On behalf of the AAAYA Board, I am pleased to unveil our new logo!
Over the course of several months, board members went through ten plus designs and over 40 variations of motifs and color arrangements to arrive at our new logo and masthead.
We worked with professional graphic artist Joanna Shin. It was important to us to hire a young Asian American to design our logo, and she immediately understood our creative direction for aesthetic balance reflecting pride in our heritage and our affiliation with our alma mater.
The Board felt strongly about selecting motifs that were representative and inclusive of the multiple and layered Asian cultures and Asian American experiences that AAAYA represents. Because as a continent “Asia” has multiple meanings to many communities, it was not a simple task to imagine one design that would represent us all.
Our Asian American experiences at Yale have always been heterogeneous, rich, and multifaceted. Fragmented and united, our community is inclusive of the affinity groups that have formed on campus over the years for South Asian, Southeast Asian, East Asian, Asian Indigenous peoples, those who are Asian and also of other heritages, and members of these groups of all genders and sexualities.
Accordingly, we sought consensus on a logo that would become our coat of arms, not in the fashion of European aristocracy and heraldry. Rather, we are excited about the new logo as a banner for the work we are doing at AAAYA towards our collective futures as Asian and Asian American alumni committed to welcoming community and abundance for current Yale students and graduates.
In doing so, we selected two motifs around which we focused our new logo: the lotus flower and the reinterpreted visage of our Yale mascot.
Central to the design is a mythical looking animal that at first glance seem like a lion or dragon. We discussed reimagining Handsome Dan, an English bulldog as part of the Lunar New Year lion dance. We were inspired by the lucky symbol of Pixiu, the winged-lion protector, and other auspicious symbols of Asian cultures.
This design evolved many times in the ideation process, but the essence remains - combining the symbol of our university inflected by our culture. Too often, our ethnic and cultural symbols are used by others in harmful ways, so we were thoughtful about this process and what represents us.
At the top of the logo you’ll see a banner of three lotus flowers. With resonance throughout Asia, the lotus is an important ecological and spiritual symbol to many Asian cultures. The flower can signify beauty, strength, prosperity, enlightenment, and rebirth.
At the bottom of the logo you’ll see a scroll. This signifies our commitment to sustaining the intellectual community that binds us and studies our histories.
Asian and Asian American knowledge traditions have not always been included in the “lux et veritas” of our Yale official motto. In light and truth, AAAYA welcomes the vast range of peoples, cultures, and traditions that encompass our community.
Finally, in deliberating on a color palette for the logo, we ultimately decided on a monotone version of the logo in Yale blue. Visually, this projects a clean and modern image while staying timeless through a tie back to our alma mater and keeping with the overall intent of updating our logo.
Our logo signals a re-energized and new chapter for AAAYA in the 2020s. While the former logo served us well, we want our insignia to evolve with our alumni organization and members. We hope you're as excited as we are to continue AAAYA’s mission of building and strengthening community and abundance for Asian and Asian American alumni under our new banner.
Sincerely, Tao Leigh Goffe, PhD GSAS ‘15
AAAYA Board Member
PS: If there is enough alumni interest, we are planning on offering merchandise to our AAAYA members featuring the new logo. Stay tuned!