Cheering the Rebranding of the YMCA to simply “the Y”

Let’s hear a cheer for “the YMCA” recognizing the fact that everyone called them “the Y” anyway, and it was time to change their branding to reflect that. Below is the old logo design which had been in place for decades, next to the new logo design, and here’s a link to their new website. The new logo is a stylized letter “Y” with a chevron and orange triangle, and the small letters “YMCA” along the bottom. Focusing on the “Y” as the the main graphic they still slipped the “YMCA” in there which helps the public transition from the old look to the new. Not only did they change the name but they went with a more hip, youthful color palette.

Reaching out  with this new look in print and on the web, solidifies their approach by showing the focus is on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The new website with it’s easy to use menus, pull-downs and bold text make it a pleasing overall experience. Great photos of families and kids, adds positive reinforcement to the clean, colorful design.

In thinking about this I’m now wondering how many other companies out there are known more for a nickname we have for them, rather than their actual name? Ideas?

(Since writing this I thought of three more examples, so I’m posting them. Apple’s Macintosh became just Apple, The Yellow Pages became Yellow Book and the International House of Pancakes became IHOP.)

Meanwhile, as a designer I’m always happy to see a company’s progression and in the right direction!

The YMCA’s history from their site:

Today, “the Y” engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. As the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to helping people and communities to learn, grow and thrive, our contributions are both far-reaching and intimate—from influencing our nation’s culture during times of profound social change to the individual support we provide an adult learning to read.

By nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being, and supporting and serving our neighbors, the Y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, connected and secure.

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