We are empowering people to respond
creatively to the challenges of society since 1924. We are committed to develop the
Body, Mind and Spirit of all human beings, irrespective of caste, colour, creed &
race. We are part of a global community.
HISTORY OF THE YMCA LOGO
In 1878, the Eighth Conference of the World Alliance of YMCAs met
in Geneva, Switzerland, and had on its agenda the creation of a "distinctive
international badge of the Associations." The matter was turned over
to a committee, and three years later at the Ninth Conference in London, the alliance
approved the following:
A circle, depicting the oneness of mankind,
divided at its outside edge into five segments bearing the names of five parts of the world
as they were described at the time - Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and America - separated by
small decorative scrolls called cartouches "upon which can be read in many languages the
initials of our title, YMCA."
Inside the circle are the first two letters of the
word Christ. The Greek letters Chi and Rho (XP) form the ancient symbol that early Christians
painted on the walls of the catacombs. It was used by the YMCA to remind all that Christ
was at the center of the movement.
Finally an open Bible was added "both because
this divine book is the weapon of warfare which St. John gives to young men, and because it's the
distinguishing mark of the great
Reformation. The Bible opens on the Savior's
High Priestly prayer, from which we have especially chosen the 21st verse: 'That they all may be
one...as We are one' - John 17:21."
Behind the book and symbols was an aura of golden rays.
The action on the badge was noteworthy, wrote one
YMCA historian, because the phrase "that they all may be one" became the supreme expression
of the ecumenical purposes of the World Alliance, pulling together those many sects.
Gulick, who revolutionized sports and
physical fitness at the YMCA, purposed a red equilateral triangle as a symbol in 1891. It was adopted
immediately by Springfield College. The sides of the triangle, Gulick said, stood for "an essential
unity - spirit, mind and body - each being necessary and eternal part of man, being neither one alone
but all three," a "wonderful combination of dust of the earth and the breath of God."
Gulick wanted something that would "stick right
out" and not be confused with the Red Cross symbol "yet be just as simple and strong.
" The red triangle was just that, and it swept the movement, carried around the world
by U.S. foreign secretaries.
In 1895, the annual convention of the United States & Canadian YMCAs authorized adding the
triangle to the old World Alliance insignia. Gullick's triangle had become the unofficial
emblem on athletic jerseys, lapel pins and over the doors of local associations.
The resulting design of the official emblem dropped the continents, aura and cartouches along the
way, thoughit's not clear when that took place.
After 70 years of using
symbols in various combinations and styles, some felt the need for a
change. "We had shaped and reshaped, used and abused our
symbol so much that no strong, single corporate identity came
through," said John Root, YMCA of the USA's general executive
said at the time. He asked a Chicago designer to produce a new
logo. The result was the triangle and bent bar that looks like
the letter Y.
It was a combination of modern design and Gulick's traditional
triangle. When the National Board met in November 1967, it
approved Root's new logo for use throughout the movement. It
was registered that same year and remains the official logo.
Today, 97% of Americans recognize this logo, and it's the second most recognizable
logo in the world (first is McDonald's arches).