Bonding YNaija with its ‘young and smart Nigerians’ audience.

YNaija is the internet newspaper for young Nigerians, focused on issues and ideas that matter for an evolving generation. It is a RED brand (continent's largest omni-media group focused on Africa's youth). With a growing acceptance within its target youth audience, there was the need for a logo that aptly portrayed the personality of the brand to its own people - its young and smart audience.

The old YNaija brand was progressively out of touch – with an identity that falls below what would have been expected of a brand that targeted the young at heart. It failed to get the attention of, let alone connect with its audience. It looked more like a typical newspaper meant for the older generation, with no place for the hip, young and smart-minded.

Weeks and months of meetings.

We held countless number of meetings with the Editor-in-Chief and CEO as well as top members of staff, maximizing every opportunity to understand (deeply) the problems from their point of view, and their desire for an identity that works and aligns better with the company’s vision. Discussions spanned from basic briefing to looking up examples of brands that currently get it right in a way close to the desired point for the YNaija brand.

Scratching the surface.

After we fully understood the challenge, we held several in-house brainstorming sessions that broke out into hours of research. From random sketches to typeface search, we created so many possibilities – more than 100 sketches over a period of 10 weeks, carrying the client along in the process as we gradually filtered through with the established preferences of the brand’s projection and its smart-and-young target audience.

An identity for the smart, with a vibe to it.

We worked on a logo and brand identity theme that embodied the desired youthful vibe, while reflecting the content value of the blog, something that visually resonates with the smart young Nigerian. The new identity was everything the old logo was not - from the modern feel to the typeface and colour scheme.

The curvy shape of the logo and the circular nature of the letters were based on the symbolism of discourse and flow of thoughts. The resulting brand identity theme is suggestive of great and valuable content.

This type needed a particular ‘type’ of type.

We customized the font Alba to create a specific feel. The resultant logo is miles away from the actual Alba as we aimedto achieve a distinctfeel.. Our #FF0000 Red goes all out bright and flashy, but toned down in combination with a dominance of black .This makes it youthful and matured.

Now this YNaija!

We noticed widespread positive reviews and ‘sigh of relief’ from fans and readers who were either quiet ‘indifferent’ about the old logo. There is an awakening and a new vibrant feel – an identity that inspires the right feelings of youthfulness and discourse – which currently leads an effective paradigm shift for the brand. A redesigned website (with the new identity) has recorded more views and the social media interactions have been on the way up. The new logo is easier to recognize and remember and unlike in the past, the logo stands out in cases like an event backdrop of partners’ logos.

An aftermath of covers.

Apart from the extension of the brand identity project, which includes the stationery, other basic deliverables, as well as rebranding for a number of other Generation Y!’s (YNaija’s parent division) brands, we were further contracted to design (with the new identity) the daily YNaija Covers that comically highlight the major news on the website - which has grown to draw a league of followers who “can’t wait” for the daily issues.

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