GOAL: We are a brand new organization, but we'd like to create a logo/brand that denotes that our research and ideas are trustworthy and enduring. We want something that evokes a sense of history but that is also uniquely appealing to a modern audience. Since we are, in fact, a group working in the legal and policy field, slightly "nerdy" is fine.
***UPDATED***IMAGES: Images like the "scales of justice," "lady justice," the US Constitution, laws, or maybe even "law books" are iconic images for who we are as an organization and we strongly welcome submissions with these! But we are looking for new/interesting versions of them that have been originally designed for us. Also, PLEASE feel free to submit other graphic ideas that symbolize "fair laws" or indicate that we work on legal, policy, and legislative issues. Images we have now considered and rejected: the DC state flag, the US flag, the eagle. (We think we have enough Capitol dome images for now--thanks!)
FONTS: We strongly prefer serif fonts. A specific example: we are attracted to fonts that evoke an "art deco" feeling but that are modernized and simplified. We would love to have our name appear in a "font" that has been designed just for us. (Forgive us for not knowing the proper terminology.) For example, if you look at the logo for the CATO Institute (http://www.cato.org), their organization's name has its own branded and unique look. We prefer that to using a very standardized font openly available to all.
A Starting Place: a creative re-imagining of the Scales of Justice, in a modern/simplified art deco vibe, where the scale shape is mostly suggested (i.e. not literal). In place of the two scales are two words from our nonprofit's name: "Due" and "Process." The base of the scale is created by the word "Institute." Just a thought.
***UPDATED*** COLORS: Feel free to submit multiple versions with different colored backgrounds, but we must see what the logo looks like on a white background. As for the use of color, it's up to you. Overall, muted or subtle shades of color or neutral palettes are probably better than bright pops of color since we aren't really selling a product. (We are selling ourselves as a legitimate, serious legal non-profit.) The only colors to definitely avoid are classic shades of red or blue please (because in DC, those are colors attributable to the American flag, or the Republican and Democratic parties)! Thanks!