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31 March 2010

The design team at Howdy nominate their top five Charity identities

No 1 Mind

We love this logo. It's a great idea implemented with honesty and energy it looks like it's just been scanned from the first 'back of the envelope' idea. It communicates what Mind are about in a single blue pencil (or mouse) line. And you can't say that about many logos. On the down side, Mind use a particularly nasty, scratchy 'hand written' typeface on their web site which clashes horribly with the logo. Nice logo, shame about the implementation.

No 2 Macmillan

Speaking of nasty hand written typefaces take a look at Macmillan's identity. The intended friendliness of the blobby, hand painted letter forms is tempered by the use of caps which lends a certain toughness to the look. This toughness works well in the context of what Macmillan do they support and help people stand up to, and fight, the horror that is cancer. The inspired addition of 'WE ARE' adds a sense of togetherness and an almost football terrace belligerence to the brand 'Oi Cancer! Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough'. The Identity is implemented consistently, and, though considered, has the look of an identity that hasn't had loads of money lavished on it important for a charity. We also love the blanket use of green, green and more green. However, don't mention any similarity with Greenpeace.

No 3 Christian Aid

The new(ish) Christian Aid logo draws its inspiration from what millions of people know Christian Aid for the red Christian Aid Week envelope, which is pushed through our letterboxes every May. We like the angles, which are used elsewhere in the design programme, and lend a dynamism to what could have been a bit of a lumpen box. We also like the hard-nut slab serif. The word 'Aid' is now given more prominence than 'Christian' to reflect the proportion of secular work that the charity is involved with. We like it, and we like working with it.

No 4 WWF

A beautifully drawn panda that's more than WWF's logo it's almost become a symbol of our threatened environment. This cuddly logo from the sixties is proof that logos do look better in black and white although what other colour could it be? However, we're still not sure what WWF stands for. I know it used to be World Wildlife Fund, then it was changed at some point in the 80s to World Wide Fund for nature, to cover flora as well as fauna, I guess. Tim here seems to think it stands for World Wrestling Federation. But does it matter anyone know what IBM stands for? (That's rhetorical by the way, don't email us the answer.)

No 5 Amnesty International

Another one from the early sixties that's stood the test of time, due to the brilliance of the idea and the simplicity of it's execution. It may have come in at number five, but this, more than any of the others has the 'I wish I'd done that' factor. We can but dream.