Posted on May 20, 2022
Montague M. Bear did not have it easy. A Chicago engraver, he created Rotary’s first logo in 1905 — a wagon wheel with 13 spokes. When members complained that it looked too static, he added what he intended to be clouds, but which his critics thought looked like dust, impossibly appearing on both sides of the wheel.

After the 1912 convention, Bear’s wagon wheel was replaced by the current, gear-like look, followed by a wide range of variations. The current design became standard in 2013: a simplified, monochrome wheel along with the Rotary wordmark, which reproduces well in different sizes across digital platforms. This new logo also provides space to add your club’s name.

While many Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs have updated their logos, others have not, which harms the consistency of Rotary’s image across the world. “We need Rotary to speak with one voice,” says Liz Thiam, Rotary’s brand specialist. As with major consumer brands, Rotary’s marks feature a standardized and specific font, color, and design that is legally protected, Thiam says, “just like the Nike Swoosh.”

But have no fear: With these tips, within minutes any member can create a proper club logo for use on their website, social media accounts, or event signage by visiting the recently updated Brand Center at My Rotary.
FIND OUT THE LAST TIME YOUR CLUB UPDATED ITS LOGO - Was it before 2013? Does your logo’s wheel contain more than one color? If yes, then it’s time for a change.

DON’T SEARCH THE WEB to download the Rotary logo or other branding material. While Google may be your friend for many things, it’s also packed with off-brand Rotary logos.

INSTEAD, OPEN YOUR ACCOUNT on My Rotary and go to the Brand Center. There you’ll find the tools needed to create your own club logo, ads, and other club resources.

USE THE TEMPLATE IN THE BRAND CENTER to create your club’s new logo. Type in the name of your Rotary club, download the logo, and you’re done

DON’T OBSCURE THE WHEEL or use it to depict another graphic element. “I’ve seen the Rotary wheel turned into sunrises and pancakes,” says Thiam. “When a club logo is altered or used improperly, it can create confusion and mistrust.”

UPDATE YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE FIRST, such as your website and social media. Then set aside a budget and update printed materials, starting with signage, event banners, and clothing. After that, refresh Rotary business cards, club flyers, brochures, trading banners, and name badges.

PROVIDE YOUR CLUB’S UPDATED LOGO to project partners and outside organizations so they don’t search online — and potentially download an old wagon wheel.