection to the final application whilst offering young people design knowledge such as composition technique, studio photography and specialty print processes.

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The third program of Darebin Youth Services now wanted to join the party so Public Journal were engaged to develop a visual narrative that tied the Outreach program in with The Hub and Decibels.

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The brief was two-fold. How could we develop an authentic visual language for the Outreach program and also consider how these three identities might tie together as an overarching visual language for Darebin Youth Services’ recruitment and engagement activities?

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Outreach is an external engagement program and exists where young people are — skate parks, public spaces and sometimes homes. After gathering associations related to the program’s primary activities, it was clear that Darebin’s parks were an important part of the program’s identity. We developed a series of abstract shapes based on the contours of skate bowls and ramps in Darebin.

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Whilst all of the program’s visual assets were complimentary in their vector forms and conceptual reference to the services, we recognised there was an opportunity to represent the most important part — the activities and responses of the young people.

This was developed as a series of dynamic patterns and shapes, anchoring the overall suite of devices and breathing a lively sense of activity into the final set.

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This overarching identity has been applied to a set of environmental touchpoints to support the program's recruitment and promotion initiatives within the community.

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The organic growth of this identity ensured that the language was authentic for each core program and avoided the potential service level aesthetic that may have evolved with a top down approach to the identity development.


Our job was to listen, provide an accessible design framework for engagement and at times just get out of the way and let the young people do their thing.

Public Journal’s co-design frameworks had enabled Darebin Youth Services to mature as an outward facing brand by developing an authentic framework for visual expression.

The service was keen to ensure this unique co-design methodology was utilised for future planning and involve young people in the planning of their own strategic pathways. While engagement was a key objective, the desired documentation would also need to support Council procedures.

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How might young people get excited about Council strategy? Public Journal worked with Darebin Youth Services to develop a co-design workshop that prompted young people to engage with content and design their visual narrative in response.

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Building on the previous co‑design workshops, Public Journal developed a series of die cut shapes, info‑graphic assets and quote pieces. These were used in a carefully designed workshop framework to support young people to illustrate pre‑typeset layouts.

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The result of this workshop speaks for itself — a series of beautiful layouts full of care, energy, personality and enthusiasm. We sat in the studio after this session just gob smacked. This is when participation and co-design truly does work.

The final flat lay photography was carefully pieced together, finished off with one last interactive concept — a customisable cover that could be designed by the end user with a set of kiss cut stickers.

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Darebin’s young people planned and held an official launch for their new strategic vision, inviting key Council officials, local police and program staff to celebrate the start of the next three years for the service.

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The level of enthusiasm and ownership was peaking. What could have been a dry, Council document was quite the opposite. This was because it was made, owned and presented by the people it was meant for. It wasn’t a badge, it wasn’t just an official Council process that must be followed. It was a chance to share work, to show off abilities and to celebrate the development of bright, talented individuals and their valued voices in our community.

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The engagement led process, drawing on co-design workshops, open dialogue and face-to-face meetings with young people, enabled the visual language to be spoken with the true voice of the end user.

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Wow young people, so much heart and talent.
Such a pleasure working with you.

Wow young people, so much heart and talent. Such a pleasure working with you.

Wow young people, so much heart and talent. Such a pleasure working with you.

Wow young people, so much heart and talent. Such a pleasure working with you.