Visual Identity

Organizational Self-portrait

Most savvy communicators respect, and perhaps are in awe of, the great logo. It seems to possess magic because in one square inch of space, a single image expresses the personality and purpose of an entire enterprise. As a symbol to its audience, if the logo springs to mind in connection with the name, it does its job.

Here are three organizations with fantastic logos—you know what they represent even without the words. These are not easy to forget and serve as welcoming introductions to their organizations:

spiral bullet American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Hands are used a lot in visual identities because they symbolize every age, station, and relationship. For a hand therapy organization, using hands in a logo is expected. Yet the beauty of this circular image invokes the caring, cycles, and support. See Review.

spiral bullet Entrepreneurs Organization
One of the best examples of doing a lot with few and simple components, this logo symbolizes all of business. See Review

spiral bullet Madison County Chamber
Integrating the triple theme of community, agrculture, and business into one logo is rarely accomplished with such clarity. See review.

More than any other marketing tool, logo development is riddled with politics. Many nonprofits decision-makers don’t even want to attempt addressing during a two-year board position. Creating an organization’s logo is a big job and must coordinate all decision-makers. Yet it is the most important visual contribution that leadership can make—it leaves a legacy, a foundation to build a visual vocabulary, and most importantly, to implant the image in a prospect’s mind. Few have studied recognizability, which is explored in this blog.

The single most important communication tool, the logo is an organization’s face to the world. Effectiveness is measured in recognizability. Examine the qualities that go into development and determine the results through rsponse.

See organizations that have the potential for great graphics but are as yet unmet: “Not the Best but Could Be.”

The Sebastian Study is completed in this blog. If you wish to know if your organization was considered, please visit and contact me; I will be happy to share the review ranking with you.

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