Your nonprofit logo in real life

Maybe you’ve seen the breathless unveiling of the New Logo: So often, it’s presented by a proud designer on a large piece of glossy paper, a high-end multi-color process of some kind that makes the logo look just superb.

This is the beginning of your woes with the new logo. Fundraising Coach advises 3 things to consider when designing your nonprofit’s logo:


  1. Will it work in one color?
  2. Will it be identifiable reduced to a 32 pixel x 32 pixel square?
  3. Will it be easy to embroider on clothing?

In real life — unlike the beautiful presentation — your fundraising happens in some pretty low-rent situations:

Tiny (in print or online), ink-jetted or similar low-end printing, crowded in among other elements, shown on a screen in a presentation. All of these things can distort, muddy, or confuse your logo.

That’s why you need to have it designed to still look like itself, even when it’s abused in these ways. That’s why I ask designers to present logos not only in huge idealized formats that will never happen in real life, but also as postage-stamp sized, black-only formats. That’s how you know what you’re really getting.


Comments

2 responses to “Your nonprofit logo in real life”

  1. Jeff, this is right up there with nonprofits choosing a new name…
    Someone should tell them, for example: avoid a name that ends in ‘s’ if at all possible so you can avoid The Great Possessive Apostrophe-S Dilemma. (E.g. if you are Friends of the Homeless, do you apostrophize as the awkward Homeless’ … or do you say Homeless’s? Or do you flip every sentence around? And type it out as a URL to make sure it doesn’t spell anything naughty. (Refer to early pages of “Drunk Tank Pink.”) Thanks for the post. Lisa

  2. Jeff, this is right up there with nonprofits choosing a new name…
    Someone should tell them, for example: avoid a name that ends in ‘s’ if at all possible so you can avoid The Great Possessive Apostrophe-S Dilemma. (E.g. if you are Friends of the Homeless, do you apostrophize as the awkward Homeless’ … or do you say Homeless’s? Or do you flip every sentence around? And type it out as a URL to make sure it doesn’t spell anything naughty. (Refer to early pages of “Drunk Tank Pink.”) Thanks for the post. Lisa

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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