The largest conservation and wilderness preservation organization in the world, WWF’s motto is “building a future in which people and nature thrive”. Founded in 1961, the NGO uses methods such research, consultancy, and lobbying to attempt building a future in which humans can live in harmony with nature. Over its more than half a century of existence, the WWF logo has become one of the most recognizable in the world.
WWF Logo Design Elements
The two main WWF logo design elements are the panda and the WWF name. The panda was a relatively simple choice, as it can be rendered in black and white, and has instantly recognizable features. In addition, the panda is also one of the best know endangered species. The panda could transcend all language barriers.
Changes and Evolution
Since it was first designed in 1961, the WWF panda logo has gone through a few changes. While there have been five WWF logos so far, the changes have always been minimal. This is owed not only to the great respect awarded to the WWF logo designer but also to the fact that the logo kept building up a reputation and a momentum which would have been wasted by unnecessary changes.
The initial shape of the first WWF logo was very similar to the one we all know today. The very first version was a scribble made by Peter Scott. It was smaller than the official version which came out later the same year. The biggest differences were in size and in the fact that initial design had a circle around the panda.
The biggest WWF logo redesign came in 1986. The WWF panda lost the outer contures, which, paradoxically made it look even bolder than before. The panda’s stance was also altered later, from a cuddly, slightly goofy pose, to a more direct and proud look.
The panda logo changed in 1978, 1986, and 2000. The biggest difference between the 1961 logo and the 1978 one was the addition of the of the Copyright symbol. In 1986, the panda in the WWF logo started facing a slightly different angle. “WWF” and the Registered symbol were also added to the logo in 1986.
The designer of the WWF logo, Sir Peter Scott, explained his choice of color. According to him, the organization needed an animal which could make an impact in black and white for one reason: saving money on printing costs. Of course, this also makes the WWF logo easier to recognize and adapta to a variety of contexts and media.
The WWF logo font only changed once, with the logo redesign back in 2000. And while the changes were just as minor as for the rest of the logo, the WWF logo font change managed to draw in even more volunteers to help save the planet. Despite the very minor differences, everything started going better for the nonprofit group after the year 2000.
Both of the WWF logo fonts were pretty simplistic custom typefaces, made specifically for the company. The very first WWF font was rounder, which went well with the more eandering look of the WWF panda.
The most recent WWF font design, in keeping with the WWF panda redesign, is bolder, more determined. The new WWF font features harder lines and points that the previous font did not have.
The history of the WWF logo is more than half a century old. The first version was designed by Sir Peter Scott, a renowned British ornithologist and a co-founder of WWF, in 1961. The inspiration for the logo was drawn from Chi Chi, a giant female panda transferred from Beijing to the London Zoo in 1958.
One of the most beloved non-fictional animals in the history of not only London but the world, Chi Chi sadly died 1972. She was mourned by the entire nation.
In 2016, Survival International, another nonprofit organization, accused WWF of facilitating the serious violation of a group of pygmies’ human rights. The group of natives, living in the rainforests of Cameroon, was severely victimized by a group of anti-poaching eco-guards. Below, you can find part of a transcript of the complaint:
“Anti-poaching eco-guards who were part-funded and logistically helped by WWF, victimized the hunter gatherer Baka people, razed to the ground their camps, destroyed or confiscated their property, forced them to relocate and have regularly used physical force and threats of violence against them.”
This is the first time in history a complaint like this has been made against a conservation group. However, the WWF has also been accused of violating its own policies before. They allegedly did so by entering a three-year strategic partnership with Rougier, a French logging company responsible for illegally deforesting large areas in southeast Cameroon.
One of the most effective and beloved planet conservation groups in the world, WWF has more than five million volunteers all over the world. Joined under the WWF logo, the volunteers are struggling to make the planet a better habitat for both animal and humans to live together in peace – as the NGO’s slogan puts it, “For a Living Planet”.