The signs that identify over 40,000 facilities of the Government of Canada form an important aspect of the visual identity of the Government of Canada. They provide assistance to users, communicating essential information about a facility and about the government and its operations. Departments must clearly identify real property occupied by the Government of Canada that provide services directly to the public, and ensure that the signs make it easier to find these services.
All departments are strongly encouraged to make use of the National Master Standing Offer (NMSO) for the design, manufacturing and installation of Government of Canada signage. This service ensures quality, policy compliance, consistency and durability of government signage. Public Works and Government Services Canada provides advice and support for the standing offer.
Overview of requirements for signs
1. Technical specifications
All Government of Canada signs must comply with requirements in the Federal Identity Program Policy and the related standard, the Federal Identity Program Manual, and be clearly identified with a signature and the Canada Wordmark. The requirements for signs are found in the following technical specifications:
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 by coordinating the use and application of the official symbols based on mandatory specifications.
Within departments, the management of the Government of Canada signage system is a responsibility shared by the head of communications, facilities management, PWGSC and standing offer suppliers.
3. Official symbols
The official symbols of the Government of Canada are used to identify government facilities. Departments use only symbols that have been approved by Treasury Board ministers on signs.
Departments that do not have an approved applied title use the Government of Canada signature until the required approvals have been received.
4. Other marks, symbols or graphic elements
The Federal Identity Program Policy prohibits departments from using logos without prior approval of Treasury Board ministers. This applies to all logos used to identify a department's programs, services, assets, products, and internal and external activities.
The Government of Canada signage system includes a number of approved pictograms and icons for regulatory, warning and information and guidance signs.
5. Official languages
Government of Canada signs must conform to the Official Languages Act requirements. Text is to be displayed in a bilingual side-by-side format, regardless of language designation. Both languages are to be equal in content and character size. See T-125 - Official Languages in Signatures to determine the order of language precedence.
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