Official Symbols

Visual or corporate identity is a shared responsibility that requires the support and cooperation of various personnel within departments and across government. The visual identity of the Government of Canada is projected through the use of three official symbols: the flag symbol used in departmental signatures and the Government of Canada signature, the Arms of Canada (with an accompanying applied title or title of office) and the Canada Wordmark. For the majority of departments, the visual identity consists of the Government of Canada signature (or a departmental signature), and the Canada Wordmark. The use of the Arms of Canada is reserved for ministers and their offices; parliamentary secretaries; institutions whose heads report directly to Parliament; as well as institutions with quasi-judicial functions.

Overview of requirements for the Official Symbols of the Government of Canada

1. Technical specifications

All uses of the official symbols of the Government of Canada comply with Federal Identity Program Policy requirements. The requirements for using the official symbols are found in the following technical specifications:

2. Responsibility

Deputy heads are accountable for implementing Treasury Board policies within their department. Heads of communications are responsible for the effective management of the Government of Canada's corporate identity in their department. This includes coordinating the use of the official symbols based on mandatory specifications for all fields of application.

3. Official symbols

The visual identity of the Government of Canada is projected through the use of three official symbols: the flag symbol used in departmental signatures and the Government of Canada signature, the Arms of Canada and the Canada Wordmark.

The flag symbol is used to identify all departments, agencies, corporations, commissions, boards, councils, and other federal bodies and activities, unless they are authorized to be identified by the Arms of Canada. The Arms is used to identify ministers and their offices, parliamentary secretaries, institutions whose heads report directly to Parliament, as well as institutions with quasi-judicial functions. The Canada Wordmark is the global identifier of the Government of Canada and is used in association with signatures that include the flag symbol or the Arms of Canada.

The majority of departments are identified by the departmental signature or Government of Canada signature and the Canada Wordmark.

Departments are also required to create an applied title which is the approved name used in their departmental signature. In cases where departments do not have an approved applied title, the Government of Canada signature is used until the title is approved by the President of the Treasury Board.

Departments use only symbols that have been approved by the Treasury Board.

4. Other marks, symbols or graphic elements

The Federal Identity Program Policy prohibits departments from using logos, without the prior approval of the Treasury Board ministers. For the purposes of the Federal Identity Program, a logo is a logotype, mark, symbol, emblem, icon, ideogram, brand identifier or stylized letterform. A logo is a graphic element that could be perceived by the public as representing a department, program or service. This also applies to all logos used to identify assets, products, and internal and external activities.

5. Official languages

The requirements for the order of official languages are detailed in T-125 - Official Languages in Signatures.

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