UNICEF is the abbreviation for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. It was founded by the United Nations and is located at its headquarters in New York, USA. The project has existed since December 1946. At first, it focused only on children affected by World War II, but then expanded the mission to focus on supporting children and mothers from developing countries.
Meaning and History
What is UNICEF?
It is the successor to ICEF. This organization assists children and adolescents, including migrants, refugees, and people with disabilities. She fights for gender equality, ecology, affordable health care, and education.
The individual logo of an international organization was officially approved in 1985. It reflects the noble cause of the company. Therefore it consists of two thematic parts: a graphic sign and a text.
Mother and baby are a symbol of motherhood and an inextricable unity between them. A woman holds a child in her arms, lifting it high above her head. The olive wreath has two meanings. The first is the distinctive sign that was awarded in ancient Greece as a prize for a victory. The second is the symbol of peace that has come down to us from the Bible.
1946 – 1953
The first emblem represents the Earth in the form of a cartographic designation – a top view from the side of the North Pole. The continents are located on a circular grid of parallels and meridians. Moreover, the transverse and longitudinal stripes form a kind of target, as for shooting ranges. The continents are presented in the form of black blurred silhouettes with indistinct outlines. Around the circle is a wreath of two branches of a laurel tree – the leaves are elongated, narrow. There are six pairs in total on each side and two unpaired at the top and bottom.
1953 – 1960
After updating the logo, it became more specific. Against the background of intertwined parallels and meridians, a child drinking water from a glass is depicted. The leaves from the wreath became contoured rather than completely colored as before. Above (above the circle), the phrase “FOR ALL THE WORLD’S CHILDREN” appeared. At the bottom is the name of the world organization. Capital letters, grotesque.
1960 – 1975
After the organization shifted its key focus, it changed its logo. The image now shows a mother holding the baby in her outstretched arms. She lifted him above her head and looked into his face. The silhouettes are painted black like the rest of the logo. The lines are smooth, rounded, without sharp transitions and corners. The designers removed the inscription at the top but left the bottom one, changing the font style.
The letters are now bold, with a wide inter-character space. They look lowercase, but this is just an illusion – the characters remain uppercase, except for the “e.” Moreover, “u” and “n” are made identical – they are as similar as possible in shape; they are arranged in a mirror image as if inverted relative to each other. The “c” and “e” also emphasize the similarity, for which the developers have made the crossbar “e” invisible. “F” has a shortened right half, so it is perceived as narrow.
1975 – 1978
The designers kept all the existing logo elements but rearranged them. They shrunk the circular icon with the silhouettes of the earth, mother and child, and enlarged the text portion. To add originality to the emblem, experts used the icon as a dot above the letter “i.”
1978 – 1986
In 1978, the main change was in the letters. The authors made them double: two wide stripes appeared in each symbol, which duplicated each other. The only exceptions are “e” and “f”: they have a different structure. The first is formed from a single branched line, and the second is composed of three separate segments.
1986 – 2003
The debut emblem shows the name of the organization, executed in wide bold lowercase letters. They are rounded and streamlined, so the “u” has no stem, the edges of the “c” are clipped, and the “f” lacks some of the horizontal strokes. The dot above the “i” is as large as possible, so it looks disproportionate.
The graphic part consists of a globe with meridians and parallels, against which the mother holds the child and looks into his face. Due to the dark color, the images appear silhouette, as if they are shadows. A wreath of two olive branches frames the image. To the right of the picture is the word “UNICEF.”
2003 – present
The modern version has changed color: from black to blue. The arrangement of the elements has been preserved, as is the form of the graphic symbols. But the inscription has been updated. The designers used a thin classic font, so all the letters got the correct spelling – with missing legs and a complete piece of the crossbar.
Font and Color of the Emblem
The logo contains an image of the planet, which underlines the global nature of UNICEF’s mission: it helps children and women around the world. The globe also conveys the magnitude of her work, reaching every corner because there are no boundaries for an international charity.
The name has always been written in lowercase letters. The current typeface is reminiscent of Univers Light, developed in 1954 by Adrian Frutiger. They are sleek and simple sans serif marks. On the debut version, the inscription was bold, with wide, rounded letters.
The color palette of the emblem consists of blue and white. They serve a double function: they symbolize the sky with clouds and denote the founding organization because the United Nations’ official colors are light blue and white.