{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire Celsi January 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Chris, welcome to bloggerland. You’ll fit right in with the rest of the natives. :~) I really can’t stand the Y’s new logo. Especially giving it so many interpretations. It just screams, “We know we’ll have no control over our image!” Their branding standards are bastardized over and over as it is. If I were them, I would have kept the old logo and used the time to create a style guide. I don’t think their old logo was broken. Keep up the good work!


Chris Hanson January 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome and the comments in my inaugural blog post!
We hope to continue to include some design/branding discussions in the future.


Justin Brady January 24, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Hi Chris, thanks for the good ol’ logo post! While I agree the Y needed a more timeless logo, this certainly isn’t it.

-YMCA. If that little YMCA is really necessary, then maybe the logo should just be YMCA…. or it could have been built in somehow.

-The “the” is pointless. It doesn’t help convey additional information, it doesn’t represent anything, it’s pointless.

-The curves and color panel put it in the web 2.0 / social media category. Can’t wait for the update in a few years…

-The Y (by itself) lacks balance. I DO see movement, but not the good kind. I keep waiting for the “Y” to topple… it’s not balanced!

I think the best solution was to quietly update the logo with the fun curves, and heck maybe keep the same palette. Like Saul Bass’ girl scout logo http://www.mediabistro.com/unbeige/files/original/GSlogo.jpg

Thanks Chris!


Chris Hanson January 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I’m in agreement with some of your points especially from a design perspective. I too would have liked to see what a subtle update might look like. Thanks for you comments and feedback.


Chris Hanson January 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm

In a recent followup, I had the opportunity to talk with the Director of Development and Marketing, Jackie Feddersen Matt, whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with previously in my design career. We had a nice conversation on the direction the YMCA is headed and the reasons behind such drastic changes to their logo. Let’s also preface this by saying the YMCA spent two years conducting intensive research, strategic planning and development to get to their current logo. As I mentioned in the previous post, this was merely a “branding discussion” and was not meant to be derogatory to them as an organization. This is simply a forum for discussion.

Jackie pointed out that while over 90 percent of the general public could recognize the old logo, there were around 80 percent who still weren’t sure what the Y actually did. She said that people were often unaware of the activities offered at the Y, such as swimming or child developmental programs. Jackie referred to this new initiative as a “brand revitalization” process, of which one of the main objectives is to “get people talking about the YMCA” and increase the “Y voice”. In terms of brand standards, she assured that they were in place and very stringent. She said that they believed their logo mark was strong enough to accommodate multiple color palettes. Companies like Nike and Adidas employ this approach in their apparel and shoes. I applaud Jackie for taking the time to call and provide some insight and perspective for this discussion. And while we are all entitled to our own opinions, design related or otherwise, there is no denying the influence and importance the YMCA plays in the community. While the verdict is still out on how the new logo will be received… at the very least it has us talking. So be a part of the discussion or contact your local YMCA to learn more about their services, programs and affiliations.


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