UHI Inverness student designs logo for charity’s new centre

A DESIGN by a UHI Inverness student has been chosen as the logo for a new £4million integrated respite and play centre for disabled young people that is due to open in Inverness next year.

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Robyn Paterson’s logo 'perfectly encapsulates' the new centre

The Haven Centre, Scotland’s first multi-purpose centre for children and young adults with severe learning disabilities and complex needs, is being built in Smithton by the Elsie Normington Foundation.

Earlier this year the foundation set the third year BA (Hons) Visual Communication and Design students at UHI Inverness a brief, asking them to develop a visual identity for the new centre.

The trustees selected a flower design by student Robyn Paterson (21), who is from Musselburgh and moved up to Inverness to study. Robyn, who works part-time in marketing, chose to study at UHI Inverness because of its smaller class sizes, relaxed atmosphere and proximity to the great outdoors.

Robyn’s logo will be used for all the external and internal signage in the building. 

It was unveiled on Thursday, 8 December at a small celebration event in the Palace Hotel, Inverness to mark the tenth anniversary of the foundation.

Robyn, who is now in her final year, said: “It was a complete shock when they asked if they could use the design I’d created, but of course I jumped at the opportunity. Throughout the year they gave everyone in the class well-constructed feedback enabling us to develop the designs in the best possible way.

“I wanted the design to be mature enough for the adult market, such as parents, as well as being appealing to children. The use of a flower also signifies growth within the community that the Haven Centre is reaching.

“When the trustees contacted me, we also discussed a couple of changes which I happily made. These included the use of the Elsie Normington Foundation brand colours within a gradient, as well as the addition of a friendly face on the flower. 

“Our lecturers at UHI Inverness always make sure to source briefs with true industry experience, and this is one example of that. This has helped me to become more confident in my work and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that the foundation has given me.”

Learning disability campaigner Elsie Normington set up the foundation following the launch of her book, ‘The Silent Doorbell’ in 2012. It told of her struggle raising her son Andrew who has a severe learning disability. Her story exposed the lack of provision for children and young people with severe learning disabilities and complex needs in the Highlands and Islands.

It eventually led to a successful £4million fundraising campaign to build the Haven Centre.

Elsie Normington, Chair and Founder of the foundation, said: “The logo designed by Robyn really captured the ethos and vision of the Haven Centre; we are absolutely delighted with it.  Robyn worked well with our marketing team and showed a tremendous work ethic. She is a real credit to UHI Inverness. The launch of the logo comes at a very special time for the foundation as we celebrate our tenth anniversary and look forward to the future of the foundation and developing and delivering new projects in the Highlands which will support local children and young adults with learning disabilities, and their parents and carers.”

The brief required that the students understood the charity’s history, objectives, vision and strategy for the future.

Iain Boyd, a trustee of the foundation, said: "I would like to thank Robyn for all her hard work in creating this logo. She is a talented graphic designer, and our Board of Trustees are delighted with this logo which perfectly encapsulates the charity's values and mission."

Ken Gowans, art and design lecturer at UHI Inverness, said: "It has been a wonderful experience for Robyn and other Visual Communications students to have an opportunity to collaborate with the Haven project. Working with real clients enhances the learning experience, making it real for our students. This project is one of many that demonstrates how UHI Inverness engages with communities and the third sector throughout the Highlands, while preparing our students for their future careers."

The Haven Centre will comprise three respite flats for young adults up to the age of 30, an indoor specialist play centre with childcare facilities, a community café, meeting spaces, and an outdoor garden.