Still on Christmas break, but had a little time to write. I thought in this post, I’d speak as a designer and give my ‘design review’ of the new YW Personal Progress visuals (not the content). And also to give a shout-out to the designer as I’m sure trying to please a committee of women and general authorities must have required a miracle. Designing by committee is a very tough gig indeed!

It was great to see the new redesign the Church has done for Personal Progress, less grandma-like and more girl-like. The ribbons are simple (more mature than stickers and include gem-like adornments) and the new Beehive, Mia Maid and Laurel certificates are a great way to officially recognize their progression. The temple focused cover is great, and although the pink is on the side of overwhelming, it is a big improvement. (FYI: Pink is one of the hardest colors to get right and changes with the trends the quickest.) But pink doesn’t represent any value yet, so you’ve got to go for what colors are left to use!

The medallions were also redesigned, which now include a ruby. I was surprised as the older medallions I thought were the best designed items in the YW Program. But they’ve now incorporated some meaning behind the design. The leafy edges are a laurel wreath to represent Laurels, the flower represents Mia Maids and the beehive represents…well you get the idea. I totally get what the ruby represents, but it may limit what the girls can wear it with if they are fashion conscious and aren’t wearing red. (Too bad the scripture didn’t say as ‘precious as diamonds’ because those match with everything, ha!) They also changed it to a circle instead of an oval. The new is on the left, the old is on the right:

When I look at a new design, I act as if I’ve come across it for the first time as a stranger would. To us, it’s obvious it’s the Salt Lake Temple with a leaf border and rubies to represent our worth. But to someone else, it’s a building with a roman-like border and a red ruby embedded inside. Some other common associations of leafy borders and rubies when it comes to accessories:

Now, when I lived in Idaho/Utah, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it, especially if it comes with an explaination. But being in London with a high Indian population, it’s easy to see the similarity. I’m sure it would be even stronger in say, the continent of Asia. Perhaps the new medallion will open up doors in Mumbai? Or Greece? Not a big deal, but for a global organization like the church, it’s good to think about what we are communicating to others visually. Much like the wonderfully redesigned church logo that emphasizes we’re Christians by making ‘Jesus Christ’ the center of the name:

The new identity now communicates better what the Church is about, and that is due to the design choices made to create it. You don’t have to explain anything about this design, which makes it really strong. But I digress, it’s really down to what the girls think of the new YW designs, as it’s a very internal Church program which currently is not advertised outside of the 12-18 year-olds.

As I was looking at this, I remembered that when I was a YW our medallion wasn’t the temple, it was a handmaiden. Originally it was going to be a type of Celtic knot that was rejected by the General Authorities, but at the last minute the handmaiden was designed and chosen. I really liked her, has she disappeared for good? Read more about how she was made here.

Eventually though, the girl was replaced by the SLC temple spires. And now the spires have been replaced by a profile view of the temple. The illustration of it is much clearer than the minted piece:

I look forward to being able to see these in person, as right now it’s hard to tell from the photo how they compare to the past ones.

My favorite, the class certificates. Simple and elegant:

Read more about the new set at Church News, they hit the shelves on January 15. Either way, we’ve got some new material to share for New Beginnings!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that next year is wonderful for you in Young Women!


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  1. January 3, 2010  10:17 am by Jen Hunt

    Re: Value theme banner
    This is my first time on your website and can I say that I LOVE your ideas!
    I absolutely love your yw banners. Wondering if you could offer some ideas for me. I would love to make something similar for an activity with our yw. I have 30 girls and a very tight budget...approx $2/per girl and that is pulling my budget for two months...

    how do you print on fabric? Is there a way I can do this?
    Also, I saw refernce that you can do this without a sewing machine. How do you do this?
    Thank you so much. Any ideas or suggestions are so very appreciated!

  2. February 12, 2010  7:48 pm by Pattie Necaise

    I just can't get the new value ribbons to work on the bookmark. Has anyone tried to follow the directions? There is no picture of the finished bookmark that shows how they look.

  3. February 13, 2010  3:46 am by Designer Girl

    We are still waiting on this side of the pond for the new YW materials, anyone else have ideas for Pattie?

  4. February 26, 2010  10:08 am by Diana Purcell

    We are also having trouble getting the value ribbons to work in the bookmarks, any ideas?

  5. May 30, 2010  6:28 pm by Amber

    I'm having trouble too. I kind of got them to work but it turns out to be 16 book marks instead of the 8 which just takes over your scriptures! So, really I think it's not 100% correct. Anyone get it right yet?

  6. July 1, 2010  3:40 pm by Marjean Johnston

    Hi Designer Girl, I have to tell you I'm so impressed with your designs! You are one talented designer. I recently was released from Young Women's (sooo much fun! ) and now I am in the Relief Society Presidency. I ran across a website with your design a while back of the RS Motto set on the beautiful background of sego lillies and sea gulls. I absolutely love it. It says you are sold out. Is there any way to get hold of that design? I would love to share this with the sisters in my ward. Thanks!

  7. September 5, 2010  12:44 pm by Dan

    I took my daughters, threaded the "free" end thru one of the 8 slots, then slid the doubled up pair of the ribbon into the slot at the back. I envision the metal piece slid into the spine of the book binding and the ribbons running up and over the spine. Of course, doing it this way, there is only space for 6 ribbons unless you double some up : ) Any othe thoughts?

  8. March 8, 2011  5:05 am by Designer Girl

    Yes, just make a request on my etsy shop and I can print up more just for you!

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