Branding guidelines

The Government Identity System is designed to present a unified and consistent visual image to the public.

It is important that the public is easily able to recognise the work of government, departments, their agencies and Arms Length Bodies.

The unifying element of the Government identity is the Royal Coat of Arms, approved by Her Majesty the Queen in 1956.

Only departments of HM Government and its organisations are permitted to use the Royal Coat of Arms and associated insignia.

For a full overview of the identity system see: HMG Identity Guidelines (PDF,16.1 MB)

To access the full suite of Government Brand Guidelines and download artwork, register on the Government Brand portal.

For overseas branding (where the royal coat of arms might not be recognised) including use of UK aid: HMG Overseas branding (PDF 2.2 MB).

If you have questions about the strategic use of the Government Identity System or you would like permission to use the brand please contact

For questions relating to design and the practical application of the brand please contact Design 102:


Our comms are for a UK audience, what logo should I use?

For assets being communicated towards a UK-based audience e.g. a nationwide or locally based campaign, the default logo is ‘HM Government’.

We’d prefer to solely use our departmental branding for outward comms, is this allowed?

The default logo is ‘HM Government’. However, in some cases, the HM Government logo may not be appropriate. Please include in your PASS application or contact, providing a reason for exemption and to seek permission to use a departmental logo for outward comms instead of the HM Government logo.

I’m creating comms to be used internally across the Civil Service, what logo do I use?

There is a separate ‘Civil Service’ logo that can be used. Please find here.

Can I co-brand with Government branding?

Yes but use HM Government logo and ensure that the HMG logo has prominence.

I’m an outside body, where can I get permission to use a government logo for co-branding?

If you have received content, funding, or support of your service from a government department, then you may be entitled to use government branding. Please ensure you have permission from the department which you worked with. The HM Government logo should be used, rather than a specific departmental logo, and should have prominence whenever possible.

What logo do I use for an overseas audience?

The default is the ‘UK Government’ logo. Please note, the ‘Funded by UK Government’ logo is no longer in use.

When is it appropriate to use the ‘UK aid’ logo?

Please refer to the UK aid branding guidance for advice on ‘UK aid’ and email to request permission to use the logo.

When would I use departmental branding?

This is generally reserved for direct communication e.g. email signatures, letter headings, social media.

How do I use departmental branding on social media?

For social media avatars the Royal Coat of Arms is used on its own, with the HM Government primary colour in the background. For consistency, every department and their agencies should follow this rule, using their crest, insignia or symbol from their logo and their primary colour as the background. This is because the organisation name will always be visible beside the avatar on profiles and posts.

For cover photos, please follow brand guidance on Photography. Cover photos should not include the organisation name.

I’m working with a devolved administration, do I use the devolved government logos?

Devolved government logos should be used in a similar way to departmental logos e.g. for direct communication such as email signatures and social media. Please find the devolved logos here. However, for outward communication such as campaigns or publication, the HMG logo should be used as this covers devolved administrations.

I don’t believe the government campaign I’m working on requires government branding. Can I forgo it?

All government campaigns and comms should be government branded to ensure transparency and accountability. There are some campaigns that have gained exemptions, for example, the NHS, where branding is recognisably government or well-known. If you wish to have an exemption, please include in your PASS application or contact

I’ve read the branding guidelines, but I’m still unsure how to apply it?

Please contact Design102 for questions regarding application of branding guidelines at