The NOAA logo speaks of travel and exploration. The emblem’s image resembles a view of distant expanses through a telescope’s circle, evoking feelings of tranquility, harmony, and freedom.

NOAA: Brand overview

October 3, 1970, was a significant day for the scientific community in the USA, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, known as NOAA, commenced its operations within the U.S. Department of Commerce. This federal agency dedicated itself to the study and exploration of the world’s oceans and atmosphere and conducting meteorological and geodetic research across the USA. NOAA’s primary mission is to provide timely warnings of potential natural threats and disasters.

NOAA includes several subdivisions, such as the National Weather Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the National Ocean Service, with research centers in Norfolk, Virginia, and Seattle, Washington. Additionally, NOAA encompasses the Commissioned Officer Corps, established in 1917 and reactivated in 1970, specializing in coastal, oceanic, and geodetic research. This agency plays a key role in the collection and analysis of environmental data, ensuring the safety and health of the population and ecosystems.

Meaning and History

NOAA Logo History

The department’s emblem was adopted a year after NOAA’s founding. The inspiration for its development came from the organization’s first administrator, Dr. Robert White. The choice was made between three different options. All sketches were related to the shape of a circle and the interweaving of elements within it, but the option with a seagull emerged as the winner.

What is NOAA?

NOAA is an American agency that deals with meteorological, oceanic, and atmospheric research. It falls under the Department of Commerce. The office is located in Washington, D.C. The agency employs 12,000 staff members. It is divided into three divisions: National Ocean Survey, National Marine Fisheries Service, and National Weather Service.

1970 – today


The emblem of the department is a circle divided into two halves by the wings of a flying seagull. This simple symbol carries many meaningful messages.

  1. The upper blue shade represents the sky, relating to atmospheric research.
  2. The lower blue half symbolizes the oceans, representing oceanic research.
  3. The seagull, a common coastal bird that spends most of its life in the air or on the waves, has white feathers symbolizing purity, peace, and safety. The organization’s mission includes warning the population about natural disasters. The bird, with its wings spread over the surface, indicates that NOAA’s research includes all oceanic waters near the USA. Some observers see the outline of the seagull as a foamy crest of a sea wave.

The three parts of the emblem correspond to the three divisions of the organization: Ocean, Marine Fisheries, and Weather. They describe the interrelation of Earth’s and ocean’s ecosystems, demonstrating the inseparable connection of air, water, and land.

The circular shape evokes various associations with maritime themes: a lifebuoy, a buoy, a telescope, and a pair of binoculars. A direct parallel can also be drawn with a stamp, as the organization operates at the governmental level.

At the top of the circle is the name of the institution: NOAA, an abbreviation for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Around the edges of the emblem, the full name of the organization and its parent department is written in thin letters, like a ticker tape.

Font and Colors

NOAA Emblem

The blue and white hues are quite suitable for the line of work. White elements show the peaceful course of all scientific research. Blue colors create an image of endless water expanses that merge with the sky on the horizon.

The symbol uses two types of fonts. The thin and simple M Hei PRC Medium is for decoding, and the more stylish and smooth Sporty Pro Regular is for the abbreviation inside the circle.

NOAA Symbol