Nonprofit logos are an important part of branding and image, and while this is an important step in growing your organization, it is not always easy! Graphic design is a big part of your nonprofit's communication. This is why we have gathered our top eight tips to help you create a beautiful logo that will last.
We suggest you:
- Create a logo that reflects your values
- Make it simple and memorable
- Limit the number of colors used
- Keep it classic!
- Never plagiarize
- Choose your font wisely
- Make it functional for multiple platforms
- Check to see that it looks good in black and white
Let's get started!
Tip 1: Keep Your Values in Mind
Your logo should help show the world who you are and what you do. We suggest you take a pen and paper and get to work!
Write a list of words that describe your nonprofit. For example: Generosity, action, philanthropy, joyful, etc. Choose 3-5 words that you feel truly embody your organization.
While it seems simple, this is a crucial step! It is very important to define yourself and your image.
Tip 2: Create a Simple, Easy to Remember Logo
A good logo is recognized and understood in the blink of an eye. While it can be tempting to add lots of elements to embody your values, it is important to keep it as simple as possible.
We suggest that you try to avoid gradient effects, shadows, light effects, etc.
Think of some of the most well-known logos:
The simpler it is, the more memorable it is. It's that easy!
Tip 3: Don’t Go Overboard With Colors
Try to limit the number of colors used in your logo as much as possible. A good logo is clean and simple!
We advise you to never use more than three colors, while using just one tends to be best.
If you decide to use more than one color, always choose a dominant color that the other(s) will complement.
We have listed some great (and free!) tools you can use to create your color palette.
Adobe Color allows you to choose harmonious and beautiful color combinations that can help you get inspired.
Paletton is another great tool to create color pallets!
Design seeds does the work for you and offers you pre-made color palettes that are sure to give you some inspiration.
LOLCOLORS offers dozens of color combinations to help give you an idea of what colors work the best together, there is even a blog!
We suggest keeping your sector in mind when it comes to choosing your colors.
For example, if you are an environmental nonprofit, staying in the green and earth tones is recommended.
Tip 4: Ignore Trends!
There is no need to be trendy, as trends are constantly changing. You want to invest in a logo with longevity, right?
If the answer is yes, our best advice is to keep it classic!
Try to envision what your nonprofit will look like in 10, 20, even 30 years. Will your logo hold up?
This is a big thing to keep in mind when creating your logo.
Tip 5: Say No to Plagiarism
This is a golden rule of graphic design, and it's especially important for logo creation: Never copy!
It is okay to take inspiration from an existing logo when you are drawing up your own, but copying one is always a no-go.
It would be harmful for your organization’s image if your logo was confused with another. There are also a multitude of trademark laws involved with this kind of thing, so it is always best to avoid any confusion.
Having a creative block? Don’t worry! We have rounded up some great sites where you can find inspiration to help you create your own original logo.
When looking around these sites, take note of what grabs your attention and ask yourself, why?
Try to understand what details about the logo grabbed your attention. This is a great exercise to help you create an eye-catching logo.
Tip 6: Stay Safe with Your Font
Just like with colors, it is important to limit the number of fonts used in your logo. You want your logo to be professional and impactful, and too many fonts can get in the way of that!
We suggest that you use a maximum of two fonts.
If you want to play around with the wording on your logo, you can manipulate the size and thickness of your font rather than adding another one.
You can take it a step further and increase or decrease the spaces between your letters (this is called interlettering). It can be a fun way to personalize your logo!
However, we suggest that you air on the side of caution because your logo should be easy to read in large or small print.
It is important to choose a clear and legible font because it should look good on a big poster and on a small business card!
Tip 7: Keep Functionality in Mind
Your logo will probably be used on all kinds of platforms including websites, social media, flyers, business cards, t-shirts, you name it!
This is why it is crucial to keep the functionality of your logo in mind when creating it.
Just like with the font, the entire logo should look good regardless of how large it is displayed. This is another reason why simplicity is key!
Last but not least, your logo should be in a vector format. This is a type of digital format that is ideal for logos because it ensures that your logo holds its quality and shape at any size.
If you only have your logo saved in .jpg or .png format, you will quickly see the limitations. Here is a great article by Adobe that gives a better understanding of vector graphics.
Tip 8: It Should Look Good in Black and White
You will most likely use your logo on documents such as invoices, purchase orders, applications, etc. These types of documents are usually printed in black and white, so it is a good idea to make sure your logo still looks great without color.
When crafting your logo, test it out in black and white to make sure it is as versatile as possible.
And there you have it, all of our tips for a great, long-lasting logo. We hope this has been helpful and we wish you luck creating your nonprofit logo!
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