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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

550.1 - USGS Visual Identity System

Date: May 28, 2003

OPR: Office of the Director, Office of Communications

1. Purpose and Scope. This chapter documents the requirement to use the U. S. Geological Survey Visual Identity System, including all applicable guidelines and specifications established at (

2. Policy. Compliance with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Visual Identity System is required in the planning, design, and production of all USGS science, information, communications, and identification products. These products include, but are not limited to, print and electronic information products, Web pages, exhibits, slide show presentations, interior and exterior signs, vehicle and equipment identification, business cards, official clothing, and education materials. System elements such as the trademarked USGS identifier, the communications framework, design templates, product specifications, typography, and suggested color palette must be properly used when creating USGS products. Digital templates that adhere to the Visual Identity System are available for many products at the above Web site.

3. References.

A. Departmental Manual Chapters.

Part 301 Chapter 3-Circulation and Release of Reports
Part 310 Chapter 1-Seals and Emblems
Part 314 Chapter 3-Official Identifications and Use
Part 470 Chapter 4-Public Information Released in Technical Journals
Part 471 Chapter 1-Audio and Video Tape Recordings, Slide Shows and Public Service Announcements
Part 471 Chapter 2-Still Photography
Part 471 Chapter 3-Production and Use of Exhibits (Displays)
Part 471 Chapter 4-Production, Storage, and Dissemination of Departmental Publications
Part 476 Chapter 2-Approval for Publication in Non-Governmental Journals

B. Survey Manual Chapters.

402.3-Requisition of Procurement of Goods and Services
402.5-Procurement Specifications
408.3-Identification Clothing
500.5-News Release and Media Relations Policy
500.8-Review of USGS Publications and Abstracts of Oral Presentations for Policy-sensitive Issues
500.9-Approval by the Director for Outside Publication and Oral Presentation
500.14-Safeguard and Release of U.S. Geological Survey Data and Information
1100.1 - Information Product Planning
1100.3 - U.S. Geological Survey Publication Series
1100.4 - Use of Outside Publications, Including Abstracts

C. USGS Guidance Documents. Visual Identity System Manual (USGS employees only) Visual Identity System Website -USGS Communications Framework (USGS employees only) of USGS Data and Publications on the World Wide Web (information on the Intranet, the internal USGS Web site, is available to USGS employees only)

4. Responsibilities.

A. The Office of Communications is responsible for all policy related to the USGS Visual Identity System. This responsibility includes oversight of Visual Identity System-related work performed by various USGS teams or committees. The Office of Communications, working in coordination with various USGS teams and committees, also provides advice and guidance on visual identity-related issues. The Office of Communications is the final authority on changes or updates to the Visual Identity System guidelines, specifications, and templates for all USGS products.

B. Associate Directors, Regional Directors, and their designees are responsible for ensuring that USGS Visual Identity System guidelines are implemented and problems are addressed and resolved during the product review or approval stage, prior to production.

C. Product designers are responsible for accurately applying the USGS Visual Identity System and all applicable guidelines and specifications to their work, regardless of product medium.

D. Contracting officers, administrative officers, and facilities managers are responsible for adhering to the USGS Visual Identity System guidelines in procurement and utilization.

E. Publication managers, editors, and authors involved in preparing print, electronic, or other communication materials for publishing are responsible for ensuring the accurate and appropriate use of the USGS Visual Identity System in the design and production of those materials, regardless of medium, and for coaching and advising employees on the use of the USGS Visual Identity System as needed.

F. Managers are responsible for the accurate and appropriate use of the USGS Visual Identity System in all materials that they approve and for ensuring that action is taken to correct any product that is designed or produced without adherence to the USGS Visual Identity System guidelines. Managers should champion accurate use of the USGS Visual Identity System in print, electronic, and other products produced in or on behalf of their program area.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
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