Flag Symbol Signature
These technical specifications (T-135) set out the requirements for creating and reproducing flag symbol signatures. 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. In the context of the Federal Identity Program, the flag symbol is always used with an approved applied title, in both official languages.
Consult your Federal Identity Program coordinator for direction and guidance.
- Quality of reproduction: All reproductions of the signatures are based on the approved electronic master file. High-quality methods are used to reproduce signatures (e.g. a 130-line print screen for offset printing).
- Composition: The signature includes the flag symbol and an 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 the related technical specifications. Consult your Federal Identity Program coordinator for more information.
- Alignment: The flag symbol 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 flag symbol and the English and French applied titles are separated by a horizontal space equal to three times the x-height. The height of the flag symbol is equal to the height of two lines of text. The alignment of the flag symbol and the applied titles varies according to the number of lines of text:
- A one-line title aligns horizontally with the bottom of the flag symbol.
- A two-line title aligns horizontally with bottom and the top of the flag symbol.
- Titles with three or more lines of text extends below the flag symbol.
- Use of colour: For applications where mandatory colour values are not provided, the signature must appear in one of the five colour formats below. The same colour format is applied to both the signature and the Canada Wordmark.
- Black text with a red flag symbol on a white or very light background
- Black text with a black flag symbol on a contrasting light or medium background
- White text with a white flag symbol on a contrasting medium or dark background
- White text with a red flag symbol on a dark and illuminated background.
- A single colour for both text and flag symbol on a highly contrasting background
- Protection zone: The protection zone extends from the top and bottom of the signature for a distance equal to the height of the flag symbol, and twice that measurement to the left and right of the signature. This area is displayed in generous open space, free from close association with any interfering or distracting text and graphic elements. The background of the protection zone is a single solid colour.
- Modifications are prohibited: The flag symbol signatures (both the departmental signature and the Government of Canada signature) are 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 applied title, altering its proportions, translating it into another language, or combining it with any other form or symbol.
- Alignment of signatures 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 applied title (illustrated as Z in the figure T-135 above). For horizontal alignment, the Canada Wordmark is aligned to the right of the flag symbol signature on the same baseline.
The figure above illustrates the relative size and position of the Canada Wordmark to the flag symbol signature. The Wordmark is three times the width of the flag symbol; or it can be aligned with the top of the flag symbol in the signature and the bottom of the flag symbol in the Wordmark.
- Government of Canada signature: The Government of Canada signature is used to identify two or more departments. Multiple departmental signatures are not permitted in the same application. The Government of Canada signature is also used to identify specific government-wide, national or international activities.
- Service titles in signatures: Service titles may be 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 are separated vertically from the applied titles by a 0.5-1 line space
- Access and distribution: The use of official symbols of the Government of Canada is restricted and governed by 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 Federal Identity Program coordinator to obtain approved files and for direction and advice on their use.
- Applied Titles
- Typeface (T-120)
- Official Languages in Signatures (T-125)
- Canada Wordmark (T-130)
- Colour Values (T-145)
- Policy on Communications and Federal Identity
- FIP Manual - 1.1 Design: Symbols, typography signatures, colour
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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