YMCA Scotland Rebrands to Strengthen Presence

Date: 21 May 2019

This week, YMCA Scotland unveiled its new branding. The Scottish movement, which works with 10,000 young people every week, is rebranding in a bid to strengthen its presence across the country.

Kerry Reilly, YMCA Scotland’s Chief Executive said:

“For a number of years, local YMCAs have expressed a desire to increase the profile and public awareness of our movement. Last year, we completed a strategic review which highlighted the need for greater brand awareness.

This year marks our 175th anniversary, and we see this as a fantastic opportunity to launch a more united, and stronger brand in Scotland.

One of the challenges we faced was that our brand was very fragmented across the country. Local YMCAs used widely different logos and colours. This often made them look like small local charities when they are, in fact, part of a national and international movement.

Our new branding allows us to present the YMCA consistently across all our marketing efforts.”

As part of the rebranding process, YMCA Scotland engaged with young people and staff through a series of focus groups to shape the charity’s new brand.

Christophe Sagnet, YMCA Scotland’s Communication & Digital Media Officer, said:

“The young people we support played a key role in helping us develop our design brief. Their feedback and insights shaped the creation of our new logo. The end result is a visual identity that is bold and colourful.

However, our new logo continues to pay homage to our history. One of the key findings from our focus groups was that staff and volunteers are very attached to the YMCA triangle which has featured in the logo of every YMCA up until now. The triangle, which represents body, mind, and spirit, had to remain an essential feature of our new brand.”

YMCA Scotland engaged Glasgow-based agency Haiwyre to undertake its rebranding.

Stuart Platt, Creative Director at Haiwyre, said:

“We were delighted to be selected to work with YMCA Scotland. It was a great opportunity to create a modern, engaging and flexible identity that better connects with the young people they support.

The new identity was designed around the important historic elements associated with the global YMCA movement. From this starting point, we created a bold and dynamic Y icon that represents the YMCA structure; smaller elements coming together to create a larger whole.

A detailed brand and style guide was created to ensure that as the new identity develops it is consistent and coherent over all 29 local associations. In the coming months, we are looking to introduce stage two, a new website and advertising campaign that will better showcase all areas of YMCA Scotland’s services and work.”