EPA Identity and Graphic Standards Guidelines

Born in the wake of elevated concern about environmental pollution, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was established to unify within one government agency a combination of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities in order to protect human health and to safeguard the air, water, and land upon which life depends. From regulating auto emissions to banning the use of DDT; from cleaning up toxic waste to protecting the ozone layer; from increasing recycling to revitalizing inner-city brownfields, EPA’s achievements have resulted in cleaner air, purer water, and better protected land. The current logo for the EPA designed by Steff Geissbuhler seeks to communicate a strong, authoritative and consistent image for the Agency while conveying a commitment to addressing the problems of our environment with efficiency, confidence and concern for the public. The creative approach, thus, was to unify various symbol shapes related to the environment—flower, leaves, water, sun and sky—into a single, cohesive brand identity. Among the key elements of the new brand identity was the adoption of the colloquial acronym EPA as the key element in the design program. The initials have been designed in the most legible and straightforward manner in conjunction with the flower symbol, a carry over from the 60’s “Flower Power” era. The flower was redrawn and, in the process, simplified to be clearer, stronger and, therefore, more memorable. A standard typeface compatible with the EPA initials was adopted and used throughout the program. A color palette consisting of nine individual colors has been designated for the various programs.

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