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APPROVAL AND USE OF SEALS, EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA AND LOGOS

Number: DAO 201-1
Effective Date: 2008-05-02

SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

.01 This Order prescribes policies and procedures for the approval and use of seals, emblems, insignia and logos at the Department of Commerce (the Department). (See Department Administrative Order (DAO) 201-17, “The Seal of the Department of Commerce,” for information on the use of the Department Seal.)

.02 This revision transfers the legal review of seals, emblems, insignias and logos from the Chief Counsel for Technology to the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration (OGC/Admin); removes exhibits, including form CD-506, “Request for Approval of Commerce Seal, Emblem, Insignia or Logo,” and copies of seals, emblems, insignia and logos from the Order; and provides a general update of the Order.

SECTION 2. POLICY.

Proliferation of Department operating unit seals, emblems, insignia, and logos shall be avoided. Heads of operating units will assist the Secretary of Commerce (the Secretary) in ensuring that seals, emblems, insignia, and logos are limited to those that are absolutely necessary. Seals are limited to those authorized by statute and emblems to a single one for each operating unit. Insignia and logos shall not be used as emblems. Department-level approval of any new operating unit seal or emblem must be justified based on its contribution to program mission, as well as design, publication requirements, cost-effectiveness, and legal considerations.

SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS.

The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Order:

a. Seal. A seal is a device, authorized by statute, used for authenticating documents and for other purposes of identification. It consists of a symbolic design and pertinent organizational titles.

b. Emblem. An emblem is a symbolic design used to identify organizations or institutions within the Department. Emblems expire automatically when an organization or institution terminates. They may also require redesign and re-approval at the Department level if a major change in organization or mission occurs.

c. Insignia and logos. Insignia and logos are visual devices used to identify publications or publication series, or major program activities or organizational subunits.

SECTION 4. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.

.01 Seals of operating units shall comply with the statutory requirements authorizing
the respective seal. The design of the seal shall include the inscription “U.S. Department of Commerce,” unless otherwise prescribed by the statute authorizing the seal.

.02 Emblems of operating units shall be of designs approved by the Secretary. The design of the emblems shall include the inscription “U.S. Department of Commerce.” If an existing emblem has not incorporated this design requirement, a credit line highlighting the “U.S. Department of Commerce” shall always appear on the surface where the emblem is used.

.03 The Office of Administrative Services (OAS) within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration (CFO/ASA), shall review all new Department seals and emblems to ensure that they serve a Department purpose, are not seen as an endorsement, and do not create embarrassment for the Department.

.04 OGC/Admin provides legal review related to seals, emblems, insignia, and logos (as well as program names, slogans, taglines, internet domain names, etc.) used by the Department, and performs trademark searches for such identifiers. OGC/Admin advises regarding the registration of such identifiers as U.S. trademarks and service marks and concerning the improper use or infringement (including the internet domain name context) of such identifiers by outside organizations.

SECTION 5. USE OF SEALS, EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA, AND LOGOS.

.01 Seals may be used on embossing dies to authenticate official Department documents. The Department seal may be used for all documents as provided in DAO 201-17. Seals of operating units may be used for their own documents. A seal also may be used as an emblem, except in the case of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which has both a seal and an emblem that cannot be used interchangeably.

.02 Emblems may be used on any surface where identification is required or desirable, including publications, flags, vehicles and aircraft, exhibits, displays, podiums, uniforms, projected visuals, or other media of official Department communications.

.03 Insignia and logos may be used on any printed or electronic material where identification is required or desirable to promote a program mission. Insignia and logos shall not be used as emblems.

.04 Permission to use Department seals, emblems, insignia, and logos may not be granted to outside organizations without the written approval of the head of the operating unit that originated the seal, emblem, insignia, or logo, and the concurrence of OGC/Admin, which will review the request for any possible appearance of endorsement, conflict of interest, and related issues. In addition, OGC/Admin will ensure the Department’s trademark interests are being protected. Use of the Department seals by outside organizations is governed by the provisions in DAO 201-17.

a. Requests to use a Department seal, emblem, insignia, or logo (collectively referred to as “symbol”) shall meet the following criteria:

1. use of the symbol by the outside party must satisfy some interest of the Department;

2. the use may not cause embarrassment to the Department;

3. there must be no conflict with trademark rights; and

4. there can be no endorsement of or favoritism toward the entity using the symbol or other appearance of impropriety.

b. To support the need for complete and considered review, all requests to use Department seals, emblems, insignia and logos shall include the following information:

1. a specific description of how the Department seal, emblem, insignia, or logo will be used, including the location of the symbol, the size and proximity of the symbol to the seal, logo, emblem, or banner of other organizations, agencies, businesses or corporations. (When available, the request shall be accompanied by a draft document that clearly demonstrates where the Department symbol will be placed. This draft shall be representative of the final product that will bear the Department symbol.);

2. a specific description of the Department interest(s) that will be satisfied, supported, or fulfilled through the requested use of the symbol;

3. a description of the Department’s relationship, if any, to the requesting party; and

4. a brief statement explaining why the use of the symbol in the given circumstance would not result in embarrassment to or a perception of favoritism or endorsement by the Department.

.05 OAS will maintain a reference catalogue of all active and current Department seals and emblems and should be contacted to obtain copies for approved uses. The responsible operating units shall advise OAS when the termination of an organization or publication or program results in the expiration of any seal or emblem.

SECTION 6. PROCESSING REQUIREMENTS FOR SEALS, EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA, AND LOGOS.

.01 Seals. To request Department review of a newly authorized seal, an operating unit shall complete Form CD-506. http://ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/Electronic_Forms/index.htm. Item 3 on the form, “Description and Justification,” shall include a citation of the authorizing statute and a description of how the seal will be used. In addition, the operating unit shall provide
one color and one black and white copy of the seal design in camera-ready paper and electronic (.tif or .jpeg) format. The completed Form CD-506 shall be sent to the Director, OAS, who will confirm that the intended use is consistent with current policies and will coordinate the Department review and clearances, as follows:

a. OAS will forward the request to OGC/Admin and the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) for review and clearance; and

b. Cleared requests will be sent by the Director, OAS to the CFO/ASA to be approved for submission to the Secretary. OAS will prepare the documentation necessary to accompany requests for Secretarial clearance. OAS also will inform the operating unit of the Secretary's decision.

.02 Emblems. Operating units are limited to a single emblem approved by the Secretary. The following procedures apply:

a. Operating units requesting a new emblem shall complete and forward Form CD-506 to the Director, OAS. The request must fully justify the need for the emblem, describe its use, and provide a proposed design. In addition, the operating unit shall provide one color and one black and white copy of the emblem design in camera-ready paper and electronic (.tif or .jpeg) format.

b. As requested, OAS will help operating units prepare the written description and justification required by Item 3 of Form CD-506 and will provide procedural guidance and design assistance for the proposed emblem.

c. OAS shall perform a complete evaluation of each operating unit emblem request, including need, cost-effectiveness, publication requirements, and design consistency.

d. If OAS approves the request for Department review, based on the evaluation in subparagraph c., above, it will be forwarded to OGC/Admin for trademark review. Upon clearance by OGC/Admin, the request will be referred to OPA for review and clearance. If any of the above clearing offices recommend disapproval, OAS will notify the CFO/ASA and the head of the originating operating unit and provide the reasons for the disapproval.

e. Requests cleared by OAS, OGC/Admin and OPA will be sent by OAS to the CFO/ASA to be approved for submission to the Secretary. The OAS will prepare the documentation necessary to accompany cleared requests and will inform the operating unit of the Secretary's decision

.03 Insignia and logos. Operating units should select a single insignia or logo for a specific publication, publication series, or major program activity. Insignia and logos shall not be used as emblems. Trademark review of all new insignias and logos must be coordinated with OGC/Admin.

a. The Secretarial Officer or Head of Operating Unit requesting an insignia or logo shall complete and forward Form CD-506 to OGC/Admin. The request must fully justify the need for the insignia or logo, describe its use, and propose a design. In addition, the operating unit or office shall attach one color and one black and white copy of the insignia or logo design in camera-ready paper and electronic (.tif or .jpeg) format.

SECTION 7. EFFECT ON OTHER ORDERS.

This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 201-1, dated April 12, 2001.

Signed by: Secretary of Commerce

Office of Primary Interest:
Office of Administrative Services, Office of Administrative Operations

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

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Page last updated:April 7, 2010