Creating Y!Participate: A logo with a story

An insight into the process of designing a logo with youth, not for them.

As the Y!Participate Project slowly begins to take shape, we want share the process with you – starting off with the creation of a unique logo.

Have you ever wondered how a logo comes to life? It’s not just a random doodle; it’s a visual story, a symbol that carries the essence of an entire initiative. We’re pulling back the curtain on the creative process behind the Y!Participate logo – a design that’s as vibrant and dynamic as the youth it represents.  

Y!Participate was created because meaningful youth participation within mental health is often overshadowed by challenges such as limited access to engagement platforms, inadequate resources and lack of opportunities for skill development. These barriers hinder young people from making effective contributions, leaving their unique perspectives and innovative solutions untapped in initiatives related to their wellbeing. 

Our design journey began with a simple idea that was in line with our mission to enhance meaningful participation among young advocates on issues related to their wellbeing. To capture this, we wanted a logo that conveyed harmony, youthfulness, growth and inclusivity – all key characteristics of meaningful participation.  

A circle – the universal symbol of wholeness and connection – is accompanied by a playful smile, symbolising the joy and satisfaction that comes from effective collaboration. Within the circle are the initials ‘Y!P’ arranged to form the heart of the logo. The ‘P’ morphs into a thought bubble, representing the power of youth perspectives. Within the negative space, an exclamation mark emerges between the ‘Y’ and the ‘P’, further emphasizing the importance of youth involvement.  

The colour palette of blue, pink and pastel orange evokes the calmness and hope of a sunset – a metaphor for how we want young people to feel when they are meaningfully involved in matters related to them.  

We believe in designing with youth, not just for them. We invited our youth expert advisors (YEAs) to join us in a brainstorming workshop that fuelled the entire creative process. Their insights, energy, and vision shaped every element of the logo, from the core icons to the colour choices. 

Through collaborative exercises and discussions, we tapped into the YEAs’ perspectives, capturing their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the initiative. This was followed by the development of draft interpretations and a voting process resulting in a logo that truly reflects the spirit of Y!Participate. 

The Y!Participate logo is a visual story of collaboration, empowerment, and the unwavering belief in the potential of young people to shape their own wellbeing. Keep an eye out for more exciting developments! 

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