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Elissa Leif and Barbara Haupt 7 min read

Why Animating Your Logo Can Help Tell Your Story

So you’re ready to make a video for your nonprofit. You’ve got amazing, dynamic interviewees that know how to speak with passion and really be themselves on camera. You’ve found a way to show the people you serve—the real human voices (or cute, furry faces if your organization centers on wildlife or pets) that give meaning to the work you do. Maybe you’ve figured out the setting. Maybe you’ve got a great stack of high quality images. And you’ve got a central message you want to communicate—a narrative that really invokes emotion and will satisfy your audience.

But have you thought about what you’re doing with your logo?

As the owners of a video production company, we find that even some of our savviest clients haven’t given any thought to the possibilities for animating their logo. Whereas they invest incredible resources in creating and perfecting their static logo, when it comes time to make the logo an integrated part of a dynamic, compelling video, they haven’t thought at all about how their logo can complement and reinforce the story the video tells.

The examples show a range of emotions a logo’s animation can evoke:

The DC Children & Youth Investment Trust

Their animation shows the figure and the “DC” coming “towards” the viewer (really just getting bigger) in a way that’s playful and suitable to the organization’s focus on children and youth. When the words join the symbol, they represent the solidity of the foundation and the support it provides to DC’s most precious citizens.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence

NNEDV is a network that brings shelters and supporting organizations together to end domestic violence. The video we created, which asks, “what if we all spoke as one?” includes an animation of NNEDV’s logo showing a progression of house-shaped organizations joining together and lighting the darkness to create the larger, unified house. The NNEDV labeling completes the image.


A project of the Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Their mission is helping female, mid-career entrepreneurs “move forward.” Their logo animation shows the organization's signature symbol moving past the viewer as if in a hurry.

The American Chemical Society

Their “Legacy Leaders” open doors for the next generation of chemists by supporting the Society’s philanthropic programs. Their logo animation incorporates an opening door that reveals the key catchphrase.

The Caring Economy Campaign. This organization advocates for an understanding of the economy that encompasses the caring work that Americans do without financial compensation—caring for children, the elderly, and disabled. In their animation, two Cs seem to cup an E—a visual representation of an economy strengthened by caring and support.

SyncApps® by Cazoomi

SyncApps allows email marketing program Constant Contact to sync with a variety of notable customer relationship management programs (CRMs). Their logo animation shows Constant Contact joined by a group of CRMs that come closer to signify synchronization.


Our own logo animation shows the four pieces of our logo building one by one to emphasize the importance of the four parts of the video marketing process. Then Mini precedes Matters on the screen to emphasize one our core tenets—that what’s small is important.

You might notice that each of these messages is pretty simple: Unity. Progress. Opening doors. Synchronicity. It’s in part that simplicity that allows your logo animation to be so memorable for the viewer as it makes a point and evokes a feeling. Video is a great opportunity to reaffirm your organization’s commitment to a core value. And an animated logo does a lot.

Elissa Leif is the co-owner of MiniMatters, a Web video marketing and production company that serves nonprofits, foundations, associations, businesses, and partners mainly in Washington, DC; Maryland; and Virginia. You can see some of our video animation work here.