Golden State Youth Orchestra
Graybird Foundation gave Golden State Youth Orchestra a new name and identity that properly represents their reputation of excellence and educational community.

Defining the Challenge

Jack Adler
With the nurture and training of Golden State Youth Orchestra, young musicians of all skill levels develop a lasting appreciation of music. Attend a performance and you will see the passionate connection between the conductor and young performers, and the mutual commitment to quality that is the hallmark of GSYO’s community. When Golden State Youth Orchestra approached Graybird Foundation, they had recently changed their name from El Camino Youth Symphony. Embracing their new name, the nonprofit looked to Graybird to help establish their new identity, representing a reputation of excellence that had grown well beyond the Bay Area.

Graybird was absolutely critical to our name change and rebranding. They guided us to a meaningful logo, and took us from a plain, hard-to-navigate website to one with easy navigation that reflects our quality program and community. Everyone at Graybird was committed to giving Golden State Youth Orchestra their very best.

— Jennifer Matthews, Board Chair


The Bold Move

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Just as the Orchestra’s new “Golden State” name suggests, the GSYO brand needed to convey a national presence with potential for worldwide recognition. We commenced our engagement with a survey to gain a better understanding of stakeholder perceptions. The board members, staff, faculty, parents, donors, alumni and teachersall were proud to participate in a strong and inspiring musical community. Over and over again, these stakeholders reflected on the collaboration and commitment of GSYO to helping students mature as musicians and community members.



After playing around with musical notes and symphonic references, we chose the dignified French horn as the visual representation of “orchestra.” The arches that frame the instrument both mirror the shape of a concert seating arrangement and symbolizes the strong, inclusive community embracing the orchestra. We were asked to infuse the essence of California – the Golden Stateinto the new identity. We used a sunny gold to highlight the French horn. The two shades of blue in the arches depict the Pacific Ocean and the endless summer sky. The logo is youthful and professional, representing the young talented students who make up the orchestra.

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Empowered with GSYO’s new name and identity, Graybird designed and built a website that imbued the identity with the energy and artistry of young musicians, faculty, and the devoted community. Adding an important functional element, the new website helped distinguish and define the musical program offerings that serve beginning musicians through senior symphony players.

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Since working with Graybird, the GSYO community has embraced their new identity with pride and had fun rebranding internal and external materials with their new logo. Social media posts, a new website, print materials, and merchandise carry the spirit of this exciting organization. This immersive application of their identity has broadened engagement and influence.

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