Branding Basics
All promotional materials produced for the Rotary Club of San Francisco must be reviewed for conformance with Rotary International's branding guidelines by the club's Chair of Public Image. Here are the basics of those guidelines:

Our Name

Our club's official and legal name is Rotary Club of San Francisco. That name is always correct, but not always comfortable. We are justifiably proud of the fact that we are the second oldest Rotary Club in the world, but "#2" is not part of our actual name. Be thoughtful about what your audience might hear when you refer to our club. We know what we mean when we use these terms, but not everyone else does:
  • San Francisco Rotary. This can be taken to be a reference to all Rotary activity in San Francisco, including all of the Rotary Clubs, Interact, Rotaract, and all provisional clubs.
  • Rotary Club of San Francisco #2. This is useful within the Rotary world to distinguish our club from other clubs with names that begin with "Rotary Club of San Francisco" (Rotary Club of San Francisco - Chinatown, Rotary Club of San Francisco - Castro, etc.). But to anyone outside of Rotary, it can be taken to mean that we are the second Rotary Club in San Francisco.
  • SF#2 is a great shorthand within District 5150. It is meaningless elsewhere.
  • Rotary #2 is meaningful to many Rotary audiences.
  • Club 2 is a great way to refer to our club in international Rotary settings, like a Rotary Convention. Note that the website address for the Rotary Club of Chicago (the only Rotary Club older than ours) is
  • Rotary can mean our specific club ("I'm on my way to a Rotary meeting.") or it can be a reference to the global Rotary enterprise ("Rotary is this close to ending polio.").
Always try to use the term that is the best one for your audience.

Our Logo

This is our official logo. It combines the Rotary "Masterbrand Signature" (the word Rotary and the Mark of Excellence, aka the Rotary Wheel) with our club name. It is uniquely ours:
This generic Rotary logo does not uniquely belong to our club. It is more a reference to the global Rotary enterprise than to our specific club:
Whenever they are used, these two logos must have clear space around them in all directions that matches the height of the "R" in the word "Rotary".
"Simplified" versions of these two logos, which do not include the words ROTARY INTERNATIONAL in the wheel, are also available. It is always permissible to use the simplified logos, but the standard logo is preferred in printed materials unless the wheel will be printed at a diameter of less than 1/2" .
The Mark of Excellence
The Mark of Excellence, the modernized Rotary Wheel, is to be used sparingly, and it is preferred that it appear near a club logo or the generic Rotary logo. It must always be three times larger than the wheel in the nearby logo. There is no "simplified" version of this logo.
Variations of all of these logos are available in different colors and sizes. A comprehensive set of Rotary logos, and guidelines for their use, is available here.

Visual Identity

Rotary International provides a broad set of branding guidelines (warning: 56 pages!) for visual identity, including these and other logos, a color palette, and fonts.
A Word letterhead for our club is available here.


Rotary International provides guidelines for the kind of language we should use in Rotary documents. The essential concepts are:
  • Use a voice that is smart, compassionate, persevering, and inspiring.
  • Our values are
    • Fellowship and Global Understanding
    • Ethics and Integrity
    • Diversity
    • Vocational Expertise, Service, and Leadership
  • Our organizing principles are:
    • Leadership
    • Engagement
    • Action
More information about this is in the lengthy branding guidelines document, and in the shorter Messaging Guide.

The Traditional Rotary Wheel

Whatever happened to this old friend? Why did this time-honored logo get put aside?
The main reason it has been supplanted by the new family of logos is that it doesn't include the word Rotary in a prominent way. While it's comforting to Rotarians to see that sign when driving into a new town for the first time, it not so clear to non-Rotarians that it is a reference to Rotary because the words "Rotary International" are so small.
Actually, it hasn't completely been retired: its use is now limited to Rotary pins.

More Information

For more information about branding and PR, including details about the People of Action campaign, visit RI's Brand Center at Access is available to Rotarians only. You need to provide your Rotary Member Number to create an account. You can find your number on the Rotary tab of your entry in the Club Directory