This guide covers proper use of the logo and lockup, which depend on the type of material that is being produced. When used appropriately, the USDA logo will give consistent identity to the Department, increase public recognition of the value and wide range of USDA's products and services, and bring economy of scale to the production of visual information materials.
The USDA Logo and Official Seal
The USDA logo was created and approved for use in 1995. It is the official and sole identifying mark for the Department, its mission areas, and all agency programs. The logo is the single, most visible asset of our organization. The simple design positions USDA as a modern organization rooted in tradition but focused on the future of agriculture. The USDA logo is a key element of our brand identity. It immediately identifies USDA to the world, making it one of our most valuable organizational assets.Review the Departmental Regulation (PDF, 150 KB)
The USDA Logo
The USDA logo is a graphic representation of the land - the foundation of all agriculture - and the Department's initials. The logo colors - dark green and dark blue - represent the essential elements of earth, air, and water. Together, these elements comprise the logo. The elements of the logo are not to be broken apart and used as individual graphics.Download logo files (ZIP, 418 KB)
The Official Seal
The official seal of the United States Department of Agriculture has been relegated for use on legal materials in the Office of the Secretary, USDA agencies, and for other functions as may be determined by the Office of Communications.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request to use the official seal.
New Signature Lockup
Source Sans Pro, upper case, flush left, abbreviated.
New Subidentity Signature Lockup
Source Sans Pro, lower case for sub-identity, upper case for Department name, flush left, abbreviated.
The use of agency and staff logos in signature lockups is being phased out and replaced with a signature model that features only the USDA logo.
The new signature (subidentity) lockup requires that the Department title be below the Agency title, and directly to the right of the USDA logo. The USDA logo and signature lockup should be at the top left corner of all USDA websites. The USDA logo should link back to usda.gov.
Variations and Theme Art
Initiative Theme Art can consist of typographic design and simple graphics and must contain the USDA Symbol as a leading element.
Theme art must first be approved through your agency/mission area public affairs and/or brand manager. Final approval will be determined by the Office of Communications.
Do not use USDA as an acronym, nor as an overall defined confining shape.
Positioning and Placement
Placement with Non-Federal and Federal Organizations
When used in conjunction with logos of other public and/or private-sector partners, the logo should be given equal placement and may be displayed without the Department name.
If the organizations are a mix of Federal and non-Federal, the lead Federal agency logo should appear first with the remaining logos ordered as dictated by the situation.
If all of the logos represent Federal organizations, the logos should be placed in alphabetical order.
If the White House is a participating organization, the White House logo should be given the dominant position.
As the primary logo of our organization, the USDA logo should stand out from other graphic elements. The logo should always be surrounded with a minimum area of clear space equal to the width of the USDA's letter "A".
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Position on Information Products
The USDA logo is designated for display on all information products of the Department. To ensure maximum visibility, the preferred position of the logo on most information products is the top left corner.
Position on Social Media Products
When used on social media products, you may use the logo alone. Refer to the section on clear space for guidance on how close to the edge or near other elements you may place the logo. For information on social media use, refer to the social media guidance.
Exception: The top left corner is the preferred placement of the logo for maximum visibility. However, if there isn't enough contrast or copy space, the logo can be placed at the left, right or middle of the top or bottom of the design.
Use the signature Iso-Bar on all visual communications, physical media and products to provide a clean, consistent background area and position for the Signature Lockup. All acceptable versions of the Signature Lockup can be used within the Iso-Bar. No images, gradations, or other graphics can appear within the Iso-Bar. All other types of visual elements, images, and content can fall below the Iso-Bar.
The Iso-Bar should be 8% or more of the media height, with a minimum of .75". Acceptable variations include white background, color background or a rule line.
Print media includes electronic as well as traditional hard-copy products. All print, PDFs, publications, multimedia, exhibits, name badges, tent cards, and public service announcements should use the Signature Iso-Bar.
Print, Publication, and PDF Covers
Use the Signature Iso-Bar on all communication print materials and publications and pdf covers.
Public Service Announcements
Exception: On public service announcements, the Signature Lockup can be placed near the closing statement or the bottom of the page.
Use the Signature Iso-Bar on all communication exhibits and banners up to 8' x10'.
Exception: On exhibits or banners wider than 10', the Signature Iso-Bar no longer applies. Place the Signature Lockup near the top right side of the display.
Use the Signature Iso-Bar on all multimedia content, interfaces, applications (apps), labeling, and packaging.
Do not distort, stretch, or skew the logo.
Do not alter the colors of the logo.
Do not apply special effects (bevel, emboss, glow, shadow, etc.
Do not introduce text or graphics into the logo.
Do not use any part of the logo as a graphic element.
Do not isolate the logo in a box frame or box shape.
Do not distort in perspective.
Do not apply any 3-D or shadow effects.
Do not place the USDA logo on low-contrast background colors. Background colors must have a color contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for the logo to remain highly visible. This color contrast tool is a useful resource for testing the compliance of any color combination.