Supporting Our Youth Cultivate. Create. Celebrate.

​A New Look for SOY: What’s in a Logo?

September 29, 2015   Laura Krahn   Comments

Some of the youth members of SOY BEAN CO. pose outside of Sherbourne Health Centre.

In a culture where visibility matters so much, having an amazing image to represent SOY is super important. Over many months, we’ve worked to create a new image that captures the best of SOY.

In a culture where visibility matters so much, having an amazing image to represent SOY is super important. Over many months, we’ve worked to create a new image that captures the best of SOY. The logo we have now is the result of lots of work by the SOY Bean Co. youth team, Sheila and The Public (our very awesome design studio), SOY staff and many others from across the SOY community.

To start developing the new logo, the SOY Bean Co. youth team wrote or drew what they thought of when they thought of SOY. This was back in one of our first workshops in March 2015. The team also did another workshop of mind-mapping to refine their ideas of SOY means to them and to our communities, connecting words and creating images to represent them. Folks at The Public computerized the designs that came out of these workshops so that the SOY Bean team could examine what ideas each design communicated about SOY and select the best designs. The next step was to develop mood boards for the set of potential logos. The mood boards provided The Public with the colours, texture, typefaces and overall feel for each design.

We presented three logo designs at a Community Meeting on May 5, 2015. Each logo represented a shift away from the old SOY star to more natural themes containing images of leaves, vines, trees or seeds. Lots of SOY youth, staff and volunteers attended the meeting and we had an open discussion about what everyone thought of each design, focussing on what each logo said about SOY.

Sheila, our leader from The Public, summarized the idea behind each of the logos:

  • Idea 1: “safer spaces for growth” where the bean represents the space that SOY fosters and the sprouts are the products of that space
  • Idea 2: “branching out” representing SOY as a starting point and solid structure for growth
  • Idea 3: “foundation” where SOY is a foundation for community, a place to plant roots, grow and be supported in whatever you are doing. In other words, SOY represented as the ground and roots of a community.

The vote at the meeting resulted in a tie between two logos, so we did another vote between the two logo designs still in the running. It was a tie again! For real. We counted three times. So, the SOY Bean Co. team decided to take all the feedback and promised everything they would find a way to combine the two winning ideas.

And that’s exactly what we did.

The new SOY logo was put together by the designers at The Public who built on the sketches made by the youth team in their workshops.

Each element of the new SOY logo represents something that’s important at SOY. The bean shape represents the solid foundation for growth that SOY provides. The leaf stalks represent support and the different colour of each leaf represents the diversity of youth. The different colours are also drawn from the overall palette of Sherbourne’s mosaic of different programs, including Rainbow Health Ontario and the LGBTQ Parenting Network. The leaves move toward an abstract rainbow, signalling that SOY is a program for queer and trans spectrum youth. The surrounding yellow circle represents the sun, the energy needed for growth as well as the brightness of SOY youth and the warmth of the overall SOY community. Overall, the colours, shape and font demonstrate the nurturing, creative and community-focussed culture at SOY.