A talented 16-year-old from Elmswell has won a competition to design a merchandise logo for the National Autistic Society, inspired by her older brother.
Laura Stiff, a fashion textiles student at West Suffolk College, entered the competition in February, running ideas and themes for the logo past her autistic 19-year-old brother Ryan.
Her innovative design features two elephants, one black and one white to represent the literal mind of someone with autism, and one multi-coloured to represent their creativity. The logo features the phrase “Remember we are all equal”.
“Ryan inspired me to enter the competition, said Laura.
“I started making designs and asked him his opinion on certain ideas.
“Ryan loves animals and lots of people with autism do, too, but Ryan was saying the animal had to have a positive meaning, so it couldn’t be a lion, for example.
“We came up with an elephant and the idea of remembering.
“Then I sat down and started drawing sketches and Ryan picked the pattern.
“He had a massive part in creating the logo.”
Laura, who wants to become a fashion stylist, said she was on the way home from college when she got an email saying she had won.
“I couldn’t even describe how I felt when I found out,” she said.
“When I found out and got home I just ran to Mum and started crying – it was a massive thing for me. The other thing is how much it means for my brother.”
Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “We’re so impressed by Laura’s winning design, inspired by her brother on the autism spectrum.
“It’s an incredibly touching and striking way to show that seeing things in a different way is often a beautiful thing.”
Tea towels and tote bags featuring Laura’s design are now for sale on the society’s website www.autism.org.uk.