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Use of Trademarked USGS Identifier by Non-USGS Organizations

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has cooperative partnerships and contractual agreements with many non-USGS organizations (for example, another government agency, a commercial company, or an educational institution) that often result in the creation of various information products. The USGS encourages the use of our identifier on these products.

If non-USGS organizations plan to use the USGS identifier, they must comply with, as appropriate, the USGS Visual Identity System (VIS) guidelines, including use of the trademarked USGS identifier and any applicable product-specific VIS guidelines.

If you are a member of a non-USGS organization that has a contract agreement with the USGS to develop information products to be released by the USGS, you must follow the VIS guidelines and specifications. You may obtain copies of them from your USGS contact.

If you are a member of a non-USGS organization that is in partnership with the USGS to produce a cooperative or joint information product, please work with your USGS client or contact to determine how each partner will be identified on the product. For additional guidance on the proper use of the identifier and other applicable VIS guidelines, send an email to

If you are a member of a non-USGS organization requesting use of the USGS identifier or USGS identification products in film, TV, or theater productions, you must submit your request to Leslie Jones, USGS Office of Communications and Publishing, MS 119, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192.

If you are a member of a non-USGS organization and wish to acknowledge or credit the USGS as the source of information you are using, refer to the Acknowledging or Crediting USGS as Information Source page for guidance.

The USGS Identifier

Below is general information on the USGS identifier, who may use it, when it may be used, and how to request a copy of it.

The identifier consists of three parts: a monogram of the letters "USGS," a symbolic mark, and the motto "science for a changing world." Key elements for ensuring its proper use include the following:

  • Use only USGS-approved artwork for the identifier.
  • Do not attempt to redraw the identifier.
  • The identifier must appear only in PMS 348 green, black, or white.

Who May Use the Identifier

The identifier may be used by USGS staff and by members of non-USGS organizations that have a partnership or contractual agreement with the USGS that will result in the creation of an information product.

When the Identifier May Be Used

The identifier may be used on print, electronic, digital, exhibit, and display information products. The USGS reserves the right to review the circumstances under which a non-USGS organization plans to use the identifier and to prohibit the use of the identifier.

Requesting the Identifier

A non-USGS organization must request a copy of the identifier through its USGS client or contact. To ensure that you obtain the appropriate identifier file when making your request, submit the following information:

  • Your name, organization name and address, phone number, and e-mail address
  • The date of your request and the date a reply is needed
  • The title and a brief description of the project on which the identifier will appear
  • The media on which the identifier will be used (for example, print, CD, online (Web), video)
  • Identifier file format and resolution required (for example, .gif or .jpg @72ppi, .eps or .tif @200ppi), the name of the software package and version you will be using, and the operating system you will use (Mac, PC, and so on)
  • Identifier color required (PMS 348 green, black, or white)

If you have questions or need further assistance, contact