A short while ago Example art group were approached by Mid Sussex District Council asking for involvement in a community art project to create a logo or sign for one of their young people initiatives, Streetmate.

The project takes its mini-bus into various communities around Mid Sussex after school, providing a safe point of contact for teenagers, giving them youth services information, the occasional activity from invited experts and most importantly, a hot drink and a friendly face.

Annie Burrows and I, from Example, both rose to the challenge, agreeing to meet with the young people for two sessions armed with paper, pens and paint!

To get to the final product, a logo, we really wanted input and involvement from the young people and Streetmate leaders. We ran two workshops with the East Grinstead team, talking about visual identity and logos, getting them to guess the famous logos, looking at hand lettered type. In the first workshop we then had them create their own type for ‘Streetmate’, and in the second, they worked on painted textures and hand prints.

Letter workshop

Letter forms

Some of the finished letter forms, above, and painted textures, below.

Wind proofing the wet patterns!

Once we had collected a lot of material – hand lettering, painted textures and hand prints, everything went back to the studio to do the hard part – working out it would all pull together into a logo. We scanned the letter forms and converted them to one colour to make for a more cohesive design, and assembled them into ‘STREETMATE’. I then combined the letters with some of the paint splatted hand prints, into a design which echoed their old logo of overlapped hands within a circle. A final touch, to give an urban street feel, was to underlay everything with a tarmac texture, to link with the ‘street’ of their name.

We desperately wanted the final design to use the artwork from the workshops and for it to be something the young people would be proud to associate with – in design, style, colour and feeling proud of their own artistic input. It was therefore important that before the signs were made, the designs went back to the young people for approval, with two colour options and lo and behold…. we’re proud to present the finished signage:

The finished large sign


The finished small sign

The finished small sign on bus

Now we just need someone handy at removing old stickers from vehicles…

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