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A logo for a charity or non-profit organization works similarly to logos for corporations or businesses. They identify the welfare or charity and try to communicate their principles to the public. Designing a charity logo also has some similarities to creating a logo meant to entice customers. They both want to associate their brand with the work they do and hopefully differentiate themselves from other organizations.

Here are some questions a logo designer would need to answer in order to create an effective logo for a charity or non-profit organization:

Who is the Client?

All designers know that being familiar with a company’s identity is crucial to creating an effective logo. This information will help them shape the images used in the logo to properly represent the company or organization.

It’s the same in the case of creating a logo for a charity or non-profit organization. After all, the logo is the visual identity of the charity and so would represent them to the public, their benefactors and sponsors. Without knowing who the client is, the logo may not work well enough to embody them.

What are your Charity’s Goals?

A good question to ask is “what are the charity’s goals?” This will give you an idea about what the charity stands for and what their purpose is. The answer can also help you in determining which images to use in their logo. Knowing about the charity’s goals can also help you figure out how you can design the logo in such a way as to achieve those goals.

A good example of this is the logo for Habitat for Humanity. The organization’s goal is to provide communities with homes for those who need them. Their logo is quite simple. It depicts the roof of a house with people beneath it and the name of the organization beneath. This image easily conveys what the charity wants to do or provide for others. This helps the charity because future sponsors or volunteers would have a clear picture of what it is they can expect from the charity and how they can help.

Who is the target audience?

Like all logos, it’s vital to know who the audience is so that the design can be made relatable to them. Also, knowing the audience means knowing their perception of the charity. This would go a long way in brainstorming how the logo should look to convey the message the charity wants to convey.

A charity’s benefactors can be seen as their audience. This is because these are the people the organization wants to help. Animal charities, for example, usually have animals depicted in their logos. The World Wildlife Fund has a panda on their logo because it is an endangered animal. Supporters of WWF know that they are working towards preserving the wildlife and the environment. A lot of animal shelters use cats and dogs on their logos because these are the common pets that they want to provide care for.

What Message Would They Like to Convey?

The Non-profit logo itself can become the medium of expressing the message of the organization. Whether it’s safety or charity towards others, using the logo to express that message can be a valuable tool for any non-profit or fund raising organization. It’s also important for the logo to create a non-threatening atmosphere. It should convey a calm and safe aura that mirrors how the charity would like its benefactors to feel.

Looking at UNICEF’s logo, their message can be clearly seen. They are an organization fighting for the rights of children across the globe. The mother and child image in the center clearly represent this. The olive branches are a symbol of peace while the globe represents all nations of the world. The logo also closely resembles the logo of the United Nations. This is fitting because UNICEF has been a part of the UN since 1954.

Where will the Logo be Seen?

This question should be asked for technical reasons. For logos that will be printed on merchandise, limiting the colors would be wise. This would make it easier to reproduce and would cost the charity less to print on T-shirts, mugs, keychains, etc. If the logo will be part of an international campaign, it would be best to use words or images that can survive translation. Looking at the UNICEF logo once again, the mother and child image can be understood by anyone around the world and the name of the organization can be instantly recognized as well.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & Creative Director of Logo Design Works. Since 1998, Mash has helped thousands of businesses express their brand messages through creative and award winning logo designs.