History & Insights of the Logo of The World Wildlife Fund
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international NGO (non-governmental organisation) working on issues regarding the conservation of animals and nature.
“WWF’s work has evolved from saving species and landscapes to addressing the larger global threats and forces that impact them. Recognizing that the problems facing our planet are increasingly more complex and urgent, we have refined the way in which we work around an ambitious new strategy. Our new strategy puts people at the center and organizes our work around six key areas: forests, marine, freshwater, wildlife, food and climate. By linking these six areas in an integrated approach, we can better leverage our unique assets and direct all our resources to protecting vulnerable places, species and communities worldwide.”
Established in Switzerland in 1961, originally named ‘The World Wildlife Fund’, the organisation was founded by 16 of the world’s leading conservationists, including biologist and African wildlife enthusiast Sir Julian Huxley, IUCN vice president Sir Peter Scott and director-general of the British Nature Conservancy E. M. Nicholson. The Morges Manifesto stated that while the expertise to protect the world environment existed, the financial support to achieve this protection did not. The decision was made to establish World Wildlife Fund as an international fundraising organization to work in collaboration with existing conservation groups and bring substantial financial support to the conservation movement on a worldwide scale.
Inspiration came from Chi-Chi: a giant panda that had arrived at the London Zoo in the year 1961, when the WWF was being created.
Aware of the need for a strong, recognisable symbol that would overcome all language barriers, WWF’s founders agreed that the big, furry animal with her appealing, black-patched eyes would make an excellent logo.
The first sketches were done by the British environmentalist and artist, Gerald Watterson.
Watterson’s sketches were refined by one of the WWF’s founders, Sir Peter Scott – also a naturalist and painter. At the time he said, “We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.”
So, not only was the original WWF Logo stunning in it’s simplicity, it was hugely practical as well. The monotone image was easy to reproduce in all of that times’ printing formats at minimal cost.
In 1970, the Panda was made slightly larger, as well as crisper and sharper, but retained it’s same pose.
In 1986 the logo was ‘modernised’ by adding the text ‘WWF’ underneath it. A typeface similar to Times Roman Bold was chosen. It remained in crisp monotone black and white, just like the panda itself. The other major change was that the Panda “stood up straight and looked you in the eye”.
In 2000 the text in the logo was changed to a slightly bolder and more modern font, close to Zar Brush Gothic Regular. This logo remains to this day.
“Our iconic logo is at the heart of all our communications and used on every piece of our brand identity,” says Georgie Bridge, WWF-UK’s head of design management. “We strive to ensure that [it] is always applied with respect and in its pure form.”
In 2015, UK Design Agency ASHA got on the case of the WWF branding. Whilst the iconic black and white Panda remained, ASHA introduced a clipping mask to emphasise various sections of the WWF’s work across the world.
“ASHA took the challenge with great originality and sensitivity, and their work will help us connect our audiences to the vitally important work we’re doing.” – Winnie De’Ath, Director of Brand Communications, WWF International.
Right after the WWF’s inception, it was decided that there was no better way to represent the fund’s goal of preserving wildlife than through the image of a cute and appealing animal, which was endangered as well. The Panda is one and only symbol WWF has ever used as a logo.
Chris Giles is the owner of CGain Web Design & SEO and has been involved in the internet industry since the early 1990’s. He has been the marketing manager of several multi-million turnover companies. He is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM) and a Fellow of The Institute of Data and Marketing (F IDM).
The giant panda becomes the logo for WWF.
First major change to the logo
A revision to the logo with WWF text
The current WWF Logo
Designer Sir peter Scott said “We wanted an animal that is beautiful, is endangered, and one loved by many people in the world for its appealing qualities. We also wanted an animal that had an impact in black and white to save money on printing costs.”
Established in Switzerland in 1961, originally named ‘The World Wildlife Fund’, the organisation was founded by 16 of the world’s leading conservationists, including biologist and African wildlife enthusiast Sir Julian Huxley, IUCN vice president Sir Peter Scott and director-general of the British Nature Conservancy E. M. Nicholson.
The first sketches were done by the British environmentalist and artist, Gerald Watterson. Watterson’s sketches were refined by one of the WWF’s founders, Sir Peter Scott – also a naturalist and painter.
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps, and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: