About the WCC logo
The church is portrayed as a boat afloat on the sea of the world with the mast in the form of a cross. These early Christian symbols of the church embody faith and unity and carry the message of the ecumenical movement.
The word oikoumene, from which the term “ecumenical” derives, means “the whole inhabited earth”. In the original Greek, it reflected the interaction of religion, philosophy and political administration as they shaped society. When the New Testament reports an imperial decree that “all the world” should undergo a census (Luke 2:1), the reference is to oikoumene. In modern usage, the word embraces the unity of God’s whole creation and recognizes every human pursuit as subject to the healing ministry of Christ’s Spirit.
The symbol of the boat has its origins in the gospel story of the calling of the disciples by Jesus and the stilling of the storm on Lake Galilee.
The ecumenical symbol was in use even before the inauguration of the WCC in 1948, and has taken many variations since then.
The WCC uses its logo (symbol with the text “World Council of Churches”) in all its official publications, documents and stationery as its official symbol. The WCC has the copyright of the logo, but it is not registered as a trademark as, under Swiss law, this is primarily a commercial concept and is not applicable to a non-profit organization.
The 'oikoumene' symbol with the cross and the boat (without the text “World Council of Churches”) can also be used by other ecumenical organizations or agencies that share the Christian vision and values of the WCC to illustrate ecumenical initiatives that are not directly linked to the World Council of Churches.
The official colour of the WCC logo is red (Pantone 1795, CMYK 10 100 100 0, RGB 218 33 40) on a white background. The logo may be used in black (for photocopying) or in white (on a dark background). The logo is not usually used in any other colour without the prior agreement of the WCC.
In no case is the logo allowed to be used by non-related organizations or for any commercial purposes. The WCC requires other organizations to request permission to use the logo.