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UHI Inverness student wins competition to design new logo for Highland motoring group

By Gregor White

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Andrew Chatterton and Sheena Crumlish with Llara Plaza (centre) and her new logo.
Andrew Chatterton and Sheena Crumlish with Llara Plaza (centre) and her new logo.

A Highland motoring group has chosen a new logo designed by a UHI Inverness student as part of its rebranding to encourage more young Highland drivers to be road smart.

Highland Advanced Motoring Group (HiAM) has adopted visual communications student Llara Plaza’s design on its branding, including its website, promotional materials and stationery, as part of a refresh of its identity to attract younger drivers.

Llara and her classmates were tasked with the client design project to produce a new logo for the organisation to reflect the Highlands and to relate to younger drivers and riders who can often be most at risk due to inexperience.

Llara, who has recently completed her third year in BA Visual Communications and Design, said: “Having my logo chosen was great! It was the first time that I faced the challenge of creating a logo, and having it selected and used by the charity really pushed my confidence when exploring focusing my career on branding.”

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Her logo was designed to give HiAM a unique personality and voice and to suggest the outline of mountains and the flow of rural roads in the Highlands.

She added: “By designing the letter ‘H’ and a wave that represents both the road and the hills in the Highland landscape, I created a logo that made HiAM stand out but that still fits into the main branch branding, offering the security and trust that they have built throughout the years.”

The group was originally formed in 1975 as Inverness Advanced Motorists and was affiliated to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Over time IAM evolved into IAM RoadSmart, and the Inverness group widened its area to cover the Highlands.

Sheena Crumlish, HiAM membership secretary and national car observer/ assessor, said: “Our group is now reaching a wider area to promote better road safety through our advanced training programmes, and this meant a new logo was required. The committee chose Llara’s design for its unique blend of IAM RoadSmart identity with the local group’s desire to promote their profile to a younger audience in the Highlands.

“As a group we have already adopted the new logo on our updated website and correspondence. Further to this we will use this on pin badges for members and banners at publicity events.”

HiAM publicity officer Andrew Chatterton explained that historically the group’s members were aged over 30 and they were keen to attract younger drivers and riders; especially those in their late teens and twenties. Road safety data shows that these young drivers are far more likely to be involved in accidents due to bad driving or riding.

He said: “The brief given to the students was to come up with a marketing strategy to allow the group to raise its profile with young drivers and riders, and to hopefully encourage some of them to join us. We received a lot of good work, and many innovative ideas were proposed by the class. We felt that the work produced by Llara was of a very high standard and clearly met our key criteria.”

Ken Gowans, art and design lecturer at UHI Inverness, said: “This course provides real hands-on experience for the students through working with real clients. The design from Llara clearly demonstrates just one of the many ways UHI Inverness integrates with and adds value to organisations and communities throughout the Highlands.”

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