The website is currently undergoing a major redesign, intended to move it in a more social direction. In terms of look and feel, we are stripping the site back to a much whiter, more minimalist style, and we require a bold, simple and distinct logo / brandmark, which reflects a youthful, social community, and is much more in line with the current social media zeitgeist.
Unfortunately, due to a trademark dispute, we are no longer able to use the term "Gap Year" in our brandmark. This has influenced the decision to develop a brand around the letters "GY" - the new brand must be shown as "GY" (and not Gap Year or gapyear.com).
Primary fonts used in the (not yet launched) redesign are "Proxima N W15 Reg" and "Proxima N W15 Bold," though these do not necessarily need to be a feature of the logo. The new colour scheme includes blue #1869AD, orange #FF5C00, green #108306 and various greys, with blue being the dominant primary colour. As such, it may make sense to make the blue a feature or dominant colour in the logo, though we are open to all options. The other colours are optional, though feel free to use them.
The primary use for the logo will be on the website, so strength and effectiveness there should be the number one objective. I have attached various screenshots of pages to give context for it's use (and allow design testing). In terms of deliverables, we are looking for a full colour logo, which will also translate well into a single colour monomark when used in positive and negative iterations. We are open to both a flat colour design or the use of gradients in the full colour version of the logo.
If possible, the inclusion or integration of a brandmark which can itself be used as an engageable UI feature would be highly preferable, though not essential (examples of this would include the way Facebook's F, SoundCloud's cloud icon, Twitter's Bird, or StumbleUpon's SU are also used as share button icons).
UPDATE 14.03.204 (IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ)
Firstly, thank you so much for the massive response to this project. It has been incredible, if a little overwhelming. I’ve been doing my best to go through and feedback, rate and respond to as many of your designs as possible, but I’ve had a huge number of messages, so I do sincerely apologise if I haven’t got to yours yet, or if my feedback has seemed brief. Please forgive me if that is the case.
After reviewing a large number of logos, the strongest designs so far have been the simple but distinctive brandmarks built around the GY letters. What’s not really working is the use of the brandmark in complete isolation (as it creates a bit too much cognitive dissonance when used on the website) and I’m starting to feel the existing tagline isn’t quite clear enough.
After playing with some of the better brandmark designs myself, I think we might need to do something a bit different. It has been great to get the designs through from the 99 Designs community, and this has really helped in making this decision. If some of you could please have a play with designs in this format (http://99designs.co.uk/logo-design/) with a roughly equivalent visual dominance, that would be very much appreciated. Ideally the “Inspire Your Travels” part would be editable so we can use different messages in different contexts. The Proxima Nova font we use on the site seems to work well for this, but I’m open to other font, designs, and concepts of a similar nature.
Overall, I’m very encouraged by the quality of some of the brandmarks that have come through so far. I have already seen that housing them in juxtaposition with a clearer and more emotive message (such as the one in the mockup) helps a lot. Thanks also to those designers who have included mock-ups in context of the website (and also those who have included positive and negative monomarks along with the full colour format); that has been incredibly helpful when reviewing the designs.
I’m going to go through and eliminate the designs which are unlikely to work with this direction today. I would ask that you please don’t take this as a criticism of your design, just that it is unlikely to work in this way.
Lastly, there have been a lot of very sharp and corporate looking logos coming through. While I actually really some like these, the target market is a youth audience, so rounder, more youthful designs are really what we are after.