In need of a high-resolution logo or other visual assets to represent United Way? Whether you are a donor, volunteer or agency, this is the place to find our up-to-date visual identity featuring a logomark, colour palette and imagery guidelines.


The United Way master brandmark is made of three distinct elements: logo + logotype + registered trademark symbol.

The original iconic United Way logo was created in 1972 by Saul Bass, depicting the helping hand cradling mankind, surrounded by a rainbow symbolizing hope. We’ve taken great care to preserve the brandmark’s iconic presence. We’re still using red, but a slightly different one, and we’ve updated the logotype. We chose a warmer and more modern font and colour to complement the round shape of the logo.

The new logotype is a customized piece of artwork, created from the original font Avenir. Letters have been joined together to reflect the idea of unity.

The logotype should not be altered, and should not appear on its own.

The individual elements that make up the logo—the helping hand, rainbow and person—can be used in part or in whole, as a watermark, pattern or visual background in red, black or grey only.


Colour Palette

United Way’s brandmark is one of the most recognized identities in the world. An important part of establishing a brand is creating a colour palette and using it consistently.  To modernize and enhance the human aspect of the primary colour palette, we’ve adopted a new red, (PMS 485) for the logo and a warm grey, (PMS 425), for the logotype. Depending on usage and/or printing application, the grey PMS 425 can also be reproduced as a 77% screen of black.

United Way’s secondary palette comprises three bright and optimistic colour families. These colours can be used together or individually to enliven communications, but should also be used sparingly to avoid confusing or overwhelming the brand look and feel.

We have assigned a colour family to each of our three focus areas, to be used when you’re talking about or showing the focus areas in your communications. You can also use shades of grey to create interest and depth in your design. Use grey sparingly to maintain an optimistic look and feel.


The foundation of the brand is the font family. Avenir is our principal font, flexible enough to be used for Headers (display type), and short and long copy. We chose it because it complements the organic nature of the United Way logo. Avenir is a highly legible, elegant sans serif font. It has a large family offering many weights. Be careful not to stretch or alter the integrity of the font.

For screen applications such as email, Microsoft PowerPoint and the web, Avenir can be replaced by Arial. However, Arial should not replace Avenir on print materials.


Graphic Elements


Made up of three visuals, a rainbow, a hand, and a human figure–these elements can be used individually as graphics, an icon or background treatment to enhance a layout or communicate an idea. They can appear in a diagram, as a watermark, pattern or background visual. They can be screened or knocked out of a background or image, but these three elements should never be joined together in any way other than how they appear in the official logo. They can only appear in one of the primary colours.


Sometimes you’ll want to use diagrams, graphs, image boxes or text boxes. For this purpose, we’ve created a family of secondary graphics and geometric shapes. The shapes echo the round, smooth nature of the United Way logo. Use rounded text boxes and circles, and avoid hard edges and sharp corners.

The stylized box (“bump box”) with its distinctive shape creates brand ownership and extends the brand’s visual personality. Based on the profile of the hand in the logo, this shape can be used as a graphic or to house images or text.

All these shapes can appear in any of the corporate colours.


Our values are reflected in the images we present, so they should communicate the diversity and energy of United Way. Here are some guidelines:

  • Use images that show a wide cross-section of Canadian society, and real-life people, emotions and situations. We always need to be sensitive to race, gender and ethnicity, so avoid stereotyping.
  • Images should convey a sense of caring, empowerment, inclusiveness, and community—people coming together to make change.
  • Images should feel observational and spontaneous rather than staged or orchestrated.
  • Whenever possible, people should be the focal point in the photography. The photograph should be relevant and add value to the communication.

You can use both full colour and black & white photography. We do not recommend using duotone images and illustration. Images used in printed materials should be reproduced at print quality: 300 dpi.


Principal Photography
Whenever you can, use professional photography. Pay special attention to the following:

  • lighting and exposure: try to ensure that the images are light and not too dark as they will fill in when reproduced
  • cropping and composition: avoid cutting off people’s bodies or heads
  • cohesiveness: when using images from different sources try to make sure that they all feel the same. Otherwise the finished piece will appear disjointed and unprofessional
  • be mindful of resolution and watch file size to ensure to ensure that the image can be scaled up if required

Want it all in a .zip file? We have you covered.