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A well-designed nonprofit logo is crucial to connect with donors and remind supporters what you stand for.
Whether you’re creating your brand’s visual identity for the first time, or redesigning it, you can find some inspiration and guidance from the best.
Below’s my list of top nonprofit brands and their logos explained:
Remember that design without strategy is just art.
In order for your design to work it's vital to develop your brand strategy first.
WWF is probably the most recognizable nonprofit symbol in the world.
The Panda illustrations speaks to the organizations mission - to conserve wildlife.
Because this pictorial mark uses a single color, it’s very adaptive to different mediums.
The positive space (black) gives just enough definition, so that a viewer’s eye can complete the rest and recognize panda in an instant.
The name WWF stands for World Wild Life and is set in a sans-serif typeface which gives a modern look to a brand that’s over 50 years old.
Learn more about WWF logo history.
Also check the initial WWF panda logo sketch.
Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, working to connect people with food and end hunger.
The stacked "I"s forming an ear of wheat swiftly conveying the message of food/feeding.
The logo is a simple execution — how lucky to have an even number of letters in each word and how even more miraculous that the “I”s meet at exact same position?
The logo was design by Interbrand.
Handicap International is an independent and impartial aid organization who works alongside people with disabilities.
The logo smartly illustrates the acronym "HI" by using a welcoming hand symbol.
This logo is a perfect example of a cross between the letterform and pictorial mark. and a great logo for charity.
The logo is very approachable and captures the company's mission in a simple and bold shape.
Amnesty International is a non-profit organization that stand ups for human rights.
What does the amnesty international logo mean?
The Amnesty logo combines two recognizable images inspired by the proverb, “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
The logo is inspired by the Chinese proverb, “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
The barbed wire represents “the darkness” (hopelessness) of people put in jail where they think nobody remembers them.
The candle represents Amnesty Internationalʼs commitment to bring the prisoners hope for their fair treatment and eventual release.Read more about the Amnesty logo history.
Human Appeal is an organization providing humanitarian aid that saves and transforms lives.
The organization asks the question, what makes us human?The answer is caring for others and changing their lives for the better.
The logo combines an ‘H’ for ‘human appeal’ with a symbol of a person.
Turning the symbol 45 degrees, allows us to read both meanings – and the angle added a useful sense of urgency.
clever and bold mark that conveys directly and playfully the name of the organization through an icon that is half “H”, half abstract human.
It’s a symbol that can be interpreted by anyone and especially beneficial for anyone who might not be able to read.Read more about the recent Human Appeal rebrand.
The Water Trust is a non-profit that helps poor communities provide clean water.
Many water-related companies use some kind of drop illustration in their logos an easy way to convey their mission.
The logo creatively stacks the letter "a" and "u" to form a droplet.
The logo puts a unique spin on the droplet shape and uses the bright blue color in order to make it stand out.
This logo is a refreshing example of how you can leverage letters to design shapes.
By the way, I've used a similar treatment in my recent work for Carwao.
The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the United States government.
With a mission of helping people outside the United States to understand American culture, and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries.
The logo captures the star from the American flag transforming into a dove.
The the dove symbolizes an American volunteer sent abroad to provide help others.
The dove is simple and efficiently drawn and the stripes have a pleasant flow into it.
Learn more about the Peace Corps logo redesign.
Voices of Youth is an organization launched by UNICEF to help young people around the world exchange ideas and opinions.
And what would be more appropriate to illustrate it than a speech-bubble?
The speech-bubble aligns with the organization's mission to help people exchange opinions.
The logo uses a clever typographic solution that uses the speech-bubble complete the shape of the first letter "V".
The company name is positioned in a way that visually balances the logo.
The “V” is also so visually strong that it can be used as a stand-alone mark.
Mind is an organization that empowers people experiencing mental health issues.
The handwritten logotype perfectly illustrates mental health issues (scribbles) being solved.
The abstract shape evokes initial chaos and confusion and then transitions into a balanced script font.
This logotype is a great example of strong symbolism through simplicity with the hand-written typeface that comes across as very human and approachable.
The logo is simple, yet very creative.
Keep in mind that designing a logo is not an easy task and you should run a strategy workshop first.
Logo design for non profit organization is like logo design for for profit company – the logo design principles are the same.
Having clarity about who you are as a non-profit and who you need to connect with will help you design a logo that supports your mission and vision.
I hope these non profit logos inspire you in some way.
Logo is the most exposed element of your brand and the first thing people think of when hearing your brand name.
There are 3 simple rules to judge logo design concepts:
All of the above non profit logos are great examples of what professional logo is.
Are you looking to hire a designer for your non profit organization? — Just shoot me an email.
I'm a branding expert and graphic designer based in NY. I specialize in the development of brands: brand strategy, identity & web design. Need help with your project?—Get in touch