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A Toronto Based Charity Gets A Brand Refresh

Youth Unlimited

Youth Unlimited

The Challenge:

Giving a charity with over 70 years of history in one of the most diverse cities in the world a brand refresh that feels consistent at each of its many unique touchpoints.

Discovering A Common Narrative:

We began by asking a selection of staff from different areas to describe Youth Unlimited to get a sense of how the story was being told at different entry points to the organization. This exploration generated a list of terms and values that helped us piece together a common underlying narrative. What was pleasantly surprising was that, despite differences in terminology, there was a consistency in the main things that tied the org together.

We also spent time listening to the Executive Director’s vision, paying close attention to how he was wanting to describe these main things looking towards the future.

Creating a Common Language:

Our desire was to give this story a language that would both resonate with and integrate the diverse group of voices sharing it. With a little bit of research into the organization’s history and building off the results of our narrative gathering, we were able to summarize the organization’s main things in three simple terms:

This was a way of talking about Youth Unlimited that staff could root their particular work into as well as create an easy invitation for donations or volunteers. As it was presented, there was a consistent sense that this captured the organization perfectly.

A Look & A Feel:

When it came to visualizing this brand, we wanted something that felt both urban and clean. Some of the design priorities we wanted to focus on were concepts like neighbourhoods, organic growth, and life in Toronto. We were really enjoyed the simplicity of using illustrated icons to tie these things together and form the base of the brand aesthetic. 

There were a lot of positive vibes from staff as we began to unfold the brand in different spaces - everything from print pieces to web to live fundraising events. People loved finding their corner of the city hidden in our icon sets.

Overall, we had a lot of fun getting to build this brand identity out and explore it in various ways.