Before You Get Your Non-Profit Logo Designed Read This

Getting a logo designed for your non-profit is a fun, exciting experience. However, if you’re not careful you can end up causing yourself a lot of headaches in the future. Luckily, if you keep these 3 things in mind, you can be confident the logo you have designed will serve you well for years to come.

Logo design is a reflection of your company

Logo design is the art of encapsulating the values of a brand into a single image. But if you can’t easily articulate your values, it’s impossible for your logo to evoke them.

So, before you start finding someone to create your logo, you need to establish the following:

  • Company Name
  • Who are the type of donors you want to attract?
  • Who are the type of people you’re looking to help with your non profit?
  • What is the primary service you provide for the community?
  • What makes your nonprofit unique?
  • What is the tone of your nonprofit (fun, serious, inspiring, etc)?

The more information and detail you can provide to each of those questions, the better your logo design will be.

Don’t think you can skip this step. Any good designer will ask for most, if not all, of this information before creating a logo. It’s not always easy to think through these questions, but it’s essential. Once you’ve taken the time though you’ll appreciate how much easier it is to understand your brand.

Read this before you get your logo or build your website

Download our quick guide on the things you need to consider before getting your logo or website made.

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Design your logo for your audience

It can be easy to get caught up in the details of your logo as it’s being designed. Whenever you are about to provide feedback to your designer ask yourself this question:

“Would be ideal donor agree with the feedback I’m about to provide?”

If the answer to that question is ‘No’ then hold your tongue and don’t say your feedback. Your logo must first and foremost resonate with your ideal donors, not you. While you still want to love and be proud of your logo, you have to think of it as a tool. If that tool isn’t built to do its a primary job, inspiring donors, then it’s not going to be effective.

As you’re reviewing designs for your logo consider the following elements when deciding which design you want to move forward with as your official logo:

  • Does the logo accurately capture the tone of your nonprofit?
  • Are you confident the donors you want to attract will like and understand the logo?
  • Does the logo visually convey what your non-profit does? (it doesn’t have to be completely obvious but it should at least give a general idea)
  • Will this logo look good when it’s shrunk down really small? (simple logos are best since they look good at small sizes and are easy to use on embroidered clothing and printed materials)

Finally, remember that revisions cost time and money. The more you have a designer tweak the logo, the more time (and potentially) money it’s going to cost you. The best way to reduce revisions is to be as detailed as possible with your feedback and to batch all feedback together. If you shoot off 5 emails over the course of a day as you think of additional feedback it’s going to drive your designer crazy and it’s likely one or more pieces of feedback will get lost in communication.

Get Your Logo Vectorized

One of the biggest mistakes we see new non-profits make with the logo design is that they don’t get a vectorized version of the logo.

You may be wondering what is a ‘vectorized’ version and why is it important. Simply, a ‘vectorized’ version of your logo is created in a vector format (.EPS or .SVG). Vector formats allow you to scale a logo to any size (even as big as a building) without losing clarity and sharpness.

So, make sure your logo designer will provide you a vectorized version of your logo.

If your designer only delivers the logo file in a JPEG or PNG format, it is NOT vectorized. This will prevent you from being able to use your logo on promotional products and large print formats (banners, signs, etc).

Note, that some designers may charge you extra for the vectorized version of the logo. It’s not a common practice but it is something to be aware of.


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Justin Lynch
Justin Lynch

Justin is a Brand Strategist at Avlier, a brand consulting company.