Should charities have picture logos?

Advertising legend David Ogilvy was generally against having pictures as logos.

He thought they added to the “gadgetry which clutters up layouts” and were an anachronism left over from the days of high rates of illiteracy.

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WWF panda: part of brand

I certainly wouldn’t go that far. Clearly, there are some picture logos that are a hugely important part of their organisation’s identity. Think Apple’s iconic apple or Starbucks’s mermaid.

It’s the same with the charity sector. WWF’s panda and the Royal British Legion’s poppy are just a couple of the images that are great assets to their organisation’s brand.

But looking at the top 50 fundraising charities, according to Charity Financials, almost half (23) have a logo that includes a picture of a recognisable thing. That seems like a lot.

I do wonder whether our sector overuses pictures in logos.

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Simple logos

For me, they are worth having if they are recognised by and have meaning to your audience on their own, or if you have a plan to make this the case.

If not, then perhaps less is more when it comes to the design element of your logo.

Or think about just spelling out the name in a clear, memorable font. It works well enough for Google and Facebook. Not to mention charities like Macmillan Cancer Support and NSPCC.

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