The YMCA is a popular brand both in the US and around the world. In the US, the YMCA represents what it always did: A gym and activity center for families who wanted active things for their kids to do. It was also a center and a safe place for young males who didn’t have homes and wanted a place to find food and stay safe until they could find jobs. Today, the company focuses more on providing active entertainment for families, and there are at least a few YMCA locations in almost every US city.
Outside the US, the YMCA is probably most well-known for the famous and catchy dance tune by the band The Village People. For whatever reason you recognize the YMCA, you probably will remember the logo after you have seen it for the first time. The YMCA logo is a logo that has changed dramatically since it was first introduced.
The First YMCA Logos: The Triangle
YMCA actually went through many different logos in the early days of its existence. The logo above is the first one that incorporated the triangle. The triangle represented spirit, mind, and body, which are listed on this logo but do not appear again on any of the others. This triangle would go on to form the basis for all future YMCA logos. Several other logos would follow which featured the triangle, but they didn’t stick long until the next one.
The Longest-Lived Logo: The “Y”MCA
This YMCA logo lasted for almost 50 years. As you can see, the red triangle has been incorporated into the new log, even though it no longer features the words of the original. This logo communicates both the message of the organization, and the name of the organization. People have already been referring to the YMCA as “The Y”, and this logo just made it easier for people to make the association between the brand and the company.
This logo still represents the more serious roots that the YMCA came from, having a sharp and a regal look. This logo would remain strong for many years, but it looks very different from the current one.
The Current Logo: Embracing the Y
The YMCA no longer goes by the name “YMCA”. In fact, the company is now actually known as “the Y.” This new name is reflected in the new logo, which now features the word. The logo above is pictured in blue and purple, but the new logo actually uses many different colors. There are several accepted variations, and the all feature the new soft lettering, and the bright and comfortable tones.
The triangle which has represented the YMCA almost since the beginning is still there for anyone who recognizes what it means.
Why the Logo Works
The YMCA logo is so successful because it has grown with its customers. The company has very different goals now than it did when it first got started, and the logo has grown to reflect the new direction.