Use of the NHS logo

Once you have decided to go ahead with a communications partnership, you will need to consider how any communications material will be ‘badged’.

The public are very skilled at deconstructing the relationship between partners based on the communications materials they see.

The way you use the NHS logo – and its relationship to any partner’s logo – will have a significant effect on the audience’s understanding of the NHS’s role and on their reaction to the partnership. It is therefore important that you use the NHS logo correctly and consistently, and ensure that the relevant people in your organisation approve all materials.

The NHS logo: summary guidance

The NHS logo is a registered trademark and may only be used in accordance with the NHS identity guidelines. The guidance given here is a summary only. Full guidance is set out in our NHS logo section.

 

Logo artwork

Always use an original version of the NHS logo and never create your own. You can download a copy of the NHS logo from the Download the NHS logo section.

 

Which logo should I use?

If you are entering into a partnership at a local level, you should use your local NHS logotype rather than the national NHS logo.

Your communications team should have the master artwork for your local NHS logotype.

Colour

The colour of the NHS logo is NHS Blue (Pantone® 300). By using this colour you will help to enhance recognition of our logo and reinforce our identity. Wherever possible, you should use the NHS logo against a white or light-coloured background.

If you are printing in mono, you can reproduce the NHS logo in black. If you are printing on a dark background, you can reverse the logo out of your background colour. You should never reproduce the logo in a tint of NHS Blue or black.

 

The NHS logo in NHS Blue (Pantone® 300)

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The NHS logo in black

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The NHS logo reversed out of an NHS Blue background (Pantone® 300)

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The NHS logo reversed out of a black background

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Dos and don'ts:

Do:

  • use NHS Blue (Pantone® 300) to reproduce the logo;
  • use the NHS logo against a white or light background.

Don't:

  • use tints of NHS Blue or black.

 

The exclusion zone

The exclusion zone is the clear area around your logotype in which nothing else should appear. It helps to ensure clarity and readability and improve the overall impact of your logotype. You must not insert any additional words, images or graphic details within the exclusion zone.

This clear space (X) is proportional and defined as the height of the NHS logo.

 

Positioning

The position of the NHS logo in relation to partners’ logos affects the way an audience understands the relationship between the organisations.

If the NHS is the lead partner in the relationship, the NHS logo should be positioned in the top right-hand corner.

Version A: The NHS is the lead partner

 

If the NHS logo is a secondary or supporting partner, the NHS logo should be positioned in the bottom right-hand corner.

Version B: The NHS logo is a secondary or supporting partner

 

If the NHS logo and a partner logo are adjacent to one another, this communicates equality.

Depending on the number of partners involved in an initiative and the creative execution, it may not always be possible to achieve this positioning.

Version C: The NHS logo and a partner logo are adjacent to one another

 

Size

A larger logo is taken to mean relatively more responsibility and funding. If the logos are equal in size this communicates an equal partnership.

The recommended minimum sizes for the NHS logo are:

  • 10 mm high on A4
  • 8.5mm on A5/DL
  • The NHS logo should never be smaller than 4.25mm high.

 

Frequency

The NHS logo should only appear once on a single sheet. This helps to maintain the integrity of the identity and ensures its strength is not diluted by duplication.

 

Using the NHS logo with a supporting statement

Please note that the NHS logo is not designed to be read in a phrase. If you are using the logo together with a supporting statement, e.g. “Supported by the NHS”, please write this in text and use it together with the logo, ensuring you observe the exclusion zone, as in the example below.

 

Logotype with supporting statement

 

Working in partnership with another NHS organisation and a partner

When two or more NHS organisations are working together, the NHS logo should be used once on the page, in the top right.

The names of the NHS organisations can either be listed elsewhere on the page in text, eg ‘Anyshire Primary Care Trust and Midshire Primary Care Trust’, or a description can be used eg ‘The NHS in Anyshire’.

Please ensure the text is written outside the NHS logo exclusion zone.

Example of how a partnership with an NHS organisation and another partner might look

 

Working with multiple partners

You should follow the principles outlined above when working with multiple partners.

If you have multiple partners, consider whether it is visually confusing to include all of their logos. You may want to reference their contributions in other ways – for example by listing the partners in text in the foreword of a document.

Example of how a partnership with multiple partners might look

 

NHS communications principles

Additionally, when producing materials for an NHS partnership, you should try to follow the following NHS communication principles. Is the communication:

  • Clear and professional? Do the communications demonstrate pride and authority in what you do?
  • Cost-effective? Budgets must be used wisely.
  • Straightforward? Communications should avoid gimmicks and over complicated design or wording.
  • Modern? Does the communication portray the NHS in an up to date way?
  • Accessible? Has the communications been tested and understood by the target audience? Is it easily obtainable and available in other languages, symbols or formats needed?
  • Honest? Avoid misleading information, avoid unfair stereotypes, acknowledge the different needs of individuals and populations.

Last updated: 07/06/10

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