The elements of the UNCF brand are among the most recognizable in the world. The trademarked logo and tagline "A mind is a terrible thing to waste,"® give hope to people all over the world who aspire to use their intellect to better themselves and their communities. The central elements of the UNCF brand are:
UNCF public service announcements have become some of the most recognized television, print and radio advertisements in the world. Over the years, UNCF PSAs have featured moving tributes to the earnestness of a deserving young person's struggle for higher education. They have featured the talents of Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Leontyne Price, Michael Jordan, Colin and Alma Powell and Spike Lee, to name just a few contributors. For more than 40 years, UNCF PSAs have been a partnership of the Ad Council, Y&R and UNCF. The Ad Council considers the UNCF campaign one of the "Milestones in Ad Council History."
The UNCF motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste,"® was created in 1971 by Young and Rubicam advertising executive Forrest Long. "It was a plea to everybody to reject the prejudices of the past and consider the inner person," Long said. "We wanted to make supporting UNCF a human issue and not a race issue."
The UNCF symbol resembles a torch. Traditionally, torches have been used to represent knowledge and enlightenment. UNCF uses a flame and torch base to represent how the organization lights the way for advanced learning and leadership. The flame represents the light of knowledge that all UNCF students seek.