YWA is excited to launch our new branding, with the goal of better representing who we are today and our continuing efforts to make our organization more inclusive. The new brand consists of a refreshed logo, updated brand colors, a blueprint for maintaining the brand into the future, and a deliberate focus on diversity and inclusivity.
Immediate Past President of YWA, Virginia Moore, led the project, alongside current President Anastasia Teague. Brand designer Lacey Arslan and Graphic Design chair Amber Keith volunteered their time and creativity to bring our new brand to life.
“It’s been almost ten years since YWA last updated our logo, so it was time for a change. We took this opportunity to really dig into who we are as an organization, where we want to go in the next five to ten years, and how we wanted to represent that in public,” said Virginia.
Despite the challenges that COVID-19 caused, in some ways it actually helped make the rebrand possible.
“Instead of thinking about what we couldn’t do, like the fact that we had to stop hosting in-person events or postpone our biggest fundraising efforts, we changed our perspective to what we could work on,” said Anastasia.
“So we took advantage of the resources that we had. Virginia was passionate about leading the project, plus we had Lacey and Amber sharing their talent with us through the Communications committee.”
We sat down with Virginia and Anastasia a couple of weeks before the launch to get their perspective on the project and why 2021 was the right time to launch a new look.
Q: What was the motivation behind updating the YWA brand at this time?
Virginia: When I was president last year [2019-2020], Anastasia and I had a lot of conversations around the strategic planning work we were doing and all the changes we were making. We added a rebrand to our strategic plan because we felt the organization was going in a new direction. We wanted our branding to reflect that.
Anastasia: The timing is perfect for this kind of change. We want the brand to look more representative of the work that we’re doing right now. We’re greatly increasing our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, and we needed to make sure our visual identity felt inclusive of who we are.
Q: For people who don’t deal with this kind of thing in their day-to-day, can you explain a little bit about what goes into rebranding an organization?
Virginia: What you see is a new logo and different colors, but what goes into the process behind the scenes is more complex. Our first key step in kicking off the project last summer was to ask our members and our community supporters about their perceptions of the existing brand and how those perceptions lined up with the organization’s identity. That was such a key part of this project, because we were able to validate our assumptions and identify new opportunities.
Anastasia: We found that people generally had a pretty similar impression of who we are, but that impression didn’t necessarily translate to our visual look. Today, we’re a more vibrant, forward-looking organization than ever, and working hard to meet our goals for inclusivity. We’re creating the next generation of women leaders, and we want it to look that way.
Q: Can you describe how the new logo represents the current state of YWA and its strategic direction?
Virginia: This logo represents inclusivity. YWA is encompassed in a circle, connected to that circle but with two openings. We always want to be bringing women in, to continue creating the next generation of women leaders. Also, a brand needs to reflect the current climate. With everything that happened in our community last year and around the world, we knew YWA needed an identity that reflected our position and our viewpoint on community issues.
Q: Virginia, what does it mean to you to launch an initiative that will leave such an indelible mark on the organization?
Virginia: I’ve been wanting to do this since I was VP of Marketing in 2016. To be able to leave this as my last mark on the organization after six years of being a part of leadership is huge for me — both personally and professionally.
It’s fun and exciting, but more importantly, we’re carrying out all the work that Anastasia and team have done with diversity and inclusion. Bringing that to life in our visual identity is something I’ll be proud of forever.