Where do logos come from?

Every organization needs a logo, and unless you’ve got some fancy background in graphic design, you’ll probably need to pay a designer to make one for your nonprofit. But it’s worth it – because you’ll be using your logo a lot ( and we’re here to help make sure you don’t invest too much ).

Do your homework

Like any branding decision, deciding on a rough idea for your logo will require some inspiration. Spend some time researching other nonprofits working in your mission area to see what they use for a logo. You can also search through design blogs and dribble.com for some ideas. Make sure you already have your style guide set before starting on your logo.

Logo mark and text

Your logo should have two major components: text and a logo mark. The text should be the name of your nonprofit, but can also include a tagline about what your organization does. The logo mark is the graphical representation of who you are as an organization and the mission you’re trying to achieve. The logo mark should be strong enough to stand on its own, because from time to time it may appear by itself.

Size and shape matters

Your logo needs to look as good in a 1inch x 1inch square as it does on a 12foot x 4foot banner, so keep scalability in mind when making a decision. Sometimes text or a logo mark image that look fine when small will look awkward when shown in a larger scale. Additionally, your logo needs to be present on every piece of print or digital content you put out into the world, which means it will need to be represented on a variety of document shapes. Make sure your logo is something that you can use in a small square ( this is one area where the logo mark may appear separate ), on a landscape oriented sheet ( like a business card ), a narrow vertical banner ( like an a document header or an actual banner ), and a narrow horizontal banner.

Working with a designer

If you have an existing relationship with a graphic designer, that’s a great option. If not, there are a variety of websites that can help connect you with freelancer designers, and even some that use artificial intelligence to generate a logo based on your inputs and their algorithm. In either case, make sure to communicate your style guide, mission statement, and some rough thoughts on what you’re looking for. Also, make sure that they provide you with a print quality ( 300dpi ) file in a format you can use. Expect to spend between $50 and $300.


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