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visual styles

Visual Options

There are always going to be several ways to treat the Smithsonian brand when working with outside sponsors, vendors and donors. The following section provides guidence on how to work around some of the complexities.

Smithsonian-dominant Communications

Smithsonian dominance is when the Smithsonian has the biggest impact on what influences the communications. This is when the Smithsonian is driving the experience or if our resources are most depended upon.

Design Elements

  • Smithsonian logo (full-color option preferred)
  • Partner logo
  • Smithsonian color palette
  • Smithsonian font (Minion Pro)

Design Brand Rules

  • The Smithsonian logo should always be bigger or more prominent than the partner logo.
  • Always follow rules surrounding partner logo usage (e.g., color, background, etc.).

Partner-dominant Communications

Partner dominance is when the partner brand has a larger influence on the communication experience. As a result, the partner brand is featured more, and the design is geared toward their visual system. In those instances, it’s critical that we protect and appropriately display the Smithsonian logo.

Design Elements

  • Smithsonian logo (full-color option preferred on a white background)
  • Partner logo
  • Color

Design Brand Rules

  • Partner logo should be bigger or more prominent than the Smithsonian logo.
  • Don’t change the color of the Smithsonian logo to match the partner’s visual system.
  • Use the single-color Smithsonian logo on colored or textured backgrounds. For example, the layout shown uses the white logo option.

Multi-unit Logo Placement

When displaying multiple units, it can become redundant to show the Smithsonian logo lockup more than once. To solve this visual problem, you can separate the logo.

Design Elements

  • It is preferable to use the full-color horizontal logo on a white background whenever possible.
  • All logos should be the same visual size.
  • All brand logos should be center-aligned along the vertical and horizontal axes.

Design Brand Rules

  • The Smithsonian logo should be more prominent than unit logos.
  • Always keep the Smithsonian logo in Smithsonian-approved brand colors.
  • Don’t show the Smithsonian logo over and over again.