Arms of Canada Signature

These technical specifications (T-140) set out the requirements for creating and reproducing asymmetrical (or left-aligned) Arms of Canada signatures. The Arms of Canada signature is used to identify institutions whose heads report directly to Parliament, and institutions with quasi-judicial functions whose use of the Arms has been approved by the President of the Treasury Board.

Ministers, parliamentary secretaries and their offices are identified by the Arms of Canada in a symmetrical (or centered) signature. The layout and proportions of symmetrical signatures are different from those of asymmetrical signatures that are outlined below.

Consult your Federal Identity Program coordinator who can provide advice and guidance.

Figure T-140: Illustration of the composition of signatures using the Arms of Canada with an applied title (upper part), and the vertical alignment of the title on one, two or three lines (lower part). See requirements 3 and 7 below for detailed description.
Figure T-140: Illustration of the composition of signatures using the Arms of Canada with an applied title

Requirements

  1. Quality of reproduction: All reproductions of Arms of Canada signatures are based on the approved electronic master files. High-quality methods are used to reproduce signatures. (e.g. a 130-line print screen for offset printing).
  2. Composition: The Arms of Canada signature is composed of one colour and the approved applied title in both official languages. The English and French titles are presented in a side-by-side format, typeset in Helvetica, using the same font size, weight and colour.

    The choice between using a signature in Helvetica light, regular or medium is based on several factors, such as the field of application, the background colour and related technical specifications. Consult your Federal Identity Program coordinator for more information.

  3. Alignment: The Arms of Canada is displayed to the left of the English and French applied titles. The applied titles are always aligned to the left. All measurements are based on the x-height of the character size being used. The Arms of Canada and the English and French applied titles are separated by a horizontal space equal to three times the x height. The size relation between the Arms of Canada and the applied title varies according to the number of lines of text:
    • A one-line title requires that the Arms of Canada is eight times the x-height of the text and the title aligns horizontally with the bottom of the shield.
    • A two-line title requires that the Arms of Canada eight times the x-height of the text and the title aligns horizontally with the bottom of the ribbon.
    • A signature with three or more lines of text requires that the Arms of Canada is ten times the x-height of the text and the title aligns with the bottom of the ribbon.
  4. Use of colour: The Arms of Canada is reproduced using the same single colour for both the Arms and the text. The standard colour is black (Process Black). However, for applications where mandatory colour values are not provided, the signature can be displayed in a single colour other than black, as follows:
    • White on a contrasting medium or dark background
    • A single colour that provides high contrast with the background
  5. Protection zone: The protection zone extends a distance equal to the width of the Arms of Canada to the left and right of the signature, and a distance equal to one half the height of the Arms above and below the signature. This area is displayed in generous open space, free from close association with any interfering or distracting text or graphic elements. The background of the protection zone is a single solid colour.
  6. Modifications are prohibited: The Arms of Canada signature is protected under trade-mark and copyright laws and cannot be modified. This includes making any changes to its form (except for adding a service title), using an unapproved title of a department, altering its proportions, translating it into another language, or combining it with any other form or symbol.
  7. Alignment of the official signature with the Canada Wordmark: The departmental signature (or the Government of Canada signature) and the Canada Wordmark appear together in all fields of application unless otherwise specified. For vertical alignment, the Canada Wordmark is aligned to the left of the left-most text of the signature (illustrated as Z in figure T-140 above). For horizontal alignment, the Canada Wordmark is aligned to the right of the signature on the same baseline.

    The figure above illustrates the relative size and position of the Canada Wordmark to the Arms of Canada signature. The width of the Canada Wordmark is twice the height or three times the width of the Arms of Canada.

  8. Government of Canada signature: The Arms of Canada signature is used to identify one department at a time. Multiple signatures are not permitted in the same application. When identifying two or more departments (regardless whether some or all are identified by the Arms of Canada), the Government of Canada signature is used. The Government of Canada signature is also used for specific government-wide, national or international activities.
  9. Use of service titles in signatures: Service titles are created to identify programs, services or initiatives, and always appear with the approved applied title of the department. Deputy heads approve the use of specific service titles in their departments.

    The English and French service titles align vertically with the applied titles. All titles are typeset in the same typeface and size. Service titles and are separated vertically from the applied titles by a 0.5–1 line space.

  10. Access and distribution: The use of the official symbols of the Government of Canada is restricted and governed by the requirements of the Federal Identity Program Policy. The official symbols cannot be distributed to unauthorized persons or commercial enterprises, or made available to the public through unregulated electronic access points or Web sites. Consult your department's Federal Identity Program coordinator to obtain approved files and for direction and advice on their use.

Related information


Note: If there is a discrepancy between an official Treasury Board policy instrument and information on this Web page, the Treasury Board policy or standard prevails.

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