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Design

Logos

Using custom logos for VA departments, offices, teams, sub-groups, special programs, initiatives, or events is not supported on VA.gov. This practice aligns with the requirements in the VA Graphic Standards and the Web Governance site.

In user research, Veterans told us that VA’s multiple brands are confusing and complicated to understand. By being consistent with our visual branding, we can reduce Veteran confusion from “logo clutter.”

Custom logos for the following use cases are not supported on VA.gov:

  • Pages that list VA programs, such as a list of benefits
  • Benefit detail pages
  • Within a software application, such as an application form or tool
  • Search result listings for VA departments, offices, teams, sub-groups, special programs, initiatives, or events

Use the name of the department, office, team, program, initiative, or event. Do not use graphical elements in place of names, such as logos, photographs, or custom illustrations that don’t meet VA branding guidelines and that are not part of the VA.gov Design System.

About VA branding guidelines

VA provides specific examples of how to execute a logo or word mark within VA brand standards. This helps us appear as a “branded house.” See pages 9 and 46 – 49 of the  VA Graphic Standards .

Like this

This is based on page 9 of the VA Graphic Standards, seen below:

Veterans recognize VA

They don’t care about our many sub-brands. It confuses them and creates feelings of mistrust about which is the source of truth for their benefits and services. Based on this Veteran feedback, VA has taken a “branded house” strategy.

Branded house vs. a house of brands

  • Branded house. An example of a “branded house” is the company Apple. Every Apple device and service appears as part of a single, unified visual ecosystem.
  • House of brands. An example of a “house of brands” is the company Johnson & Johnson. This company includes many sub-brands that are more recognizable than the company itself. Think of Tylenol, Neutrogena, Listerine, etc.

About VA’s Digital Modernization and Web Brand Consolidation

To improve Veterans’ customer experience, VA initiated a cross-agency collaboration for Digital Modernization. We learned from extensive research that:

  • Veterans and service members struggle to navigate benefits and services.
  • VA gets 140 million phone calls annually, and 10 million people per month visit a VA website. Many of these people complain about having a fractured, frustrating experience.
  • Veterans think of VA as a single entity, but we deliver services in silos, forcing Veterans to figure out which phone number to call, which website to search, and which office to visit to get what they need.

As part of this enterprise-wide Digital Modernization strategy, an intra-agency Web Brand Consolidation Working Group is working across VA to consolidate and simplify Veteran-facing web applications and services into a single, consistent, and unified experience on the VA.gov platform.