YCN has launched a new visual identity overseen by Matt Willey and changed the meaning of its initials from Young Creative Network to ‘You Can Now’.
The new system and brand message were launched to reflect the organisation’s growth since it was founded in 2001. It was originally set up as an annual awards scheme for new talent and now runs a number of events and a members’ magazine.
Willey was asked to work on the identity after re-designing YCN’s magazine last summer, and founder Nick Defty says he has been working on it since the end of last year.
YCN’s old logo
“YCN has grown and changed so much in recent years…we wanted to signal this change [and] it felt like the perfect moment to look at our visual identity. The old didn’t express the idea of ‘You Can Now’, either graphically or in words,” he adds.
The new logo features a bespoke typeface. Klim font Founders has also been applied to print communications and YCN’s website. “We wanted something that felt ‘freshly smart’ – something to communicate the spirit, positivity and energy at the heart of YCN, but also the professionalism at the heart of everything we do,” he says.
The new design
“We have deliberately kept to a black and white palette given the riot of colour that comes from the content we frame. That’s not to say we might not use our new logo in colour in the future; but it feels great in black,” he adds.
While the logo appears only in black or white, members can choose from a range of colourful membership card designs, created by other YCN members.
“We have always loved the idea of people choosing their own card designs, and the card offers the perfect place to present the work of people from among our membership…we plan to regularly add new designs to the selection,” says Defty.
The organisation has also been working with London studio Hover on a series of animated icons to help show the various services YCN offers members. “[The icons] are suggestive of creativity and the things we help our members do: whether its connecting with each other or a new client. We will continue to use these playfully over time,” adds Defty.
Animated versions of the logo will be used in a series of online ‘peer guides’, advising members on issues such as price commissions.
It’s a versatile design which should serve YCN well both online and in print, and the animated icons provide the brand with a flexible but coherent system through which to advertise its various services. The company has also launched a new membership scheme, introducing a flat annual fee of £69.