Posted by John Borst on Jan 14, 2019

Each year, no doubt at significant expense, Rotary creates a Presidential Theme and a logo to accompany it. Most, thank goodness, are immediately forgettable.


Unfortunately, for the small fraternity of those who volunteer to manage or edit a club or district website they are an annual nuisance, just one more thing to update. As any random review of a dozen club websites will attest, past theme logos linger on for many years.

The 2019-2020 logo presents some new challenges I haven’t noticed in the past. I discovered the logo and theme on the RI FaceBook page and took a screenshot of it.

First, although comments on the FaceBook page were uniformly laudatory, I didn’t like the design. For me, it was simply too busy. Yes, the centre blue dot likely represents the world, the four gold dots the heads of 4 Rotarians and the inward facing arcs, their arms enfolding and connecting us throughout the world. But what I wondered were the outward facing arcs? They seemed to have little utility other than making the logo bigger.

So I took the logo and put it on Photoshop and took the outward facing arcs off. I liked the logo better with only inward facing arcs. Then a strange thing happened; I began to analyze the colors of the different arcs. At first glance, it looked like there were three reds and one orange. That didn’t make any sense. On really close examination there were very subtle differences in shading.

Back to FaceBook, I went. Indeed there were subtle differences, but this time, I went through to the page on the RI website where the image once again appeared with a link to download the official “theme materials.” On this page, the differences in color were very visible.

Taking another screenshot, I then put that image onto PhotoShop and analyzed the two images for color. And I found as the color codes demonstrate, that indeed the colors are very different. The comparison below shows this more precisely.

At this point, I looked at the official downloaded material. Logos were available in both PNG and JPG formats. Loading both into Windows Photos viewer, I took a screenshot of each version then uploaded each into Photoshop and checked the colors they produced. With the exception of the turquoise, both looked more like the colors associated with the Website when in Photos but once in PhotoShop they BOTH presented more like the FaceBook image. It is a result I certainly, didn’t expect. I also can't recall anything like this happening in Photoshop either.

Next, I looked at the official color chart which RI provides in PDF format. The answer, I speculate resides in the color chart at the bottom of the PDF page. As you can see, there are four versions of each color. (PMS coated & uncoated, CMYK - C & U) Why I haven’t a clue. Only the experts know. To make matters worse, the difference between RED and CRANBERRY is barely discernible.

I can only speculate that the image on FaceBook is different in some way from the image on the RI website. I also suspect that the image on the color chart is what it should look like everywhere. It does not match any of the images above.

Needless to say, this is a good example of where the old KISS acronym could have come in handy. Isn’t it about time we just got rid of this truly unnecessary cost. We have a good “Masterbrand Signature.” Let’s stop cluttering it up with annual theme logos that say little, and appear to have little uniformity.  Let's just keep Rotary design simple; please!