NHS Identity

Using the NHS identity on websites

All NHS websites must conform to the NHS identity. This is not just about making sure the logo is present and in the right place. All NHS communications - including websites - must embody the NHS values and communications principles.

When designing your site, you should ensure that the information structure, content and navigation - as well as the front-end design - supports these values and principles.

The NHS logo

All NHS websites should carry the NHS logo. You should position your local logotype in the top right of the website.

If you need to use the national NHS logo you should ensure that the name of your organisation appears somewhere on the home page and that the logo is positioned in the top left of your site.

All NHS websites should carry the NHS logo or your organisation's logo. Your communications/corporate identity lead will have ordered free artwork from the NHS identity team. If they haven't, they can order artwork from this site using the NHS logotype order form.

The NHS logo has transparent letters, so make sure it is correctly anti-aliased using the background colour of the page (usually white). Use a format that reads the NHS logo correctly (ie as transparent). GIFs do but JPGs do not.


NHS identity checklist

  • Do you have the correct logo?
  • Does it appear top-right on every page?
  • Have you registered a www.name.nhs.uk address? If necessary, have you also registered a www.nhs.uk/name address?
  • Do all the colours used on your site come from the approved palette? For more information take a look at the section on the NHS websafe colour palette.
  • Is all text using the corporate fonts? More information on fonts is available in the next section (below).
  • Are the images and graphics appropriate? Do they support our values and principles?
  • Are you communicating with your audience in appropriate language?

Typefaces for the web

The NHS font family for websites is Arial/Helvetica. These sans serif fonts are easy to read on screen, and should be the first choice for using online. The Times font family, a serif font, can be used as an occasional alternative. Frutiger and Garamond are the other NHS corporate fonts but only use them for graphics, as they may not always print correctly.

The NHS serves many people whose first language is not English. Just as with Roman typefaces, Asian, Cyrillic and other typefaces have a range of styles. Get advice from a translator on commonly used fonts. Use one that is clear and simple - test it on readers if possible. Once chosen, use it consistently.

Make sure that the text size can be changed to suit the user’s preference. For example, some people choose to increase the text size to make it easier to select links.

Last updated: 29/04/08