Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook

Background to the Co-operative Identity


The United Nations support for an International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) in 2012 galvanized the global movement across every region and every sector uniting co-operatives behind a single logo and tagline.  Around 4750 users downloaded the IYC logo with 2500 users downloaded the IYC tagline.  The International Co-operative Alliance sought to build on the success of the IYC, and the worldwide acceptance of a common visual identity for the Year, and develop a co-operative identity that all co-operatives can align with and which differentiates co-operatives from other forms of business.  

A badge for coops

Co-operative identity forms a key pillar of the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade as we seek to increase visibility of the co-operative model.  2013 saw the launch of the global Co-operative Marque - the first significant change in the visual identity of the co-operative movement in almost 100 years.  It is a clear signal that the co-operative form of enterprise is professional, contemporary and business-like.

Our objective is to create a new image that will become the new global co-operative visual identity, used to provide a 'promotional umbrella' and 'unity of purpose' for the global co-operative movement. 

Brand composition

Led by the core values and brand proposition, the visual identity comprises:

  • a logo known as the "Co-operative Marque"
  • the slogan "Co-operative enterprises build a better world"
  • a font and a colour palette - comprising seven colours
  • signature images - a range of seven photographs symbolising the co-operative values and principles across sectors and regions

Get involved

Our aim is for the Co-operative Identity to become one of the best known ethical marques in the world by 2020.  You can apply to use the Marque and get a .coop domain at and get the Co-operative Identity Toolkit here.


October 2012 - The Alliance Board (Manchester) agrees to continue to use the UN IYC tagline as its strapline going forward "Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World", but the look and feel of how that strapline will be used is still to be determined

January 2013 -  Brand Brief issued to 29 worldwide branding and design agencies including representation from every Alliance Region

March 2013 - The Alliance appoints Calverts, a worker co-operative, based in East London to deliver the global co-operative brand with research and support provided by Barcelona- and Buenos Aires-based Guerrini Design Island

March 2013 - The Alliance Board (Moscow) agrees that the Alliance and its entities should become sub-brands of the new global co-operative brand

19th April - 9th May 2013  - Research phase - the Alliance conducted an on-line survey to which 1026 respondents from 86 countries participated

June 2013 - Approval of final visual identity by the Alliance Board (Korea)

July - September 2013 - Development of the colour palette, brand language and sub-brand for the International Co-operative Alliance, its regions and sectoral organisations

September - October 2013 - Development of signature images by BrandOutLoud based in The Hague and the formation of the Brand Guidelines

November 2013 - Launch of the co-operative visual identity at the Alliance Global Conference and General Assembly (Cape Town)

15th January 2014 - 200th Successful applicant for the Marque approved

February 2014  - Alliance Regions and Sectors adopt the Co-operative Marque as part of their own identity and become visual sub-brands of the Alliance

23rd April 2014 - 500th Successful applications in 67 countries for the global Co-operative Marque

6th June 2014 - Co-operative Identity Toolkit launched

October 2014 - 800 Successful applicants from 82 countries announced at the International Summit of Co-operatives in Quebec.  Launch of the 'Communicator's guide to co-operative identity'

January 2015 - 1000 co-operatives in 91 countries have successfully applied to use the global Co-operative Marque

April 2015- Co-operative identity video launched in English -, French -  and Spanish -

May 2015 - The Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Co-operatives (COPAC) adopts the Marque as part of its own visual identity.

June 2015 - 1250 co-operatives in 97 countries using the Marque. 

July 2015  - 2nd Version of the Co-operative Marque Guidelines published.


test IP address = - Country = US () - NA