National Youth Council of Ireland

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is the official representative organisation for voluntary youth organisations in Ireland. As the youth sector continues to expand, it recognised the importance of a fresh brand system that would solidify its position as a leading authority and enable effective communication with multiple audiences, including government departments, decision-makers, and young individuals.

The Background

NYCI approached us with a brand identity from the pre-digital era when it had just four programmes. Although it has served NYCI well, it is no longer suitable for the organisation's current needs because its number of programs, projects, and initiatives has significantly increased. It also failed to translate into digital platforms effectively. This meant our objective was to design a modern and adaptable identity system for digital and print applications that reiterates NYCI's position as a leader in its sector.

The Idea

Aiming to convey vibrancy and dynamism, the emphasis here is on the word 'Youth'. The logo showcases a unique and playful letter 'y' while solid letterforms on each side of the 'jaunty y' characterise NYCI's stature as the leading representative body for voluntary youth organisations. This combination strikes a harmonious balance, making the logo inviting and approachable and exuding seriousness and authority. The OC Highway typeface was chosen as the primary option for display purposes due to its versatility and playfulness. Meanwhile, Poppins is the primary brand typeface, offering character and legibility for body copy, secondary headings, introductory text, and pull quotes.

The Execution

The identity's visual language system is adaptable, allowing for expressive and conservative interpretations. It incorporates two shapes: the Ripple and the U. The U shape, derived from the 'Y' in the NYCI logotype, represents optimism and conservatism, while the Ripple shape can accommodate messaging and imagery. The colour palette includes a selection of vibrant colours that create contrast when combined with pastel shades. NYCI has expanded its programs, projects, and initiatives over time, and many of these have their own identities, logos, and colours, creating a disconnect with the primary identity. To resolve this disconnect, we adopted a systematic approach supported by guidelines on effectively implementing the brand system. Taking inspiration from the energy and angle of the 'Y' in the logo, we created a holding device to accommodate the names of various projects.

We commissioned a set of brand illustrations to showcase the diversity of NYCI's members and the young people it supports. Created by Ruan van Vliet, Donough O'Malley, Harriet Yakub, and Holly Pereira, these illustrations vary in style, but all adhere to the NYCI brand palette. Along with launching the new brand, we arranged an art competition among young people from member organisations. They were given the same theme as the illustrators: celebrating the diversity of NYCI. Two winners were selected, and their illustrations were featured as cover images on NYCI's social media channels.


100 Archive 2022

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It was a pleasure working with Red Dog on our rebranding process. The stakeholder engagement piece was very important to us, and Shona, Paula and the team excelled here, getting a real understanding of the breadth of our organisation and the challenges we faced in developing a consistent new identity. They really ‘got’ our work, and the inclusion of illustrations from young people in our membership in the identity was a masterstroke. The resulting brand identity system meets the brief exactly: it’s inclusive, flexible and modern with a touch of creative genius!

Daniel Meister, Communications Manager, NYCI

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Special thanks to our collaborators

Illustration: Holly Pereira

Illustration: Ruan van Vliet

Illustration: Donough O’Malley

Illustration: Harriet Yakub

Strategy: Mary Jennings

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