“Help us now to give all our children the anchors of faith and love, the rudders of purpose and hope, the sails of health and education, and the paddles of family and community to keep them safe and strong when life’s seas get rough.”
–Marian Wright Edelman
The Children’s Defense Fund logo, drawn by Maria Coté when she was five years old, shows a bright sun shining on a small boat with a tiny sail adrift on a very wide sea. Above the boat in Maria’s handwriting is the ancient fisherman’s prayer: “Dear Lord, be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small.” This drawing has served as a truthful visual reflection of our mission since 1974.
To this day, it epitomizes our mission to Leave No Child Behind®. The iconic legacy and meaning of this drawing heavily influence the Children’s Defense Fund’s overall brand identity. It is because of this iconic illustration and its historic roots that the innocence of childhood drawings have been woven throughout our website and across our branded materials. From painterly, imperfect icons and playful patterns pulled directly from the drawing itself, to the bright, spirited color palette – the Children’s Defense Fund’s visual identity pays direct homage to the drawing that started it all.