National Youth Orchestra


Playing our part in the National Youth Orchestra…

As a young person, joining The National Youth Orchestra opens doors…

You open a room full of people who love the same kind of music as you.

You open a chance to learn how to play better, with the best in the business.

You open up new ideas, new friends, new places to visit, new music to master.

In fact, orchestra is only a small part of the picture —  because the biggest thing that you’ll open up, is you.

The only thing young people need to do to get started is to get involved. 


The National Youth Orchestra came to SomeOne to help rebrand the organisation ready for a new generation of musician to play their part.

The NYO is the UK’s leading organisation developing teenagers confidence, optimism and skills for life, through playing music together.

Often described as the ‘The world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers’ the charity helps thousands of young people throughout the UK work towards, achieve and surpass their musical expectations.

The NYO presents the greatest adventure teenagers can have in musical education.

We needed to create a brand that best represented the leading UK platform helping teenagers build confidence, optimism and skills for life through orchestral music, with opportunities open to all.


play your part

A new strategy was created to bind the organisation together and provide a new rudder to steer towards future growth and further success.

Recognising the brand needed to be a platform of motivation, not explanation — we created the expression: ‘PLAY YOUR PART’ which quickly became the new mantra for the charity, so much so it now forms part of the lock-up used to brand primary branded materials and communications.

A strategy that calls for everyone to ‘play their part’ fits this organisation so well. It’s not just the musicians, but the tutors, parents, supporters and fundraising efforts that must play as one. Only then can the NYO ensure young people get an experience that shapes an entire lifetime.

Simon ManchippFounder, SomeOne.

A Three letter invitation

A radical, but minimal new word mark spells out NYO to those in the know and seeks to intrigue the unfamiliar audience to find out more.

This new signature is joined by new colour systems, both expressive and functional typographic palettes, photographic guides and animated assets.

This is way more than an orchestra.

(Although the orchestra at the centre of it all is turbo charged — imagine familiar classical pieces being played without regard to norms and limits — and you get closer to what it’s like to hear them at full throttle)

Far beyond their spectacular shows for The Proms at The Royal Albert Hall, the NYO exists to enable teenagers to develop life skills through music — because they need life skills and music is their thing.

The unique NYO approach unlocks young peoples skills. The approach is transferable – it has the same impact on young people in different contexts. Because it is transferable it has the potential to create much more opportunity — so NYO can address what young people need and the inequities in music education.

We wanted to highlight the positive impact being apart of NYO has on the lives of everyone that is involved — the new colour systems, photography and bold application of the branding really help make the right first impression.

Amy MatthewsJunior Designer, SomeOne.

The new design system moves away from the norms associated with charity, and refuses the accepted approaches deployed to create branding to appeal and replect a teenage audience. Jaunty angles, ‘fun’ typefaces and random graphics are replaced by a resolutely cool approach.

The teenage audiences of today are infinitely more visually-led and aesthetically sophisticated. So rather than talking down them as so many ‘teen’ brands tend to do, we chose to develop a brand that talked to young people in a more aspirational way, on their level, but unashamed of talking about orchestral music and skill sets that are hard to obtain.

The new work is pivotal to every touchpoint for the organisation — from print to pixel to performances — the refreshed visual, verbal and strategic thinking will show up everywhere the NYO is looking to be present.

The young musicians are the stars of the show, and now star in the branding. While on the shoot I really wanted the the new photography to highlight individual personalities. I wanted to show an attitude and confidence that aligns with being the best young musicians in the country, rather than hiding behind typical British modesty.

Gina HopkinsDesigner, SomeOne.

In the end it was young people who made the call. Rather than follow creative routes of ‘sound activated’ visuals or ‘orchestral cues’, the core audience wanted a brand they could wear proudly amongst peers. Their feedback has be overwhelmingly positive.

Mark SmithCreative Director, SomeOne.

Thank you for all your leadership, creativity and support. You’ve really effected a transformation at NYO. I am so proud of this work, it looks amazing and radiates all the joy, teen spirit and invitation we hoped for.

Sarah AlexanderCEO, NYO.

Huge thanks to all at NYO

Founder: Simon Manchipp
Creative Director: Mark Smith
Designer: Gina Hopkins
Junior Designer: Amy Matthews
Account Team: Ben Field, Victoria Davis, Georgia Walters