Amplifier Design Ltd Young Neurodiversity Champions

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Andrea Lee
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Lucy Hawkins, Tristan Bishop
  • Client
    New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education

There are an estimated 320,000 neurodiverse tamariki and rangatahi in Aotearoa. These students can thrive when given the right support however unsupported, neurodiverse ākonga are at significant risk. We see poor outcomes at an individual and whānau level - far too many parents and caregivers struggling to support a distressed child unable to fit into the education system. We also witness the struggle at a societal level where undiagnosed and unsupported neurodiversity plays a significant role in disengagement from school, truancy, alarming literacy and numeracy standards, intractable mental health outcomes, youth offending and unemployment. Although governments have made various attempts to provide more support for neurodiverse students, sobering statistics such as 1 in 4 women with ADHD have attempted suicide; 1 in 3 autistic people are unemployed; and at least 50% of prison inmates have dyslexia and 25% have ADHD, tells us there is an enormous amount of work still to be done.

NZCGE and aunched a campaign in early 2023 to raise an additional $10m from government and philanthropy to fund specialist support for 10,000 neurodiverse students and 500 schools. For this initiative to be successful, NZCGE needed to build awareness of the challenges and inequity our neurodiverse young people face every day in our schools and an understanding of what they need to thrive. The search was on to find 15 Young Neurodiversity Champions to stand up at Parliament and tell their stories to fight for a future in which all neurodiverse ākonga receive the support they need to thrive in Aotearoa’s education system.

Our objective was to create an identity that felt celebratory and would give our neurodiverse champions a sense of support, pride, and unity. We drew upon the infinity sign, the universal symbol for neurodiversity, crafting it into a contemporary, bold, and playful ‘N’ to denote the neurodiverse in Young Neurodiversity Champions. The full spectrum of the rainbow, once again a neurodiversity symbol of inclusion and diversity, adds a vibrant and celebratory quality, either as a secondary element or incorporated into the logo mark. The deep royal-blue offsets the vibrancy and imbues a more serious tone that reminds us that there is important work to be done.

We undertook this project with the understanding that the 15 Young Neurodiversity Champions would ultimately become the guardians of the brand. We kept the visual system simple and tight and were able to apply the brand to a good cross-section of media during the campaign to provide some solid guidelines.

We are truly proud and excited to hand over the reins to the 15 champions as they continue the fight for an education system that is both equitable and accessible for neurodiverse learners. We will continue to support them in their endeavours.