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Truth to Power: How to Design a Powerful Social Justice Logo

The twenty-first century has created a global phenomenon where speaking truth to power has never been more important.

Organizations are cropping up left, center, and right, to change the world. The year 2017 alone became a time where women’s marches made history as the largest worldwide protests ever. Organizational protests such as Rise for Climate are appearing in 95 nations across the globe. They all started with their own social justice logo to speak truth to power, and now, you can too.

You are driven to be a part of these global social transformations, and your first step is branding your message. Spread the message that inspires the changes that will contribute to this global revolution by following these social justice logo tips found right here.

Define the Principles of Your Social Justice Logo

Every graphic design message begins with a story. When it comes to social justice graphic design, you need to first define the principles of your story.

Think of movements like the #MeToo movement or #TimesUp. The world now knows what those simple words mean as they carry a principle behind them.

Rise for Climate accomplishes the same goal in just a few words.

Regardless of what message you are speaking when you are creating your truth to power, it needs to be simple, and principled.

What principle are you standing for? Define that, and that is your first step in creating your social justice logo.

Make a list of all of the principles that your organization stands for. Try and make those principles as sweet and as short as possible. This is the starting point of your brainstorming session before you even begin your logo design.

The most important message of your social justice graphic design is the principle. What do you stand for?

Define the Principles That Stand Against You

When it comes to social justice graphic design, there are always two sides to the story. There is your story and the message that you are sending in speaking truth to power.

And there is the other side. As an example, Me Too says a lot. It illustrates both sides of the coin.

So when you are in that brainstorming session, you want to define both sides of your coin. At the same time, you need to spread this message as simply as possible.

You don’t need to identify both sides of the coin in your message specifically.

When you make a strong point in your logo, you accomplish this goal by just stating this point. An organization such as “Rise for Climate” does just that.

It answers two questions: What are you for, and what are you against.

So after you define your principles, you want to create a logo that also distances yourself from the principles you are against.

Design with the People

When most organizations are branding their logos, it’s all about them. Examples such as “Where’s the Beef” or “Coke is it” show this concept.

But you aren’t about that. You are with the people speaking truth to power. When you are designing a logo for your social justice message, that’s exactly what you want to be thinking about.

You are… with the people.

While the concept of social justice warriors may seem like a twenty-first-century concept, it goes back centuries. Philosopher Kant believed when it came to social justice the value of the life of a human required the full development of a human’s potential. It’s a good idea to do some research and learn more about how to bring a social justice message that illustrates you are with the people, developing their fullest potential.

At the same time, you are speaking truth to power.

That’s what social justice is really all about. You want to develop the fullest potential of every human involved as that sends an empowering message to the powers that be.

That’s when change happens.

So you want your social justice message to be simple, empowering, and involve the people. #TimesUp, #MeToo, and #StrongerTogether are simple messages that inspire the individual to stand for one principle with the people.

That’s another powerful component of your social justice logo. You need to be “with the people.” You might want to consider hiring a graphic designer to help you bring your design ideas to life.

Tell a Story

Every social justice message tells a story. 

Your social justice logo needs to do just that. What exactly is the message you are saying when you speak truth to power?

It’s a difficult thing to manage when you want something principled, humbled, but empowering.

Think of the story, and find a way to bring it into a few words. Color can evoke emotions in your reader or viewer and is a powerful way to tell your story when you are short on words.

Other ways you can tell your story are through pictures of the message you want to send. Look at other groups similar to yours to get an idea. One domestic violence group, for example, had a simple female symbol and a key, to illustrate that strong women were the keys to their future.

This is the kind of story that you want to tell when considering social justice graphic design options.

Make an Impact

A social justice logo is a multi-pronged concept that does not “just happen” in an instant.

Every global change starts with one defining moment where a decision is made to make an impact. When protesters gathered in London, Paris, Toronto, and Washington D.C. for women’s marches, they started with one slogan and one logo for the resistance.

Every social justice organization makes an impact in the same way. Climate change protests, gun control protests, and thousands of other actions are taking place across the globe right now.

You and your organized efforts can become part of these revolutions that are making an impact. It all starts with the social justice logo that tells your defining story.

Contact our design desk today to work with the design team that will help you change the world.