WAY launches brand refresh as part of 25th anniversary celebrations

February 2022

As part of this weekend’s 25th anniversary celebrations in Cardiff, we were delighted to launch a brand refresh for WAY Widowed and Young – with a fresh twist on our swan logo and vibrant colours to help us reach out to a more diverse audience.

We unveiled our very own bespoke logo that reflects our members’ desire to keep the swan at the very heart of our charity – but with a contemporary new look and feel that we've already started rolling out across our website and social media platforms.

Meet our new very own "swanpersand"...

WAY's new logo

Why are we refreshing our brand?

Our vision at WAY is that everyone eligible to be a member is aware of WAY and has access to the peer-to-peer network and support that WAY offers. We estimate there are around 100,000 people out there who are sadly eligible to join WAY – and, while we have more members than ever, there are still a lot of people who haven’t heard about WAY.

A big part of getting people to notice WAY is through our brand, which includes our logo, the colours we use, the images we share and how we present ourselves on social media, on our website and in our printed materials. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are looking to reach out to as many people as possible and to appeal to a diverse range of people from different communities across the UK.

Swanpersand icon

History of WAY’s brand and logo

When WAY was first launched in 1997, it was called the WAY Foundation. WAY was set up by journalist Caroline Sarll when her sister was widowed at a young age. Caroline wanted to use a swan logo to symbolise how people who are widowed at a young age may appear to be OK on the surface but they are paddling like crazy under the water to stay afloat.

Caroline explains: “All literature was blue, to convey hope. Black was an absolute no-no… A talented friend came up with the brilliant swan logo. This symbolises how swans look calm on the surface, despite paddling furiously below to stay afloat. Swans also mate for life. Poignant, indeed.”

As well as the colour blue, the swan is an image that has endured throughout the charity’s history in various forms.

This is WAY’s first logo:

WAY's original logo

In Spring 2013, under the leadership of then Chair Georgia Elms, WAY went through a name change and a brand refresh – becoming WAY Widowed and Young rather than WAY Foundation, because the word “foundation” could give people the impression that WAY was a fund-awarding charity. A new website with a new domain name was launched at the same time.

The new website included the new look and branding for WAY Widowed and Young, which was replicated across the charity’s communications (newsletter, annual report, enewsletter, social media platforms) and which remained in place until February 2022.

WAY's second logo after first rebrand