Citizens as Audience: US Government Agency Logos and What They Are Trying to Say
Few people think of government agencies as being like a corporation, but in fact the two have much in common. While government agencies aren’t directly supported by consumers, they must maintain a positive public image and a sense of brand to keep public and legislative support. These government agency logo are similar in their message to the top 10 USA political party logos. Here are ten very different government agency logos along with what makes them so successful.
1. The Environmental Protection Agency Logo Design
The EPA, as it is colloquially known, is an agency dedicated to protecting the natural environment of the United States. The logo, like many corporate environmental logos, does a great job of showing this aim in a simple and recognizable graphic form. The flower is a classic simple of healthy growth, but this blossom is in the shape of an inclusive circle, giving citizens the impression that they can be a part of leading the US in the right environmental direction. In this circle are bands of color representing the sky, land, and water.
2. The US Postal Service Logo Design
This is perhaps one of the largest and most well known agencies in the country, with a logo that likely drives by your home six days a week. Instead of a circle, a solid and dependable square is used to show the company’s reliability and trustworthiness. An eagle, a bird that is known not just for being a symbol of the United States but also for its speed, is an appropriate graphic both for this logo and other corporate logos that promise quick service.
3. The Library of Congress Logo Design
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, housing a collection of books that is unrivaled. It continues to add continuously to its collection. The logo is a book, an appropriate graphic for this agency, but oriented so it is the shape of a square, a solid and balanced shape. The wavy lines on the right side imply movement and fluidity, while the blue color is calming. Altogether, this is a very appropriate symbol for this massive but little known government agency and a good example of simple yet elegant corporate logos.
4. Federal Communications Commission Logo Design
The FCC is the agency that oversees the media, making sure that all transmissions are safe and within accepted limits of decency. Like many corporate logos that are engaged in oversight, the logo is simple black and white. The expanding circles are reminiscent of the waves over which public radio, public service announcement and public television transmissions are sent. The circle is an inclusive shape, suggesting that this agency is involved with the public good.
5. Federal Trade Commission Logo Design
The FTC is charged with protecting customers from unfair business practices without unfairly hampering the corporate world. As such, it is very appropriate that the logo use the scales of justice in its logo. The circle is seen once again, as inclusiveness is something that government logos and corporate logos alike want to portray. A variation of the patriotic color scheme is used, with federal blue along with green and gold.
6. NASA Logo Design
The circle and the colors of the American flag are common motifs in government agency logos, but this logo has additional elements that differentiate it from other government and corporate logos. First, the logo is in a stark white instead of black, in more modern lettering. Stars set the background, communicating the realm with which NASA is primarily concerned. Last, the red swoosh through the circle gives a sense of dynamism and movement that is appropriate for an agency that always discovering new places and new things. We actually listed the NASA logo as an example of a good and well balanced logo design in our top 10 logo design mistakes post.
7. Peace Corps Logo Design
This US agency is known for its philanthropic work around the world, helping to build infrastructure and promote peace in developing nations. The name of the agency is written in a heavy font with serifs, while below the stars in the United States flag transform into doves. The idea is that this is an agency with a purpose, and that this purpose is to turn American stars into instruments of peace. This government logo, like many corporate logos, imbues old symbols with new meaning.
8. United States Department of Transportation Logo Design
This travel and transport logo uses a simple blue and white color scheme and plain capital letters in no-nonsense black. The circle is a common shape in all logos for its inclusive feeling, while the three pointed shape in the middle has the strength implied by a triangle along with an extra measure of movement. Fluid and wavy shapes are great choices for government and corporate logos dealing with constantly changing industries such as transportation.
9. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Logo Design
Also known as NOAA, this agency is instrumental in tracking weather as well as changes in the oceans that surround the United States. This makes the shades of blue—a sky blue and a deeper blue suggesting deep water—appropriate choices for this logo. The two hues of blue are separated by a swooshing shape that is roughly the form of a seagull, a bird commonly associated with the ocean. A fluid shape also makes the logo feel flexible and gives a sense of movement to this and any other corporate logos that use it.
10. The Federal Housing Administration Logo Design
This office oversees everything having to do with home loans, from policing loan agencies to providing funding. The logo is in a familiar rectangular shape with a house graphic. The agency name is prominently displayed in a square font along with the words “Your door to home ownership.” This may not be the most creative logo out there, but it wins big points for being relevant, recognizable, and including one common practice seen in corporate logos: including a tagline in the logo itself.
These logos have a few commonalities, but they are all very different and very appropriate for the unique field of government work. You can tell by looking at most of these logos exactly what the agencies do, which makes them a huge branding success.