11 August 2022

UNICEF: History of a logo

UNICEF logo 1946, 1946, UNICEF is created by resolution 57(I) of the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946 to provide supplies and assistance to children after World War II. Originally known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF starts as a temporary relief fund of the United Nations. As such, it is entitled to use the UN…, 1953, In October 1953, the United Nations General Assembly extends UNICEF’s mandate indefinitely to assist vulnerable children. As a UN agency with a distinct mandate, UNICEF develops its own visual identity.  UNICEF’s first logo features a child drinking a cup of milk, which reflects the organization's main activity at the time: delivering milk to…, 1960s, As UNICEF’s focus expands to include the wider needs of children, the organization’s logo changes as well. In the 1960s, ‘a child drinking milk’ is redesigned as ‘a mother lifting up a child’. This is also linked to the UN adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, which defines children’s rights to protection, education,…, 1975, A standard global logo is issued, which retains the ‘mother and child’ emblem as the dot on the ‘i’ of ‘unicef’. This is the first version of the UNICEF logo to be registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization.     UNICEF logo 1978, 1978, While the key elements of the 1975 logo are retained, the typeface is revisited to align with some prevailing visual trends of the time.     UNICEF logo 1986, 1986, In 1986, coinciding with UNICEF’s 40th anniversary, the logo changes again: the typeface becomes Futura bold and the colour goes from black to PMS Reflex Blue. UNICEF issues The Identification Graphic Standards Manual, the organization’s first Brand Book.  The logo features UNICEF’s name, in lower case and heavy typeface, alongside the ‘mother and…, 2001, In 2001, the UNICEF logo as we know it today is introduced ─ along with guidelines for its use on multiple platforms. The colour is changed from PMS Reflex Blue to PMS Process Cyan. The undiluted colours of the new UNICEF brand colour palette (cyan, yellow, pink and violet) are meant to evoke the vibrancy of children.  The logo is stylized and…, 2008, UNICEF’s tag line becomes ‘unite for children’. Previously, this call to action had been used for UNICEF’s campaigns, in addition to ‘unite against AIDS’ and ‘unite for peace’.  The transition of ‘unite for children’ from a campaign tag line to the brand signature emphasizes UNICEF’s advocacy role in support of the Millennium Development Goals and…, 2016, In 2016, ‘for every child’ is adopted as the organization’s brand strategy and becomes part of the logo. ‘For every child’ echoes UNICEF’s universal mandate to protect the rights of children everywhere – and embodies the organization’s mission to give greatest priority to the most disadvantaged children.  Modularity is a key component of this new…