I was delighted to be invited by an expanding community-based social enterprise to collaborate on their branding refresh. This brief was the most challenging I’ve worked on yet but the final designs received the unanimous approval of young people, staff and board of directors as well as a coveted international design award. CYP’s fresh new identity has been established just as the organisation reopens its doors to the challenges, changes and opportunities of post-covid provision.
Context to the Brief
CYP is a social enterprise which invests the profit generated from its holiday accommodation and event venue in to community based rural youth work, vital for the local economy and social capital of the community. The hospitality aspect of their work also creates jobs, training and volunteering opportunities for people from the area.
Existing branding for the organisation’s three elements was disparate and dated. Customers for one aspect of the business weren’t able to make the connection with the other functions.
1. Design a family of icons for each of the three distinct organisational elements and an encompassing logo that demonstrates the synergy between them
2. Generate a tag line that captures the essence of the organisation
The three business elements are
young people/youth work
A family of 3 x circular icons consistent in style but distinct from one another, each visually representative of its aspect of the business
An overall logo design bringing these elements together
An identity that is contemporary in feel, appealing to all ages and stages
Timescale: 2 weeks, from concept to completion
Sticky point: A particular challenge for me was that there had to be three independent elements working in the boundaries of a circular frame – breaking the frame is my design preference, so this brief pushed me in to thinking in a different way.
The Design process
I opted to work with a palette that is both fresh and modern yet responds to Callander and the Trossachs National Park’s natural seasonal landscape.
From an accessibility standpoint, I knew the logos shouldn’t rely on colour alone to be distinct – though the palette has passed the Adobe Accessibility test for colour blindness – so each one also having its own shape was also important. The challenge was in having three relatable shapes or symbols that also had synergy between them.
Alongside this, I worked with staff and board leaders to reflect on the organisation’s core purpose and ethos to understand what’s at the heart of their work and identify the common thread that runs through each aspect of this unique social enterprise.
The design Solution
CYP is based at Callander’s Bridgend, an historic and iconic building in Callander. I took the initial of each aspect of the business, Y, H and V from shapes within the mock Tudor woodwork facade.
A complementary colour palette helps highlight that each arm of the organisation is distinct yet related.
The three circle logos placed together like cogs reveal the form of the building which is the nucleus of the elements of the organisation and the conduit through which all its activities occur.
The interconnecting negative space represents the essence of the trio: journeys. Learning journeys, life pathways and choices are principles fundamental to the organisation’s core purpose: opportunities for young people. Travel and life experiences, the journeys of the others.
For anyone who comes to CYP, their visit makes a lasting difference; for themselves and others.
The designs received unanimous approval at all levels, from young people, staff and board of directors and won a Bronze Award for branding in the 2021 Indigo Design Awards.
While the brief didn’t ask for a particularly Scottish look or feel, this has subtly emerged through the tartan-like formation of the lines in the logos and the Saltire style effect of the Venue icon. We hope that this resonates with the organisation’s overseas customer-base when they look for modern accommodation and meaningful holiday experiences on their next visit to Scotland.
Visit CYP at www.cyp.org.uk