Youth for Christ | Whiteboard
Case Study: Youth for Christ
Give Life to Your Story
About Youth For Christ USA
Youth For Christ USA reaches young people across the nation, working together with local churches and like-minded partners to raise up lifelong followers of Jesus. Their focus as a movement is on multiplying fruitful and sustainable ministry sites across the nation and around the world.
Our Directive

In the fall of 2013, the leadership at Youth For Christ hired our firm to create a new brand identity, replace their brand mark, lead a rebrand to create cohesion between their 160+ chapters, and begin the process of developing a culture of “story first” marketing. With a rich history based on the teachings of early evangelists who moved across the USA leading revivals, the YFC team was excited to reinvigorate their volunteers and donors, reminding them of the organization’s influence and national reach.

01 The Identity

Whiteboard drafted the new Youth For Christ USA logo mark after a thorough analysis of the existing brand structure and historic narrative. We aimed to find the core of YFC’s purpose and integrate it into their new mark – and we did. The new logo is composed of the ministry model that every YFC leader uses to accomplish their purpose — Our Story, Their Story, God’s Story.

 

02 Web Design & Development

Along with the organizational re-brand, we created a new responsive web platform and design framework to serve as an integral component of the YFC communication strategy. Each of Youth For Christ USA’s more than 160 national chapters has a web presence of their own. Whiteboard created a new theme for each of those platforms, and collaborated with the YFC team to roll-out the new brand for each chapter.

03 Partnership

Whiteboard continues to serve as creative director for the deployment and management of the new YFC USA brand. We serve to cipher digital direction while honoring the mission and brand, as well as build strategies for creative implementation which support YFC’s organizational goals to reach kids across the nation.

 

Take Their Word For It
"Before fingers touch the keyboard; before ink marks the paper; before colors splash across the canvas of ideas…Whiteboard listens. They want to understand before they dream. They want to embrace the unique ethos of the companies they represent before they suggest solutions or directions. Whiteboard is more than a vendor… they’re our partner, our friend, our confidante, and our ally. Because they listen. Because they learn. Because they value what we value before anything else happens.”

Dan Wolgemuth

President & CEO, Youth For Christ USA
Strategy

Before any kick-off meeting our team always makes a list of assumptions and questions. In true Whiteboard fashion, they are written on grade school notecards, jotted down in the corner of notebooks, or scribbled across napkins. Together they make up our collective vision for the project, an invisible, orbiting conscious that our team picks and chooses from much like a fruit tree.

Some of the questions we asked as Youth For Christ’s kick-off neared: How can we revitalize a rich history in sleep mode? How can we use that history to breathe life into a new brand? Do they have the leadership to sustain a rebranding effort well into the future? What are their expectations for our team? How can we reinvigorate a disenfranchised volunteer base? How can we create a brand that speaks to both students and donors?

These questions would follow us well into the project with the exception of one, their leadership was in for the long haul and prepared to throw a few Hail-Marys to put their best creative foot forward.

Youth For Christ USA team members Jake, Ryan, Dan, and Barry walked into our Chattanooga headquarters, and from day one they, “wanted to change the culture and unify the Youth For Christ chapters from Tacoma to Miami.” Together we began to build an action plan that would create long-term positive results.

Design

The new Youth For Christ USA identity was a representation of the organization’s unified mission statement and focus on authentic Christ-sharing relationships. Taylor Dolan said it best, “We wanted the logo to have meaning beyond soulless geometry. We wanted it to represent the heart and passion that encapsulates all of Youth For Christ’s many volunteers and their rich history.”

The design also played a pivotal role in uniting the many chapters and ministries found throughout the United States. “Whenever we are faced with a large organization, especially one that is segmented across many different regions and communities, we look for opportunities to erase lines and drive cohesion between team members, regardless of their location or background,” said Dolan.

The team implemented this strategy by pulling all ministries and chapters together under one color palette, typeface, and identity. The results have been nothing less than excellent.

Deeper Dive

Logos are not about inspiration. They are about utility. A logo is an identifier; it is not a signifier. And a logo is not your brand’s first impression. It’s just the icon to which those impressions are associated. The most valuable attribute of the logo is not how inspiring it is, but how easily it can be remembered. Take the Nike swoosh. It has zero aspirational qualities intrinsically, but it’s one of the most memorable logos in the world – invoking emotion and energy to overcome.

For seventy years YFC has had a massive brand promise and expectation. Their nationwide audience expects them to act, sound, and look a certain way. Our first challenge: How can we rebrand an organization with a rich history, strong legacy, and large following?

The answer came during our first meeting with Youth For Christ. With thirteen core ministries — all with different logos — we believed the diversity was spreading them too thin and causing significant brand delusion.

They needed a logo which depicted communal unity with respect of human uniqueness.

The new icon is a nod to the organization’s unified focus on authentic, Christ-sharing relationships — the 3Story® way of life — which encourages teens and leaders to see how their relationships fit within multiple different narratives, my story, their story, and God’s story – intertwined.

The 3Story® way of life is in the DNA of this organization, promoting love for a creator and its creation. Three stories, constantly intersecting to make up life in a way that elevates true connection.

The Youth For Christ icon is a landmark for the entire organization. It reminds everyone within the organization how they’re unified.

Final Thoughts

Whiteboard continues to serve as a full service creative partner to Youth For Christ. Alongside the rebrand and national Youth For Christ website our team will deploy a new web experience for local chapters. We continue to advise and build pathways to grow participation. Youth around the world depend on Youth for Christ to help pave a way for redemption, liberation, and restoration. You can be part of the story, too.

yfc.net

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