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 Logos

These are our official logos. They combine the Rotary "Masterbrand Signature" (the word Rotary and the Mark of Excellence, aka the Rotary Wheel) with our club name. You can always use either the more traditional one (with wording in the wheel) or the simplified one (without words). These are uniquely ours:
The Rotary Masterbrand Signature is a more 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. It also comes in two versions. Both are available in the Club's library of logos.
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".
The Mark of Excellence
The Mark of Excellence, the modernized Rotary Wheel, is to be used sparingly, and it can only be used 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 selection of Rotary logos, and guidelines for their use, is available here. For more information about logos, see the Logos and Graphics section of the Rotary International Brand Center.
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 how to use language is available in the Voice and Messaging section of the RI Guidelines..

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