The ‘Y’ gets a new look

Published 7:03 am Thursday, July 22, 2010

The YMCA is changing its style to reflect the organization’s wide range of services, which include both fitness and community programs.

This month, the non-profit rolled out its new logo — a simple “ y” —which is intended to draw attention to the organization once again.

“We need to do a better job of communicating what the YMCA is doing, what its values are and how it’s serving and benefiting the community,” said Mark Bjorlie, executive director of the Austin YMCA.

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Along with the new logo, the YMCA has also taken on a new abbreviated name: The Y.

While many have been referring to the organization as “the Y” for years, Bjorlie said the non-profit will now join them, using the abbreviated name for logos, events and other branding opportunities.

But that doesn’t mean the Y is abandoning its roots.

“We’ll keep our legal name — the Young Mens ‘Christian Association,” Bjorlie said. “Our mission is not changing.”

The Y intends to focus on three areas of service: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Though Bjorlie said most know the YMCA for its fitness programs, it also offers programs geared toward children, including youth leadership programs and child care.

Bjorlie said the idea is to emphasis what the Y has to offer that other organizations don’t.

“Specifically, we create teachable moments to talk about values,” he said. “That’s what makes our programs unique.”

The color of the logos will vary from community to community, Bjorlie said. Austin’s Y Board of Directors will meet to discuss what color best represents Austin. Bjorlie said it’s a possibility that the local Y board members will choose to reserve the right to change the colors depending on events and seasons.

This is the fifth change to the YMCA’s national logo in the organization’s 43 years of service.