Red Cross Logo

American Red Cross Logo
American Red Cross Logo PNG

American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that helps US residents cope with the consequences of natural disasters, supports the military, carries out the prevention of infectious diseases, participates in the international search for people, and supplies donated blood. In addition, she teaches volunteers useful skills so that they can save someone’s life in an emergency. Since ARC is a non-profit movement, its existence depends entirely on the initiative of volunteers and on the generosity of investors.

Meaning and History

Red Cross Logo History
Evolution of the Red Cross Logo

The American branch of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was created in 1881, but the main organization appeared much earlier – in 1863. This was preceded by the historical events associated with the Battle of Solferino. The aftermath of one of the bloodiest battles of the 19th century impressed the Swiss businessman Henry Dunant so much that he decided to help people who fought with each other. After all, many of them died not in battle but in a hospital due to a lack of basic care. Dunant called on volunteers to provide food and emergency medical services to rescue all injured soldiers. Moreover, he refused to divide the warriors into “us” and “foes.”

This laid the foundation for Red Cross. Under the influence of the ideas of Dunant, a special committee appeared in Geneva, and later (in 1864), the Geneva Convention was signed. This document guaranteed the inviolability of volunteers and obliged them to use the identification symbol – a red cross on a white background. This logo was developed even before the adoption of an international treaty. Henry Dunant himself created it in 1863.

Red Cross Symbol

The emblem is essentially a modified flag of Switzerland, in which the red and white colors are reversed. The fact is that Dunant and four other organizers of the international conference were citizens of Switzerland. This is how the ideological mastermind of the Red Cross expressed respect for his homeland. The logo has no religious meaning; it is not associated with cultural and political associations. It was first used to protect volunteers providing medical assistance to the military on the battlefield. It is now a symbol of humanitarian services, including the American branch of the international movement.

In the United States, Red Cross underwent one rebranding in 2012. Designers modernized the corporate identity a bit by making the logo three-dimensional and repainted the organization’s name in gray. It is worth noting that this badge does not replace the traditional emblem that protects volunteers.

1881 – 2012

American Red Cross Logo 1881

Until 2012, the American Red Cross logo consisted of two elements. On the right was the famous icon of a red cross made up of four squares. On the left was the name of the charity movement in bold black sans serif type. The first word was on the top line and the second and third on the bottom.

2012 – today

American Red Cross Logo

The only known logo redesign was in 2012. The authors placed a cruciform shape inside a white circle that appears three-dimensional due to the radial gradient and gray shadows. The inscription was also repainted in gray, while the shape and size of the letters remained almost unchanged.

Created by Henry Dunant, this symbol may only be used by official Red Cross organizations and military medical services. In America, an exception was granted only to companies with a red cross mark before 1906.

Such strict prohibitions are related to the safety of volunteers. After all, the emblem does not just make it possible to recognize the performers of the humanitarian mission – it serves as a signal “do not shoot.” The lives and health of people who care for the wounded on the battlefield, victims of natural disasters, and those affected by emergencies depend on it. The employees of the charity movement have no weapons, and their only shield is the logo with the image of the cross.

According to the rules of the Geneva Convention, none of the warring parties has the right to attack buildings, equipment, vehicles, and people marked with an international symbol. They should be allowed everywhere, given access to the sick and wounded – both during an armed conflict and in the absence of war.

The red cross-shaped sign gives hope for impartial and voluntary help to all who find themselves in a difficult situation, regardless of their nationality and religion. He says that salvation is on the way. The same symbol signals military medical units’ neutral position and speaks of their non-interference in hostilities.

Despite the important mission of the American Red Cross, pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has charged a humanitarian organization with logo copyright infringement. In 2007, the case went to trial. As noted by the applicant, he began using the image of the red cross in 1887, and the statutes of the Congress were not adopted until the beginning of the next millennium.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

Red Cross Emblem

The name of the charity movement is written in bold sans serif, similar to Craft Gothic Black by FontSite Inc. The letters look harmonious because their angularity is combined with smooth curves. The text is dark gray. The shadows next to the circle are also gray, but a lighter shade with a gradient was chosen for them. The cross is traditionally red because it was originally taken from the flag of Switzerland. Henry Dunant swapped the colors, making the background white and the centerpiece red.