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Torry youth group create own branding as part of Maker Space project


A six month pilot project led by Robert Gordon University (RGU) has seen a group of young people from Torry create their own branding for a youth group.

Torry SquadThe Maker Space project, funded by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and delivered in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and the University of Aberdeen, has seen Cultural Animateur at RGU and Maker Coach Natalie Kerr work with the Torry Squad to design their own logo from scratch as well as produce branded hoodies.

Torry Squad is a group of 10 young people who are interested in local community activism, environmental issues and wider politics and who meet every Monday at Torry Library.

The group attend a number of events around Scotland and felt that a brand would be a valuable addition to the community consultations it carries out.

Working with local artists Gabrielle Reith-Thompson and Kate Benzie, the group was given an insight into visual merchandising and designed a range of logos which were then put to a vote at Torry Academy.

The favourite was used to produce a range of merchandise using facilities at Gray’s School of Art and MAKE, a digital fabrication studio hosted by RGU and supported by Aberdeen City Council, Creative Scotland and the UK Government Super Connected Cities programme.

Maker Space aims to inspire creativity and innovation in young people aged 11 to 16 through access to creative technology in their local community engaging with creative practitioners, academics, postgraduate students and others in the creation of workshops.

The Torry Squad unveiled their work at a local launch at Torry Library before hosting an exhibition at Seventeen on Belmont Street.

Natalie said: “The project has very much been driven by the young people, it has been very responsive to them and what they wanted to achieve. What has been really successful about the exhibition at Seventeen is that it is ultimately a showcase of them and their work, not only as part of Maker Space but as a youth forum.

“The Maker Space project is all about engaging with young people and challenging their perception of libraries as creative spaces. It looks at learning in a different, more creative and hands-on way and it has been great to see how the members of the Torry Squad have responded to it.”

Fern Mutch (13) said: “What I’ve enjoyed most about it is that it’s been a new experience and I’ve never had the chance to do something like this before. I’ve learnt a lot about being part of a group and team work and it has just been a positive experience in my life which I think will be useful in the future.”

Louise Pacitti (12) added: “I was surprised when my logo design was chosen as the winning one as I’ve never done anything like this before, but it has sparked my interest in the creative side of things.”

The Maker Space project is supported by the SLIC, RGU, MAKE Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council, the University of Aberdeen and Grampian Information.

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology