The UNICEF logo may seem absolutely transparent and self-explanatory, and yet there are a couple of interesting details that are often misinterpreted.

Meaning and history

UNICEF Logo history

The United Nations Children’s Fund appeared in 1946 with the mission of protecting European children who suffered from the devastation of World War II. However, in the course of time the mission have become broader and started to include assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

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Symbols of the logo

Symbols UNICEF logo

The UNICEF logo comprises the image of a mother and child, a globe, olive branches, as well as the wordmark.

The depiction of a mother and child emphasizes the noble mission UNICEF undertakes, while the olive wreath can be interpreted in a number of ways. In Ancient Greece, it was the prize for the winner at the Olympic Games, so it can be a symbol of victory. Also, the two olive branches can be explained as a reference to the Word of God from the Bible. As part of the UNICEF emblem, the olive branches are most often understood as the symbol of peace.

The globe emblem

emblem UNICEF

The depiction of the Earth is a way to emphasize that UNICEF takes care about children all around the world and that borders do not exist for this organization. Interestingly enough, if you take a closer look at the grid-like globe as it appears in the UN logo, you may notice that the grid divides the globe into 33 parts. Some conspiracy theories connect this fact with the 33 steps of the ladder that a Freemason may climb, thus creating a link between UNICEF and Freemasonry.


Font UNICEF Logo

The name of the organization, which should have been given in capital letters, is lowercased. The simple sans-serif typeface looks very much like the Univers Light font created by Adrian Frutiger in 1954. It is a clean, transparent type.


Color UNICEF Logo

One of the features of the UNICEF logo that is often misinterpreted is its color scheme. The light, optimistic shade of blue in combination with white are often understood as the symbol of the sky and the clouds. However, the reason for choosing blue and white was the fact that they are the official colors of the United Nations.