Why You Need a Good Logo for Your Nonprofit
May 26, 2016 Lynette Garet Business Basics 0 Comment
What’s in a Nonprofit logo?
A good logo instantly tells your nonprofit’s story; in a mere glance, a good logo should uniquely illustrate your goals, vision and mission for anyone who sees it. A logo that works will uniquely brand your nonprofit; your brand becomes unmistakeable. According to Matthew Scharpnick, writing for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, nonprofits often overlook the importance of a good logo in their efforts to build brand recognition for their organizations. That’s a shame because a good logo is indispensable.
Consider these nonprofit logos:
Susan G. Komen, using a pink ribbon to represent a running woman
World Wildlife Fund, depicting an endangered panda
PBS, with its “viewers like you”
Each of these logos quickly and clearly tells the story of its respective nonprofit; donors do not have to wonder what they represent, it is all there in the logo.
Elements of style
While it seems like a simple thing, an outstanding logo blends a number of crucial elements that will catch, and hold, the viewer’s attention. In fact, a compelling logo is a blend of:
Typography—an art unto itself, the right typeface and its presentation give emphasis to the words
Color—color conveys mood and energy, as well as attracting attention and signaling spheres of influence: blue for water, green for environment, red for bold, yellow for highlights
Iconography—Bread for the World’s logo combines a loaf and a fish to not only convey its mission to feed the hungry, but also the Christian fish to represent its founders; in addition it’s a very neat play on the loaves and fishes of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.
Shape—together, the typography and iconography create your logo’s distinctive shape: squared up, rounded off, slanted to the side
Space—the logo design’s space flows freely in and around the words and images
Composition—the right balance of incorporated elements to form the right image for your nonprofit
Together, these elements produce a logo that is:
Aesthetically pleasing—it looks and feels right in and of itself, as well as illustrating a quality representation of your nonprofit
Distinctive and memorable—it isn’t a derivative of some other nonprofit’s logo, no one should be confused about who your nonprofit is when they see your logo
Simple and timeless—with logos, less is more; an uncluttered logo won’t detract from its unified message; an undated logo will stand the test of time
Adaptable and scalable—your logo is your brand and it must be ubiquitous, from billboard to business card, whether in color or in black and white, it must lend itself to all forms of communication with your donors
It’s money well spent
Aesthetics aside, there is the practical reality of cost to consider: design fees, print production and advertising costs. It can be expensive and time-consuming to produce the single most important brand identification tool in your nonprofit’s arsenal. Continually redesigning and updating your logo saps resources better spent on your next campaign; it also confuses your donors and supporters. Longevity is of special importance; the effort to get it right the first time will reward that same effort by supporting your nonprofit’s fundraising and donor communications.
Your logo is the one place to avoid cutting costs with a volunteer- or staff-created logo. A good logo is worth a thousand words simply because it uniquely identifies your nonprofit in a single glance; it separates you from the crowd. First impressions are lasting impressions; you want your logo to make the right impact now and going forward. Every picture tells a story: Design your logo to tell your story.