I’m going to pretend this stock image is of a young Tory called Alfie who works for something called the Institute for Societal Change. They advocate reducing child poverty by reopening workhouses.

A Totally Objective Ranking of British Think Tank Logos

Robin Wilde
39 min readFeb 17, 2022


Ah, think tanks. Refuges for failed politicians, failed politicians’ advisers, and sockpuppets for partisan interest groups. Sometimes a few of them produce interesting research, too.

If you’re not familiar (although if I know my audience, you oh so definitely are) a think tank is a fairly catch-all term for an organisation that produces research on policy solutions, usually falling into one of two categories — a focus on a specific area of policy, usually with some kind of lobbying angle, or a talking shop for debating ideas, usually with some kind of partisan lean.

If you’re the sort of person who’s actually interested in how the country is governed (rather than following my monkey brain in only being able to process the vibrant pageantry of electoral combat) they’re probably where you’ll end up working and gradually coming to despair at how little attention actually gets paid to what you produce.

Thanks to Jack Tindale for sending in this idea and giving me an excuse to start digging into this interesting collection of branding!

As usual, each logo was entered into a 1v1 matchup with every other logo, in a very long round robin that eventually compared every possible combination. The results were then sorted by the number of wins, producing an ordered ranking. I then switched a few around based on my personal whims, because this isn’t a democracy.

Grounds for inclusion were that it had to appear on Wikipedia’s list of British think tanks; still be operating; and have a distinct logo. If you’re a think tank that didn’t make the list, well, properly categorise your Wikipedia page and come back! Or tweet me.

If you have thoughts or would like to talk to me about graphic design or the other things I do, you can as always get in touch with me via email or on Twitter.

For the first time in one of these, I should offer some disclosure! I’ve worked in and around British politics for a few years and that’s meant I’ve worked with some of the organisations on this list. Specifically, I’ve worked as a freelancer for Progressive Britain, Unlock Democracy, the Fabian Society and the Young Fabians. I’ve also done work via third parties for Compass and the Electoral Reform Society, and when



Robin Wilde

Freelance writer and graphic designer. Once worked in politics.