World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International Organizations

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Vol 1 - Introduction and Notes, Logotypes for Organizations A-O
Vol 2 - Introduction and Notes, Logotypes for Organizations P-Z
Vol 3 - Indexes, Abbrevieations, Statistics


For almost a century the Yearbook of International Organizations and its precursor L'Annuaire de la Vie Internationale have described in words the aims, history and activities of international organizations. Now, for the first time, in the World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International Organizations the pictorial side of international organizations is presented. It represents part of UIA's ongoing research into alternative representations of information and international organizations and civil society.

The World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International Organizations does not aim to be a complete or exhaustive collection of international organization logotypes, emblems, colophons, and marks (hereafter referred to simply as 'logos'), but it is undoubtedly an adequate and representative sample, presenting the logos of some 4300 organizations. This Guide brings together logos from every type of organization, from large and complex intergovernmental bodies to collectors' clubs, from established and respected foundations to amateur sport associations. It includes logos of every shape and size, of every colour and subject, logos with original and evocative designs and logos whose message is less than clear.

This collection can be of use to those who study international organizations, providing them with information which has never before been presented in print. It can also be of use to designers, providing materials for comparison in a non-commercial and little known field. Such a comparison is assisted by the experimental indexes to subjects and shapes included in the Guide. While this Guide can justifiably be called new and unique, the editors have long had an interest in international organization logotypes and abbreviations. Between 1965 and 1967 the editors of the Guide, the Union of International Associations reproduced 60 emblems and logotypes of international organizations in their periodical, International Associations / Associations Internationales (now called Transnational Associations / Associations Transnationales. These logotypes were selected from a collection assembled by one of the UIA's editors, Peter Hunot, while working on the 10th edition of the Yearbook of International Organizations (1964-65).

In addition to logos, the World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International Organizations indexes over 15000 abbreviations and names by which the 4300 international organizations included in this Guide are known. These include abbreviations and names in current use, whether official or unofficial, in various languages, and also, where relevant, abbreviations and names by which organizations were previously known.

The World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International Organizations also includes over 240 mottos or slogans of international organizations, yet another previously unpublished piece of information. Frequently, the motto is incorporated into the logo. In other cases, the motto has been found, separate from the logo, on official stationery or a brochure. Mottos are included here because, like logos, they aim to present the organization's identity or purpose in a succinct and memorable way.


The logos included in this collection were taken from material provided voluntarily by organizations in response to the editors' requests for information that could be used in preparing the Yearbook of International Organizations and its related volumes, such as the World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International Organizations. Organizations regularly provide this information with the understanding that it will be used only for the publications of the editors, the Union of International Associations. There is no charge or fee or obligation attached to the provision of this information, or to the inclusion of an organization in any of the UIA's publications.

The editors' intention in providing this collection is that it serve as a tool for those who wish to identify an organization on the basis of a logo, and for those who wish to study and compare the logos of international organizations. Users may be inspired by this collection, but it is no way the intention of the editors to encourage improper or unauthorized use of any of the information, whether graphics or text, provided by the organizations included here.

It should be noted that, with very few exceptions, organizations were not asked to provide a copy of their logo specifically for this Guide. The logos were gleaned from other material provided by the organizations, such as letterheads, brochures, and congress announcements. For future editions, it is hoped that organizations will be invited to provide the editors with a clean and clear copy of their logo, and with any guidelines they have as to its use. It should also be noted that, for this edition, various constraints, such as limited editorial staff and a shortage of time, made it impossible to send proofs to the organizations for their approval.

Selection of Organizations Represented in this Guide

This Guide's companion volume, the Yearbook of International Organizations, provides descriptive entries of some 40,000 international organizations (CD-ROM version). Every year, or every two years for some categories of organization, all of the active organizations receive a copyof their descriptive entry, with a request to update it.

The logos reproduced here are drawn from the material provided by the organizations in response to this request. The material searched was, in most cases, received between 1994 and 1996. Organizations which did not reply to the Yearbook's request in those years, or whose reply did not contain material with a logo, are unlikely to be represented in this collection.

It should be stressed that, with few exceptions, the organizations represented in this volume were selected at random: if an organization's logo was present in the files searched, it was included. Apart from the date of the files, no further conditions were applied, either to the organization itself or to its logo.

In some cases, however, particular care was given to the search for and inclusion of logos. For instance, intergovernmental organizations and the more international bodies (i.e. those classified under sections A B and C of the Yearbook - see Appendix 5: Types of organization) received extra attention.

Some of the organizations represented here may no longer be active. This may be because the organization, although no longer active, was considered to be of particular interest (for example, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, also known as Comecon); in these cases, the source of the logo was older files (prior to 1994). Or it may be due to the delay between the collection of the logos and the publication of this volume; in that time, an organization may have ceased to be active.

Selection of Logos Included in this Guide

Esthetic Quality

As mentioned above, the selection of logos for this collection was random. No æsthetic considerations were applied. In introducing its 1965 selection of logotypes, the UIA wrote:

One can find all shapes, sizes, colours and subjects. The quality of the design is variable: some are very successful in terms of æsthetics as well as in terms of representing the idea; others clearly say what they want to say but lack artistry; others, unfortunately, illustrate the undeniable difficulty of graphically expressing an abstract idea.

It was never the intention of this Guide to set a standard for the design of international organization logos, but rather to provide a representative selection. It was therefore not felt necessary to include or exclude logos based on theirartistic qualities.

One Organization, Several Logos

Sometimes two or more completely different logos were found for one organization, and it was not always obvious which, if any, was to be preferred. It is also possible that an organization uses two or more logos at the same time, if perhaps for different purposes. All the different logos that were found are reproduced here, side by side, next to the name of the organization.

Sometimes variations of a logo were found. Whenever the variations were distinctive, all the versions are included in this collection.

The organization's name or abbreviation may be part of the logo, or another text may be incorporated into the logo. This can result in variations of the logo, each version using a different language. Some examples are the Pan American Development Foundation and the European Union of Women. Generally, only one version of such a logo is included here, the differences seldom being distinctive.

In contrast to these variations, some logos incorporate all the different language titles or abbreviations; an interesting example is the European Civic Forum.

Variations in logos may be due to the organization being known by several names in the same language. Where this was detected and considered relevant, all known names are listed and indexed in this volume. Further information on alternative names can be found in the Yearbook of International Organizations.

Former logos

Whenever an organization's former logo or logos were readily available, they have also been included in this collection. Some examples are the International Federation for Information and Documentation and the World Federation for the Metallurgic Industry. In addition, the logos which were published in International Associations between 1965 and 1967 are also included here, with a reference to their source.

Regrettably, it was not possible to give the dates for former logos. Generally, however, the organization's former names are listed. Further information on the dates for these former names can be found in the Yearbook of International Organizations.

Logos of special events

With the exception of the logos included in Appendix 3: The Emblem of the United Nations, logos of special events or conferences were not deliberately selected. However, there may be cases in which a logo designed especially for a congress, an event, or a special programme has been mistaken for the organization's logo. Equally, there may be cases in which the logo of a national or subsidiary body has been mistaken for the international organization's logo.

Shared logos

Very often a group of related organizations will share one logo. Usually there is some sort of hierarchic relationship, with the subsidiary bodies using the logo of the mother body. Some examples are: the UN system; the European Union; the Nordic Council; and the Commonwealth Secretariat. There was no systematic research, however, to detect such shared logos, nor to determine the extent to which they are shared by related bodies. Logos are simply reproduced next to the names of the organizations in whose files they were found. Nevertheless, where such sharing was detected, the names of the other known users are listed.



This edition includes no colour reproductions; all logos are reproduced in black and white or shades of grey. If the original logo was multi-coloured (white is not counted as a colour) then the number of colours is indicated. No attempt was made to name the colours used.

The colour of a logo, whether multi-coloured or not, can vary according to the background on which it is printed. For instance, on a white background the logo is printed in black, and on a black background the logo is printed in white. Generally, such variations are reproduced here as black on white. Sometimes it was not possible to eliminate the background, or the background formed, or was seen to form, a part of the logo. In such cases, the logo is reproduced on its background; the extent of such a background is often limited by the editors to fit the space allotted.

Organizations may have guidelines for the use of colour for their logo. For instance, in its 'Corporate Identity User Manual' the World Energy Council specifies that its logo can be reproduced in two specific colours or in black and white, but not in greyscale. Unfortunately, for most organizations this kind of information was not available for the preparation of this edition.


All the logos in this edition have been reduced or enlarged to fit a space 9cm wide by 3cm high. The editors made every effort to ensure that the quality of the reproduction was not adversely affected by the enlargement or reduction.

As with colour, some organizations may have guidelines for the size of their logo (again, the World Energy Council is one known example); given the desirability of a certain degree of uniformity in this volume, such guidelines, even if known, could not always be taken into account.

Quality of originals

Some logos reproduced here were taken from photocopies or faxed copies of the organization's logo. The quality of these reproductions is, for obvious reasons, less good, but it was felt that even a lesser quality reproduction was better than exclusion. Wherever possible, the editors corrected faults in the reproduction that were due to a poor quality original.

Names as part of the logo

Some logos incorporate the organization's name(s) or abbreviation(s), others are sometimes used together with the name or abbreviation and sometimes without. Generally, names and abbreviations were retained as part of the logo only when they were obviously an integral part. Some criteria were: the font used; the location of the name in relation to the logo; the presence of or lack of a version of the logo without the name.

New media

The increasing use of fax transmissions may eventually result in /is indeed already inspiring / changes to letterheads and logos. Some designs do not fax well (such as detailed coloured designs), while others do (such as simple black and white designs). The European Environment Agency, for example, has a multi-coloured detailed logo on its letterhead paper, and a similar but simpler black and white logo on its fax cover page. Both are reproduced here.

Even more dramatic is the effect which the increasing use of electronic media has on letterheads and logos. Email, at the moment, uses no identifying logo at all, while the World Wide Web is proving to be a happy environment for illustrations of all sorts. This Guide includes more than 120 logos taken directly from the homepages of international organizations on the World Wide Web (see index).



The shape of a logo may be arbitrary, but more often is an integral part of, and contributes to, the significance and impact of the logo's message. While it is not obvious if logos of a given shape can be usefully compared, this edition includes an index to shapes which may serve as a tool, albeit a rough one, for such a comparison.

In cataloguing logos for this volume, eight basic shapes were used: circle, oval, triangle, rectangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, and octagon. Five other shapes were also used, though less consistently: cross, heart, shield, semi-circle, and star. Finally, a category 'free-form' was used to group logos which could not be catalogued under any of the shapes mentioned above.

Some logos have been catalogued under more than one shape. They are listed in the index under the combinations of these shapes but not under each individual shape. For example, the logo of the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities consists of a circle within a square; it is indexed under the heading 'circle and square'. The logo of Richmond Fellowship International consists of a circle within a square, and the square has a roof on it, thus making the whole logo 'free-form'; it is indexed under the headings 'circle and square', 'circle and free-form', and 'square and free-form'.

Not surprisingly, one quarter of the logos catalogued here are in the shape of a circle. One fifth are rectangular (these logos are often simply the organization's name), and just less than one fifth cannot be described by any geometric shape and are thus grouped under 'free-form'.

It must be remembered that this index is experimental. If it does indeed prove useful, it will be refined and expanded for future editions.


The shape of a logo may be arbitrary, the subject cannot be. The elements chosen for a logo each contribute substantially to the logo's message. It is therefore not unrealistic to presume that a comparison can be made between logos portraying the same subject. To assist this comparison, this edition includes an index to subjects.

Cataloguing subjects was a fascinating but not an easy task. Even in the limited selection included here, the variety was daunting, and the combinations infinite. The task was complicated by the detail or the poorer quality of many logos. The editors often had to guess at the subject of some drawings, frequently depending on the name or activity of the organization to provide a clue.

Once the subject or subjects of every logo had been identified (with varying degrees of accuracy), the subjects were grouped under more general headings. These groupings were created on the basis of the number of times a particular subject appeared in the selection included here; the aim was to provide a breakdown of headings useful to this collection. For instance, the individual subjects 'candle', 'lamp' and 'torch' were grouped under the heading 'Objects / Lights', while 'clarinet', 'harp' and 'music score' were grouped under 'Recreation / Music'. The heading 'Animals / Mammals' was further broken down into 'domestic', 'ocean', and 'wild', to better deal with the quantity of examples of this relatively popular subject.

The wording of the headings is not definitive, nor is the way in which the individual subjects are grouped under these headings. Furthermore, another selection of logos would probably result in a different set of headings, and a different breakdown. The purpose of this index is to provide a tool, albeit a rough one, for the comparison of logos with similar subjects.

As with the index to shapes, it should be remembered that this index is experimental. Two headings under 'Geography' particularly require refinement, due to their popularity as subjects for the logos of international organizations: 'line globe' (a circle or oval with longitude and latitude lines), and 'world' (which covers many varieties of world map). One fifth of the logos included in this collection contain one of these two images. Equally, the heading 'Geometry / Other' covers a variety of shapes which should be further defined (and possibly included in the index to shapes). Finally, the heading 'Writing / Letters' is a catch-all for logos which include text (usually the organization's name or abbreviation). It would be more useful to determine a way to divide this heading into more manageable portions, perhaps by separate letters or combinations of letters.

Names and abbreviations

As mentioned above, this edition indexes over 15,000 names and abbreviations by which the 4300 international organizations included here are known. These are chiefly the official names and abbreviations in current use in various languages. Alternative, unofficial, or former names and abbreviations are also indexed here, but only when they have been considered relevant to understanding the logo and have therefore been included in the text which accompanies the logo.

For a more complete list of abbreviations and names of international organizations, users are advised to consult the Yearbook of International Organizations (in particular, the CD-ROM version), which indexes the names and abbreviations, whether current or former, of over 40,000 organizations, associations, institutes, networks, programmes, foundations and other bodies. (For more information, see Appendix 7: Related reference works.)


The alphabetical index to the mottos included in this Guide provides an interesting overview of this succinct verbal form of presenting an organization's identity or purpose. All available language versions of the motto are indexed.

Logos from the World Wide Web

The logos which were taken directly from the homepages of international organizations on the World Wide Web are listed alphabetically in a special index for easy reference. There is also an indication of their source on the last line of the organization's entry: 'www'.

Information Included

In this edition of the World Guide to Logotypes, Emblems and Trademarks of International Organizations organizations are listed in alphabetic order of the first title. This title is normally English, unless there is no official English version or the organization is particularly concerned with some other language. The order of the organizations is therefore of no special significance, other than alphabetical access.

An organization can be located by any official name or abbreviation, or, in some cases, by former or alternative names or abbreviations, by consulting the index to abbreviations and names in Volume 3 of this edition.

The basic layout of an organization's description is indicated below. Note that not all items of information are included for every organization.

  1. Organization number

    The number printed in grey to the left of each title (e.g. 3546) is a sequence number with no significance other than as a fixed point of reference in the alphabetical sequence of organizations in this volume.

  2. Organization name

    The official English title usually appears first, followed by abbreviations or initials if any. It is normally followed by the French name and any initials, and then, when available, the Spanish and German names and initials. Where appropriate, names in other languages are also given. A Latin name may be used instead of the official English name, for example.

  3. Motto

    The motto, where available, is indented. It is given in all the languages in which it was found, the different versions being separated by a long dash.

  4. Alternative, unofficial, or former names and abbreviations

    Many organizations have changed their names or abbreviations over the years; some organizations are known simultaneously by several names in the same language. Where these alternative, unofficial or former names were considered relevant to the appreciation or understanding of a logo, they are included, introduced by phrases such as 'previously known as' or 'also known as'.

    Equally, if the logo, or one of the logos, for the organization was taken from the selection published between 1965 and 1967 in International Associations, there is the reference 'TA' (for the periodical's new name, Transnational Associations), followed by the date.

  5. Names of other organizations in this Guide which use the same logo

    As noted above, a group of related organizations may share one logo. Where such sharing was detected, the names of the other known users are included, introduced by the phrase 'this logo is also used by'.

  6. The bottom line: miscellaneous information and codes

    The last line of the organization's description may contain the following items of information, separated by a slash '/'. They are listed here in order of appearance.

    • 'Reg.' if the logo has a copyright, trademark or registered mark
    • 'www' if the logo was taken from the World Wide Web
    • the number of colours in the original logo, if the original was multi-coloured, or 'multi-coloured' if the number of colours was not easily countable
    • the 5-figure (1 alpha, 4 numeric) permanent reference number of the organization. This number is used for the storage and retrieval of information on this organization in the computer database maintained by the editors of this volume, and is the same in all publications produced by them
    • a one or two letter code, in lower case letters, indicating the nature of the organization. These codes have the following significance:
      • b = bilateral
      • c = conference series
      • d = dissolved, dormant
      • e = commercial enterprise
      • f = foundation, fund
      • j = research institute
      • n = has become national
      • p = proposed body
      • s = information suspect
      • v = individual membership only
      • x = no recent information received
      • y = international organization membership
    • a one letter code, in uppercase, indicating the type of organization. More information on types of organization, and on the significance of this code, can be found in Appendix 5: Types of Organization
    • an asterisk at the end of the line indicates an intergovernmental organization