Programmes and initiatives

An organisation as large as the NHS runs many initiatives and campaigns. Health promotion campaigns, initiatives to encourage good practice within the NHS and local projects to change health services should all be clearly owned by the NHS and support the reputation of the health service.

Some guiding principles:

  • Position the NHS logo, or your organisation logotype, in the top right-hand corner of all materials to demonstrate ownership of all NHS initiatives.
  • Do not create a separate symbol, picture or text style that is used as a logo for an initiative.
  • The name of the initiative should be written in the NHS typeface, Frutiger, outside the exclusion zone of the NHS logo or your organisation logotype.
  • If your initiative needs letterhead, you should use the letterhead of your parent organisation. The name of the initiative can be printed as the first line of the address, and this can be in NHS Blue for emphasis if required. For guidance on producing further stationery items please follow the style set out in the guidance for non-statutory organisations on letterheads, compliment slips and publicity materials.
  • Your initiative can have a strong visual link to your local level NHS identity.

There is considerable flexibility in the NHS guidance in terms of colour palette, range of typefaces and use of words. Detailed guidance on creating a design style for your programme or initiative can be found in design styles in the Tools and Resources section.

Make sure that what you produce stays true to the NHS communication principles (below).


The following questions will help you check that your planned design style supports the NHS identity. 


The basics

  • Is the NHS logo, or your local logotype, in the correct position, in its correct colour and at the correct size?
  • Does it sit in the right amount of clear space?
  • Are the colours chosen from the NHS colour palette?
  • Are the typefaces Frutiger or Arial? 


Our communications principles

When producing materials for the NHS, you should follow our communications principles to ensure that your work is:

  • Clear and professional: demonstrating pride and authority in what we do.
  • Cost-effective: showing that budgets have been used wisely.
  • Straightforward: avoiding gimmicks and over complicated design or wording.
  • Modern: portraying the NHS in way that is up to date.
  • Accessible: understood by the target audience and easily obtainable and available in other languages, symbols or formats.
  • Honest: avoiding misleading information or false promises.
  • Respectful: showing respect for our audience, avoiding unfair stereotypes, acknowledging the different needs of individuals and populations.

Last updated: 29/04/08