U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250

 

 

DEPARTMENTAL REGULATION

 

Number:

1430-002

 

SUBJECT:  

Use of Logos/Marks at the United States Department of Agriculture

 

DATE:

January 8, 2013

 

OPI: Office of Communications, Branding, Events, Exhibits, and Editorial Review Division (BEEERD)

 

 

1.      PURPOSE

 

This regulation outlines requirements and procedures to be followed by USDA’s mission areas, agencies, and staff offices in regard to the design and use of new and existing logos/marks (words, acronyms, symbols, insignia, devices, and combinations thereof), in program materials, by USDA’s mission areas, agencies, and staff offices to identify themselves and their programs, initiatives, legislation, events, etc., or the use on products and services by program participants to certify participation in or compliance with Department programs. 

 

2.      POLICY

 

One USDA speaking with One Voice” is USDA’s strategy in communicating with USDA’s various audiences, including farmers and ranchers, land-grant universities, agribusiness groups, the general public, and others.  A consistent and uniform “brand” is a critical element of this strategy.  However, the independent and uncoordinated creation and use of logos/marks by USDA’s agencies, mission areas, and staff offices has fragmented USDA’s identity and confused the public. Significant resources are spent in creating and placing in use individual USDA agency logos/marks.  USDA policy is to design and use communication products in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.  By more closely coordinating the use of the USDA Symbol/mark, the Department will strengthen the public’s awareness of USDA’s role in their lives while conserving resources.

In support of these policies, from the date of this regulation forward, the design or use of all new and existing logos/marks in program materials and in media, by the Department's agencies, mission areas, and staff offices, to identify the agencies, etc., and on products and services, by program participants, to indicate participation in or compliance with Department programs, must be in accordance with standards and guidelines established by USDA's Office of Communications.  The design and use of these logos/marks will require approval by the Branding, Events, Exhibits, and Editorial Review Division (BEEERD) of the Office of Communications (OC).

 

3.      AUTHORITIES

 

The Director of the Office of Communications establishes this Departmental Regulation pursuant to the authorities delegated at 7 CFR 2.36.

 

See the Office of Communications “Visual Standards Guide” dated October 2012. The USDA Visual Standards Guide can be accessed at www.usda.gov/oc/  Under the side bar  Division” Click on:  “Brand Events/Exhibits and Editorial Review” to download a pdf copy of the guide.

 

4.      APPLICABILITY AND SCOPE

 

This regulation applies to all mission areas, agencies, and staff offices of the USDA.

 

This regulation applies to existing and new “logos/marks” as defined in this regulation, including those that are currently in a form of development.

 

This regulation applies to “logos/marks” only to the extent to which the design and “use” (as defined in this regulation) of a logo/mark is not provided for by laws and regulations specific to that logo/mark.

 

This regulation applies to agencies use of existing supplies of stationary and products until exhausted. Agencies need approval to place existing logos/marks on any items from this date forward.  

 

This regulation applies to the use of the Official USDA Symbol and the Official USDA Seal.  The USDA Office of Communications “ Visual Standards Guide” is the Official USDA Symbol and the Official USDA Seal guidance for proper use.

 

5.      RESPONSIBILITIES

 

a.   The Director of the Office of Communications:

 

Serves as the central authority, under this regulation, to determine policy, plans, procedures, guidelines, and standards for the “use” of “logos/marks” by the Department's mission areas, agencies, or staff offices, and use by program participants, not otherwise provided for by specific laws and regulations.

 

b.   The Branding, Events, Exhibits, and Editorial Review Division (BEEERD) of the Office of Communications:

 

(1)   Provides strategic leadership and direction in the development of policy, plans, procedures, guidelines, and standards for the use of logos/marks by the Department’s mission areas, agencies, and staff offices.

 

(2)   Serves as the point of contact for all requests to develop new or modify existing logos/marks by the Department’s mission areas, agencies, or staff offices not otherwise provided for by specific laws or regulations.

 

(3)   Serves as the case-by-case authority to approve requests for the use of logos/marks by the Department.

 

c.   Agency Heads and Staff Office Directors will:

 

Ensure that all logos/marks used in their respective agencies and offices comply with USDA regulations.

 

d.   Under and Assistant Secretaries will:

 

Ensure that all “logos/marks” used in their respective mission areas comply with USDA regulations.

 

6.      DEFINTIONS

 

In this regulation, the expression “logo/mark” means any word, acronym, symbol, insignia, device, or any combination thereof, used by a Department agency, mission area, or staff office to identify and distinguish itself and its services, programs, initiatives, legislation, events from other entities and their services, etc., and to indicate the source of the services, etc.  The term “logo/mark” also means any word, acronym, symbol, insignia, device, or any combination thereof, that the Department authorizes for use by program participants to certify participation in or compliance with Department programs.

The expression “logo/mark” includes: trademarks (marks used for products); service marks (marks used for services); certification marks (marks used to certify program participation or compliance); logos (marks having graphic design elements); and, any subject matter called a “brand,” “label,” or “stamp.”  The expression “logo/mark” also includes theme art, that is a graphic design used so consistently and continuously, or intended to be so used, in connection with a service, program, initiative, event, campaign, or other activity that it has become, or is expected to become, distinctive as an identifier for that service, etc.

This regulation adopts the broadest interpretation of the foregoing terms.  Contact the Director of Branding, Events, Exhibits, and Editorial Review Division (BEEERD) of the Office of Communications if there is a question whether some subject matter is covered by this regulation.

Also, for the purposes of this regulation, “use” of a logo/mark refers to how a logo/mark is applied to documents and materials, e.g., brochures, pamphlets, posters, signs, etc., and how a logo/mark is used in communications media, to identify and distinguish a Department agency, mission area, or staff office and its services and products.  “Use” of a logo/mark also refers to how a logo/mark is applied to, or used in connection with, the products and services of program participants to certify participation in or compliance with Departmental programs.

 

7.      CLEARANCE REQUESTS

 

The USDA Logo/Mark is the only logo to be used to identify agencies and programs in USDA. Mission areas, agencies, and staff offices must submit a request for exception to use another logo/mark to the Director of Brand, Events, Exhibits, and Editorial Review Division (BEEERD in the Office of Communications. Complete the “Request for Exception to DR 1430-001” (see Appendix A) to initiate the exception request for use of a logo/mark other than the USDA Symbol.

Requests must be approved by the Agency Communications or Public Affairs Director (PAD) or Agency Head or Staff Office Director before submitting the request to the Director of BEEERD, OC.

The following items must be included in the request to the Director of BEEERD, OC:

 

a.       An explanation of costs related to production of the logo/mark.

b.       A copy of the existing or proposed logo/mark.

 

c.       A justification describing the need to produce the logo/mark which should include any legislative or regulatory requirement, if such exists.

d.      Provide a copy of the Agency annual strategic communication plan that includes this campaign, program, event, etc., to use the logo/mark.  And if the campaign is not included in the agency’s strategic plan please explain the reason for its omission. For example, a need arose (drought, flood, fire, Presidential initiative, etc.) after the agency’s strategic plan was submitted.

 

e.   If a mission area, agency, or staff office plans a commercial partnership that will involve the use of an agency’s logo/mark, the agency must include with its request  a copy of the relevant partnership agreement, e.g. a memorandum of understanding (MOU)  or cooperative agreement, etc.,.

f.       All documents provided must conform and comply with the agency’s records management system.

 

8.      INQUIRIES

 

Refer all inquiries regarding use of logos/marks and their appropriate development to the Director of Branding, Events, Exhibits, and Editorial Review Division (BEEERD) of the Office of Communications. 

-END-



 

APPENDIX A:

Request for Exception to DR 1430-001

 

 

Agency/Office:

 

Name:

Address:

Agency:              

 

Phone number:

 

Email:

                                                                       

Agency Communications Director or Public Affairs Director:

 

Name:

Address:

Signature of Approval:

 

 

Agency Point of

Contact:              

 

Name:

Email Address:

Telephone Number:

 

Description

Please provide rationale for an exception to create a logo/theme art, etc.: