Brand Identity

“We are entrusted with the relentless protection and defense of America, its ideals, its way of life, and its people,” reads the introduction to the Department of Homeland Security’s House Style Guidelines. “We are the trusted and authoritative partner to the state, local, and private sector entities that share our mission. We are a 21st-century form of government and proud to protect our homeland. And our communications must reflect our convictions.”

The Guidelines, recently released in response to a FOIA request, are just one part of DHS‘s “Brand Identity Program,” a micromanaged effort to project unity, authority, and competence to the public. They’re complemented by the Seal and Signature Usage Guidelines, and apply broadly to just about everything DHS, as seen in their vehicle guidelines. There are probably other “Brand Identity” documents that we’re unaware of; feel free to send any our way if you’ve got them.

For a house stylesheet, I have to say I’m not terribly impressed. Aside from specifying color and typefaces, the document doesn’t provide much in the way of actual guidance for would-be designers, other than a lot of examples on designing the covers of reports. That’s to be expected, perhaps, in a computer-centric organization where everything is based on software templates.

The Guidelines can be downloaded here (1.5MB PDF), if you’re curious.

I’m not sure what a “21st-century form of government” is, but, if the state of homeland security is any indication, it doesn’t appear to be an improvement on the previous form.

Published in: Geekiness, General | on May 8th, 2007| Comments Off on Brand Identity

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.