The Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) is a core agency of YACVic. YDAS is the only advocacy service in Australia which exists to support young people with disabilities to achieve their human rights. By continually undertaking systemic advocacy, working on policy issues, providing individual advocacy, outreach events and training, our state-wide agency works to ensure the interests of young people with a disability are heard by government and other decision-makers.

In 2017, after a decade of growth and change, we felt it was time to refresh the YDAS logo. In the past, our in-house designers would have tackled a job like this. This time around, we wanted to flip our approach and treat the project in a way that is much more in line with our work and values.

Image of old logo. YDAS in big red caps and full name in smaller navy capitals

Old YDAS logo 

YDAS continuously advocates for inclusion and opportunities for young people with disability. Could there be a better way to practice what we preach than to hire a graphic designer with disability to redesign our brand?

We used our networks to call-out for expressions of interest from young graphic designers with disability. We were looking for a young person with branding experience and quality design skills under their belt, but mostly we really wanted to engage someone with passion for the project, and a unique connection with our brand and work.

We are deeply committed to youth participation. We want young people to be meaningfully involved in the work we do and have their voices embedded in our projects and processes. That’s why it was important for the rebrand to be a properly paid, professional opportunity from the onset rather than a job which 'pays' in 'exposure' or 'experience' – an issue we know young workers face every day. 

We received lots of wonderful applications for the role and were thrilled to see the many ways that young designers were interpreting our brand.

One designer named Ali really stood out for us. We were super impressed by his extensive graphic design portfolio, which includes amazing design work for Writers Victoria and Child Wise. As a young person with disability, Ali also brought his own unique perspective to the project, and we were thrilled to have him on board.


Graphic Designer Qambar Ali

We worked with Ali to design a new logo and visual identity that would represent our disability advocacy work while keeping with a young and fun vibe.

It was quite a difficult brief: the new YDAS brand needed to incorporate both the full name of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service, as well as its acronym, YDAS. In addition to that, we needed to sneak the YACVic logo in, as well as a visual link to the parent brand.

We consulted deeply with the YDAS steering committee (a group of young people with varying experiences of disability) on what they would like to see in a new YDAS brand. There was a strong feeling that the colour purple should not be used as its popular in lots of existing disability brands, and that the colour red be avoided as it implies danger or anger. In our brief to Ali, we suggested we keep the deep navy of the previous YDAS brand for the historical link and its great legibility, both on paper and screen. Outside of these insights, Ali had free reign, especially when it came to using other colours and shapes.

YDAS logo - 'YDAS' and 'Youth Disability Advocacy Service' and has coloured dots

New YDAS logo 

The pictogram that Ali designed to sit alongside the typography of the new logo is awesome. The boldly coloured circles are full of personality, coming together to represent everything YDAS stands for: inclusion and diversity. Overall, these elements introduce a whole lot of fresh and new into our brand identity, which reflects how Ali really ‘got’ the youthfulness and energy we wanted to evoke.

We really appreciated the work Ali produced for the YDAS rebrand, and in the way he ran the project, hitting every (admittedly sometimes quite tight!) deadline along the way.

We now have an amazing new logo that we are so proud of. It has increased our visibility and elevated our profile in the disability sector, and we really couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

We hope you love our new visual identity as much as we do!

Old YDAS logo new YDAS logo side by side

The old and the new

Take a closer look at Ali's portfolio. You can check out his work on the YDAS rebrand project, and see the brand identity in action on the YDAS website.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of working with young people, or identifying ways you can incorporate young people into your work or organisation, head over to Yerp.