WWF's panda logo is instantly recognizable. Its simplicity retains an ability to convey the message of WWF's mission, that is, conservation of endangered species and the sustainability of our environment.
The inspiration for the logo came from Chi-Chi, a giant panda who became part of the London Zoo family in 1961. As a group, WWF's founders believed that the panda was a recognizable symbol that could cross all language barriers and would thus make the perfect logo. The original sketches were done by artist, naturalist and environmentalist, Gerald Watterson in 1961. Sir Peter Scott then used these to develop the first WWF logo. The logo appealed to the world because it is a beautiful animal and many already empathized with its plight. Also, Sir Scott noted, the back and white colour scheme would save on printing costs, yet still have an impact.
In 1986 Landor, a design company, enhanced the logo, adding the WWF letters under the panda. In 2000 Enterprise IG (formally Sampson Tyrell), was given the task of redesigning the logo once more. Peter Widdup was the designer who executed the design that remains the organization's logo today. This non-profit logo design today, is much simpler, with both text and graphic in harmony.
Plan international is a non-profit development organization that has its foundations in child sponsorship. Not surprisingly, their logos have always been centered around children. Their current logo resembles a child's painting. Its composition, a child playing under the sun, surrounded by a circle. This non-profit logo design is consistent with the Plan's operation and continues to remind sponsors that children are at the center of everything they do.
Amnesty International is a human rights activism group. Its logo, a lit candle wrapped by barbed wire, is one of the most recognizable non-commercial logos. Inspired by the proverb, “better to light a candle than curse the darkness,” Peter Benenson commissioned artist Diana Redhouse to design a logo to match the words of wisdom. The barbed wire in this non-profit logo design represents oppression and suffering. The candle represents the hope and public attention that Amnesty International aims to bring to those whose human rights have been abused. This striking imagery clearly conveys Amnesty's message "We are with you, we are telling the world about your situation, we are demanding on your behalf the justice and dignity that is your right and everyone's right."
What is also fantastic about this logo is that it is equally recognizable as a highly stylized 2 dimensional rendering, as it is in a literal 3 dimensional replication.
The YMCA (Young Man's Christian Association) was established in 1844, and its logo has evolved considerably over the past 163 years. In 1878 the eighth conference of the World Alliance of YMCAs met in Geneva, Switzerland. Amongst the points for discussion was the creation of a unifying international badge for the association. The matter was turned over to a committee, and three years later, the first logo was finally approved.
The logo depicted a circle divided into five segments. The circle signified the oneness of mankind and the five segments bore the names of the five parts of the world; Africa, Europe, Americas, Asia and Oceania. Inside the circle were the Greek letters Chi and Rho, which formed an ancient Christian symbol. This served to remind that Christ was at the center of the organization. Finally it included a depiction of the Bible opened to John 17:21 - “That they all may be as one...as We are one”.
In 1891 the red triangle was adopted as a symbol, comprising the words “Spirit Mind Body”. It was strongly embraced by the YMCA and was included in all the logo's subsequent incarnations right up to present day. In 1967 the red triangle was combined with a bent black bar to form the letter Y. The new design was simpler, cleaner and more modern. The logo was registered the same year and has remained the official logo ever since.