Appendix 1. Logo Background

At the beginning of the 3rd. millennium, UNESCO and IFLA cosponsored programs aimed to foster a major awareness of the importance of information and of the need of providing access to information resources in conditions of equality for all the citizens of the world. Many of these initiatives have been promoted through the Information for all Program, IFAP, created in 2000 with the goal of integrating efforts from a diversity of organizations and governments of countries across the world. To assure that information can actually be transformed into knowledge, individuals need to develop information competencies, so UNESCO and IFLA encourage all kind of organizations to design and implement information literacy programs addressed to individuals of all ages.

As part of UNESCO’s new goals, information literacy has become a priority and funding was provided to IFLA Information Literacy Section to organize an international contest to select an IL logo. They also funded, already mentioned in the introduction, the International Information Literacy Resources Directory Project, and the International State-of-the Art on Information Literacy Report, both available on

International Contest.  Believing the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” the Information Literacy Section of IFLA decided they needed a logo to represent the concepts of Information literacy. The primary reason was that there is a diversity of terms used internationally, the lack of agreement on wording in many languages became a stumbling block to communicating the important concepts of Information Literacy.

An open invitation to participate in an International contest was issued. The objective was to design a logo that could inspire and represent the concerns and efforts of all those who are aware, working and/or participating in programs that will make information a resource more available to the members of the world communities. The invitation was published in the portal of InfoLit Global and posted on a number of listservs around the world, with excellent results.

Funding.  The initial funding for the logo contest came from UNESCO, as part of the Information for All Program, and was complemented by IFLA to create the website and this logo manual, contact people for UNESCO were Misako Ito, Assistant Program Specialist in the Information Society Division, and Sylvie Chevillotte, Chair/Treasurer, IFLA Information Literacy Section

Contest Guidelines

The invitation was open to participants from any country, age, institution, or discipline, and a concise guide was prepared to assist the participants in preparing a good proposal.

Among other directions provided to the participants, they were invited to think in “simple, culturally sensitive styles, with a minimum of elements and avoiding the use of alphabet letters, so that the logo could also be used in the Eastern Hemisphere”. The image could be abstract or figurative, but participants were asked to comply with a minimum of technical requirements in order to guarantee a widespread utilization of the logo.

The participants had to include a black and white version, anticipating that the logo will frequently be duplicated through most common photocopiers. The following are the complete guidelines that were created for the contest, and the list of the international jury that selected the logo.

  1. Style. The design has to be simple, culturally sensitive, of minimalist style and easy duplication.  It is recommended to avoid alphabet letters so that it can also be used in the Eastern Hemisphere.
  2. Concept. The logo related themes are:
    1. Information competencies / Fluency / Information Literacy
    2. Information and communication technology (ICT)
    3. Learning
    4. Knowledge
  3. Image.  It can be abstract or figurative.
  4. Technical characteristics. The participants need to comply with the following technical requirements:
    1. The logos must be in digital format, and both Black & White and Color version are required. The image may have a maximum of three colors.
    2. The Logo must be in digital format and scalable (Vector art).  Software suggestions include, but are not limited to: Adobe Illustrator, FreeHand, CorelDRAW. All fonts should be converted to outlines. PDF readable format must be provided.
    3. If a pixel-based version is also created, it should be at a resolution of at least 600dpi.
    4. Submitted material must be able to print on 8.5x11 inches or 2A size paper.
    5. A technical profile of the logo must include: use and identification of colors according to international PMS spot color standards, and declaration of the software used.
  5. Participants. Interested participants can be from any discipline, institution, country or age.
  6. Impartiality / fairness. Members of the jury and their families can participate, but they are not eligible for the $3,000 dollar prize (It will be donated to IFLA).
  7. Deadline. The proposals have to be sent before May 15th, 2008, to the project coordinator ( and the secretary (, who will be in charge of sending the different proposals to the jury. 
  8. Price/Acknowledgement. The prize will consist of US $3,000 plus a certificate to the winner.
  9. Jury Decision. The jury will select the best design before July 30th, 2008, and the winning design will be officially announced in public at the IFLA Conference in Quebec, Canada, August 2008.
  • Copyright. All the logo proposals need to include a letter (document) as work for hire to freely reproduce, amend, and use the logo, so that the committee can make it accessible to anyone around the world with a creative commons license for education purposes.  Submissions of minors under 18 years of age require parental signature. 
  • Call document.  A copy of this call is available at the following website:

Jury.  A jury was integrated with the participation of distinguished librarians and educators, representing the different regions of the world.

Eugene Altovsky
PR officer, expert ICOS UNESCO IFAP
Moscow, Russia
Representing Eastern Europe

Helena R. Asamoah-Hassan
University Librarian, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Kumasi, Ghana
Representing Africa
Lapapan Choovong
National Program Officer UNESCO
Bangkok, Thailand
Representing South East Asia

Hilda T. Nassar
Director Medical Librarian
American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Representing Middle East
Judith Peacock
Integrated Literacies Coordinator.
Queensland University of Technology / Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy
Brisbane, Australia
Representing Oceania
Mark Szarko
ACRL Representative. Instruction Coordinator. Humanities Library
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boston, USA
Representing North America

Guadalupe Vega-Díaz
Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas
El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico, D.F.
Representing Latin America

Sheila Webber
Senior Lecturer, Department of Information Studies
University of Sheffield
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Representing Western Europe

Du Weichun
Associate Director
Beihang University Library
Beijing, China
Representing Far East

The whole process was facilitated by:
Jesus Lau
Chair of the Logo Committee
UNESCO Liaison - Information Literacy Section, IFLA
Director, USBI-VER / Coordinator, Virtual Library
Universidad Veracruzana, Veracruz, Mexico.

Linda J. Goff
Secretary of the Logo Committee
Head of Instructional Services
California State University
Sacramento, California, USA

Both Lau and Goff also participated in the selection of the best proposals, increasing the number of judges to eleven.

Response. 139 participants, representing 36 countries, submitted 198 proposals. This reflects a high interest.

Evaluation Criteria.  The judges followed the same set of criteria to evaluate all the proposals. Such criteria were taken from those proposed by Professor Gwen Amos (2001). The definition of every criterion, excepting the first one, is taken literally.

With regard to the concept, participants had to take into account the following principles:

  • Concept relation. This criterion was added by the organizers. It refers to the expected logo relation with information competences, information literacy, learning or knowledge.
  • Positive association. Symbols show the company/client in a positive light.
  • Easy identification. Symbols should be quickly and easily recognized, remembered and recalled.

With regard to the design:

  • Abstraction level. Symbols should communicate the appropriate understanding level of the intended audience. Very abstract marks are costly to promote and make understood. It is best to keep away from very complicated concepts.
  • One color. Symbols should be designed to be as effective in black and white as in color.
  • Flow. White (negative) space in a symbol should flow rather than be trapped. It will be easier for the eye to see the symbol and go to the next visual image.
  • Reduction. Symbol should be designed so that can be reduced to a ½” diameter and still be readable. Even smaller would be better. It is important that the image is easy to read on the computer screen at this small size also.

Judges were asked to evaluate only the logos that they considered the best proposals, scoring 1 for the lower mark and 5 for the higher, in every one of the criteria mentioned above. All the proposals received at least one evaluation.  The winning logo was the one which received the highest total score in the different design elements considered.

The Awarded Logo.  The logo that received the best marks was submitted by Edgar Luy Pérez, a 25 year old graphic designer from Havana, Cuba. 
A reward of $3,000 US dollars was given to him with the financial help of UNESCO at the IFLA´s Conference in Quebec, in August 2008.

Stakeholders’ Committee. Associations such as national library associations, library and information institutions, and those organizations with goals similar to UNESCO and IFLA are asked to endorse the international Logo concept.
Logo manual. A manual with logo examples will be created by IFLA to promote its use and application in library and educational institutions settings.  The manual will include free examples along with guidelines on how to promote information literacy. The manual will be made available via the website.

* For further information about the IFAP programme, visit UNESCO’s website at: (Accessed on Aug 18, 2009).