National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
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About the NCADD Logo Print

What’s in a logo? Ideally, it should send a clear message about the organization it represents, its values, its mission, and its style. That’s an awful lot for what is essentially a symbol, or mark, and the name of the organization. Let’s see how we did as I introduce you to our new logo.

First, in designing the new logo, we were very conscious of the history represented by our old logo. For years, with the exception of the color, it has been exactly the same as the national NCADD logo, with the addition of "of Middlesex County, Inc." and the extended double lines. Since it had been the same for so long, it has been taken for granted, and the rich history that the mark represents has been forgotten. Most people, including most of our staff, saw a red circle with a little design next to our name. Our goal was to bring that "little design" to life. Our mark has three distinct elements, each representing a facet of our mission.

The first is the key that forms the backbone of the mark. It stands for the key of knowledge and corresponds to our mission to prevent substance abuse by educating society about the nature of addiction; arming youth with the information and skills they need to succeed drug-free; and serving as a resource for parents, communities, and the media.

The second element is the double entwined snakes taken from the medical caduceus. The snakes are entwined around the key, because one of the most central concepts that we educate the community about is the fact that addiction is a brain disease and, as such, must be viewed as a public health issue, not a criminal justice or moral issue.

Finally, the wings represent the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes of its own destruction. This symbol represents how many feel about their own recovery from addiction and the new life they now lead. We stand ready to assist those in need of treatment for their disease and to provide encouragement and support to them and their families.

Taken together, these three elements reflect the original tenants of Marty Mann, the pioneering founder of the NCADD movement. She believed that society must be educated that an alcoholic is a sick person, worthy of help, and that recovery is possible. We have further emphasized that theme by choosing a fresh blue, representing life and rebirth as our primary color.

When you look at our new logo, we hope you can see its vibrancy and life. No longer is it locked within a circle. Instead, it is three dimensional with wings unfurling for flight. In fact, the mission represented by this symbol stands above us and transcends what we do locally, providing guidance and inspiration for all of our endeavors.


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