The Trevor Project, the largest LGBTQ youth crisis and suicide prevention organization, launched its first rebrand in over a decade this week. In collaboration with agency Kettle, the organization had updated its website, logo, verbiage and color scheme to better reflect feedback from today’s youth and to future-proof it for generations to come.
“Every youth generational cohort evolves and changes,” Joshua Weaver, vice president of marketing at The Trevor Project, told Ad Age. “And so we knew that it was high time for us to really look at our brand, evaluate it and make sure that we were resonating and speaking to LGBTQ young people today in the most effective and resonant way possible to push our mission forward, which is to end LGBTQ youth suicide.”
The rebrand was developed using a user-feedback process with a cohort of Trevor Project users as well as in blind tests with participants who hadn’t used or heard of the organization previously.
Olivier Peyre, Kettle’s CEO and co-founder, noted that even a new shade of rich, lively orange that replaces the Trevor Project’s previous yellow-leaning hue was the winner out of many options the team tested.
“The new orange is much more vibrant.,” said Peyre. “We believe that it reflects LGBTQ youth culture much more. It works much better on screens, also, which is our primary destination for LGBTQ youth.”
The Trevor Project website hasn’t only had its color palette updated, but offers new features to ensure visiting LGBTQ youth can easily and safely find the help they need. A “reach a counselor” button, which connects visitors to the organization’s free counseling services, now appears on every page of the site, sometimes twice. If a young person in need of the site’s resources feels unsafe visiting, a new quick exit feature, triggered by clicking the escape key three times, will immediately close the page and erase visits to The Trevor Project from that browser’s history.
“Sadly, it happens that some of our users are rejected by their family, or they may not be ready to come out yet,” said Peyre. “So, we wanted to make sure that there was a safe way for them to navigate our resources.”
The site also features photography by Devyn Galindo, a queer Chicanx photographer, and illustrations by queer Guatemalan-Slovak artist Ludi Leiva. Both contributors’ work further expand the site’s objective of comfort, inclusivity and representation.
The subjects of Galindo’s photos are all LGBTQ-identifying individuals and the figures depicted by Leiva in the rebrand’s palette playfully express a diverse spectrum of identities and backgrounds. Kettle and The Trevor Project plan to continue rolling out work from queer artists over time, featuring them on their social channels or perhaps even on the website.
Another key aspect of the new Trevor Project brand identity is its reworked logo. Sporting the new orange, the organization’s signature symbol, a star, was removed from its original spot between the “e” and “v” of Trevor and relocated to the top right of the logo. Instead of representing a simple five-point star, the shape was redesigned to look like the needle of a compass.
“Historically, our star faced east,” said Weaver. “And then Kettle so cleverly moved it out of our actual wordmark and put over the ‘r,’ but had it face right so that is moving in the direction of progress. It's now moving forward.”
Previously, the tagline “saving young LGBTQ lives” appeared below the logo. Now it reads, “For young LGBTQ lives.”
“The public health crisis around LGBTQ youth suicide is what everything at our organization is centered on,” said Weaver. “However, I think what we wanted to do is also make known that we're here to not only save lives, but to affirm those lives and to deliver resources. To not only make sure that we're helping reduce suicide risk among LGBTQ young people, but that we're also affirming them and giving them the toolkit and the resources to not only be here with us, but to survive and thrive.”