Circling the Square: LA LGBT Center’s Logo a New Take on the Rainbow


You’ve heard of over the rainbow—where trouble melts like lemon drops and dreams really do come true—but probably you haven’t heard of inside the rainbow.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new logo is a new take on the well-worn symbol of the rainbow, long used to represent the diversity of the LGBT community (notwithstanding the objections of Scott Lively and his ‘The Rainbow Belongs to God’ video).

Cliff Chen, the creative director of Locus, said that he and his colleagues wanted to pay homage to the rainbow while doing something new and special with it. Locus is a boutique strategic branding and design firm that worked with the Center on a rebranding project that included a new name and logo as well as a new communications strategy. (Formerly the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, the organization had a pale blue square logo.)

In the new logo, an array of multi-colored shapes comprise a circle. Although the overall shading of the circle harkens to the classic rainbow colors—moving from reds to oranges and so on through the ROY G. BIV cycle—it includes various shades of each color. No two of the shapes within the logo are exactly the same color or shape, just as no two people are exactly alike.

Chen said that it is a visual reflection of the Center’s inclusiveness. It’s not about labels or what ‘letter’ you are, Chen said, but “about who you are individually.” As for the circle shape, Chen said it felt right to use a shape that’s often found in nature; a circle of mushrooms specifically provided some inspiration. The shape alludes to the circle of life—which seemed apropos with the Center’s focus on intergenerational programs—and revolves around a common “Center.”

“Nature felt right to us,” Chen said. “This isn’t a sterile brand, one that feels mechanical or clinical … At the heart, we’re saying this is as natural as life itself—this is nature.”

The Center recently revealed its new name and logo and announced the beginning of a $25 million fundraising campaign. It plans to build a new headquarters adjacent to its Village location (near Santa Monica and Highland), where the new construction will include intergenerational housing for LGBT youth and seniors. In April, the Center merged with Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH). GLEH established Hollywood’s Triangle Square, the nation’s first affordable housing development of private, individual apartments for LGBT seniors.

In the spirit of full disclosure, WEHOville contributing editor Stevie St. John previously worked in the marketing and communications department at the Los Angeles LGBT Center (then the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center). She was not on the rebranding team, but she did work at the Center when the project began and participated in a staff focus group. Since leaving the Center, she has worked on some Center projects such as contributing to the Vanguard newsletter and teaching a class through the Learning Curve program.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

Nice logo!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x