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!