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Branding Guidelines

Browse the sections below for answers to frequently asked questions related to Feed the Future’s project naming and branding guidelines.

Overview
Feed the Future Naming
Feed the Future Branding
Co-Branding and Co-Marking
Branding and Marking Strategies and Plans
Waivers and Exceptions

Overview

What is the new Agency policy regarding alternate naming, marking and branding for U.S. Presidential Initiatives?

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded projects (programs, activities, etc.) that fall under a Presidential Initiative may, in rare circumstances upon written determination by the USAID Administrator, use additional or substitute logos or seals representing a Presidential Initiative or other high-level interagency federal initiative that requires consistent and uniform naming, marking and branding. This policy is applicable to both acquisition and assistance awards. See USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) Chapter 320.3.4 and the Code of Federal Regulations 2 CFR 700.

What does this new policy do for the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative?

Per ADS 320.3.4, a special determination signed by the USAID Administrator in December 2014 authorized the Feed the Future initiative to issue its own naming, marking and branding guidance for use by USAID and its implementing partners. It is the first (and currently only) Presidential Initiative to receive this exception. Per this determination, USAID contracts, grants and cooperative agreements awarded on or after January 1, 2015, which are funded by the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative must include the Feed the Future logo in addition to USAID’s identity on communication products.

Feed the Future projects must also adhere to specific project naming standards that include “Feed the Future” in their titles, among other considerations. It’s important for USAID activity managers and partners to familiarize themselves with the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for more detailed guidance.

To which mechanisms do these new guidelines apply?

The new Feed the Future naming, marking and branding guidance applies to USAID acquisition and assistance awards for which Feed the Future funds constitute over 50% of the total estimated cost, including:

1. Awards issued on or after January 1, 2015, to include task orders and associate awards;

and

2. Modifications to existing awards, which require a justification to restrict eligibility (JRE) or a justification and approval (J&A) and which, standing alone, or for successive JREs or J&As, cumulatively extend the period of performance by one or more years from the original end date.

Any project or program issued prior to January 1, 2015, may also adopt the new naming, marking and branding guidelines at the discretion of the cognizant technical office. Feed the Future projects funded by or through other U.S. federal agencies are encouraged to develop naming, marking and branding that is consistent with theFeed the Future guidance managed by USAID.

Do the guidelines apply to USAID projects funded under Feed the Future that operate outside of Feed the Future focus countries?

There will generally not be many cases where a Feed the Future-funded activity is operating in a country other than a focus or aligned country. However, if such a situation does occur, the AOR/COR should consult with the Feed the Future team to determine applicability. The team can be reached at feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov.

When are the new guidelines effective?

The Feed the Future standards apply to all new awards made on or after January 1, 2015, including task orders, associate awards and modifications to existing awards (as noted in the question above) that include funding and extend the project by a year or more beyond its original end date.

What do these new guidelines mean for my award(s) with USAID?

The impact of the new requirements will vary depending on whether your USAID-financed project utilizes Feed the Future funding, whether it is a new or previously existing award, and the level of Feed the Future funding your project receives. Affected awards will require a branding/marking plan that complies with the Feed the Future guidelines, possibly through a modification/amendment. Please consult with your AOR/COR to determine how the new requirements apply to your award. In general, affected awards will need to start including Feed the Future branding on communications products and use a project name that complies with the Feed the Future project naming guidelines.

Where can I find specific guidance and logos for Feed the Future?

The Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual provides the guidelines for project naming, marking and branding. You can download this document along with logo files and additional branding resources on the Feed the Future website.

Why create separate branding for Presidential Initiatives like Feed the Future?

Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, led by USAID in coordination with 10 additional U.S. Government departments and agencies. Unique and consistent branding for Feed the Future helps elevate its status as a Presidential Initiative and strengthens its “whole-of-government” identity. The Feed the Future initiative has developed branding and naming standards to promote common elements across Feed the Future materials, regardless of location, audience and participating federal agency. By adhering to the new requirements, you are better aligning your project and organization with the U.S. Government’s worldwide mission, carried out through Feed the Future, to reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.

How does this complement and bolster USAID’s branding?

USAID holds a unique place as the United States’ premier global development agency. As such, multiple Presidential administrations have entrusted USAID with coordinating and implementing high-priority, interagency programs, including government initiatives like Feed the Future. Feed the Future branding and naming standards help USAID showcase its interagency and thought leadership as the lead agency for high-profile Presidential Initiatives like Feed the Future.

My award pre-dates these new requirements (it was issued prior to January 1, 2015). Can my project still use the Feed the Future logo if we elect to do so?

Yes. Any USAID project that receives Feed the Future funding may elect to use Feed the Future naming and branding moving forward, at the discretion of the COR/AOR. In the meantime, please ensure you are complying with USAID guidelines and your current branding and marking plan. You can discuss changes to that plan to incorporate Feed the Future branding with your AOR or COR.

What if I have a question or my case needs specific review?

Please consult your CO/AO or COR/AOR for further information and to discuss details. The Feed the Future Branding Team can also be consulted via feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov.

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Feed the Future Naming

What are the new naming guidelines for Feedthe Future projects?

Projects that USAID funds through acquisition and assistance awards under the Feed the Future initiative must include “Feed the Future” in the title, the country or region where the project focuses (if applicable), and a concise description of the project’s goal or core activity.

The general naming convention is: Feed the Future + [Country or Region/”Global”] + [Concise Description of Project Goal or Core Activity] + Project/Activity/Program. For example: Feed the Future Kenya Coffee Bean Improvement Project. In accordance with the USAID ADS and Feed the Future naming guidelines, project names may not include acronyms or partner names. Full details are in the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual.

How do I know if the guidelines apply to my project?

The new Feed the Future naming, marking and branding guidance applies to USAID acquisition and assistance awards for which Feed the Future funds constitute over 50% of the total estimated cost, including:

1. Awards issued on or after January 1, 2015, to include task orders and associate awards;

and

2. Modifications to existing awards, which require a justification to restrict eligibility (JRE) or a justification and approval (J&A) and which, standing alone, or for successive JREs or J&As, cumulatively extend the period of performance by one or more years from the original end date.

Any project or program issued prior to January 1, 2015, may also adopt the new naming, marking and branding guidelines at the discretion of the cognizant technical office. Feed the Future projects funded by or through other U.S. federal agencies are encouraged to develop naming, marking and branding that is consistent with the Feed the Future guidance managed by USAID.

Who will provide guidance and clearance on an appropriate project name?

The COR/AOR and CO/AO are responsible for including a project name that follows Feed the Future project naming criteria as early as the award solicitation stage. CORs/AORs and COs/AOs must consult with the Feed the Future branding team via feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov to determine whether a proposed project name is appropriate.

The general naming convention includes: Feed the Future + [Country or Region/”Global”] + [Concise Description of Project Goal or Core Activity] + Project/Activity/Program. See pages 8-11 of the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for additional project naming guidance.

I’m familiar with USAID project naming guidelines, but not these. What’s different?

Feed the Future project naming guidelines require the inclusion of “Feed the Future” in project names instead of “USAID.” They also note that names must be specific, descriptive and concise. Feed the Future project names must not use acronyms. For more details and examples, view the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual.

What if a project operates in more than one country or region? How do I name it correctly?

If the project is global in nature or if it works in several countries or regions, the project name may either omit the country or region, or include the word “global.”

Do I have to use the full project name in every reference, including written materials?

Any written product that will be seen by external audiences (including email communications) should spell out theentire project name, including “Feed the Future,” at least upon first use in the product. After its first use in an external communication, the author should use his/her judgment about omitting “Feed the Future” in subsequent references within the same product. Project signage and the title of any written document MUST incorporate the full project name.

One exception includes signs or other products in which the project name is placed immediately below the Feed the Future logo. In this case, you may omit the “Feed the Future” part of the official name, because “Feed the Future” appears just above it within the logo. See page 33 of the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for an example.

What if a project already has an established name, particularly one with strong brand recognition?

The new Feed the Future naming, marking and branding guidance only applies to USAID acquisition and assistance awards for which Feed the Future funds constitute over 50% of the total estimated cost, and that are issued on or after January 1, 2015 (see above).

If your project is receiving a modification which requires a justification to restrict eligibility (JRE) or a justification and approval (J&A) and an extension of one or more years from the original end date, you will be required to adopt a new project name that adheres to the Feed the Future project naming criteria. It may be possible to include a portion of your previous project name to help promote its recognition among target audiences. Please work with your COR/AOR and the Feed the Future branding team to formulate the new name.

What if my USAID Mission or office buys in to a Feed the Future project but our work isn’t related?

Some projects will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This is a good example of an instance when further review may be needed. Consult your COR/AOR for more information.

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Feed the Future Branding

What is the Feed the Future logo?

The Feed the Future logo consists of the U.S. Government seal, Feed the Future text treatment (“Feed the Future”), and tagline (“The U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative”). Together these three elements compose the Feed the Future logo. The Feed the Future logo may be used in horizontal or vertical format in white, black, Feed the Future blue, or Feed the Future green. In most cases, this logo will appear in blue in the horizontal format, or in white over a Feed the Future blue background. In addition to the logo, Feed the Future’s brand identity also includes specific colors, fonts and ways of talking about the initiative. For details, view the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual

When is my organization required to use the Feed the Future logo and branding under a specific award?

Affected solicitations/awards will include a requirement for a branding strategy or Branding Implementation Plan (BIP) that complies with Feed the Future guidelines. The Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual includes detailed guidance on various uses of the Feed the Future logo. Generally, a project must include the Feed the Future logo and branding on communication and program materials, from fact sheets and reports to signs and websites, in the top left corner. Projects and USAID Missions must use the Feed the Future logo to ensure host-country citizens, aid beneficiaries, and the American public understand that the United States is providing the assistance.Partners should NOT use the Feed the Future logo on communications that are strictly administrative.

Will the Feed the Future logo ever need translation?

USAID has provided a version of the Feed the Future logo with the tagline (“The U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative”) translated into several languages. Please check the Feed the Future website for downloadable logo files. If you do not see a translation that would be useful for your project or program, you may request it at feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov

Translation may also apply to project naming. Consult with your COR/AOR to determine if and how the project name can be translated.

What are the guidelines for using the Feed the Future logo?

The Feed the Future logo has two formats: vertical and horizontal. It must be always be clear and legible, so there are guidelines regarding minimum width, spacing around the logo, and color variations and combinations. You can find these guidelines in the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual along with guidance on placement and co-branding. Please keep in mind that the Feed the Future logo is an official U.S. Government symbol and any alteration, distortion, re-creation, translation or misuse is strictly prohibited.

When is the Feed the Future logo larger or more prominent than other brands?

In most cases, you’ll place the Feed the Future logo prominently at the top left corner of a product. This applies to USAID acquisition awards (contracts), where you would then also place the USAID identity in the lower left corner of the page. For USAID assistance awards (grants and cooperative agreements), you’ll place the USAID identity in the lower left corner of the page and other partner institutional logos will appear to the right of the USAID identity, with the Feed the Future identity appearing most prominently in the top left corner.

What happens to other U.S. Government agency logos?

Where appropriate and permissible by individual agencies and departments, U.S. Government entities participating in the Feed the Future initiative may choose to co-brand their products with Feed the Future’s logo. Visit the “interagency branding guidance” section of the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for details.

Can I use the Feed the Future identity for my project’s social media account profile picture?

No. However, you may use it in cover photos/banner images as long as it adheres to usage standards. A social media branding guide with information and recommendations is forthcoming.

Do you have a template or other type of guide for branding Feed the Future project websites?

Please see pages 28 and 42 of the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for guidance related to the design of project websites. Note that all USAID-funded websites must be approved by the USAID Website Governance Board prior to development. Once approved, you may consult with the Feed the Future branding team for design approvals.

Can a project use colors other than the Feed the Future branded colors in communications products, such as infographics and illustration artwork?

Yes, but all products should be based around the Feed the Future color palette and complimentary colors as much as possible. Note that the white Feed the Future logo should ONLY be placed on top of one of the approved Feed the Future colors, while the color logo may only be used against a white background.

Do the Feed the Future branding requirements apply if an organization is creating a project web page within a pre-existing website?

If a project plans to create a page within an existing website (say, for example, the implementer’s main website), its production does not need to be approved in advance by the USAID Website Governance Board. However, the design of the page should adhere to Feed the Future guidance as much as the parent website parameters will allow. Please consult with the Feed the Future branding team for feedback on design (feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov).

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Co-Branding and Co-Marking

What is co-branding and co-marking?

Co-branding and co-marking mean that a program’s branding represents Feed the Future, USAID and, in certain cases, partner institutional logos on communication products related to a USAID-funded Feed the Future project. If a project is funded by USAID under an assistance award (grants and cooperative agreements), partner organizations may include their institutional logos in communications products in addition to Feed the Future and USAID’s logo. The Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual has further guidance on co-branding and co-marking.

Does co-branding apply to my project?

If your project is funded by USAID as part of the Feed the Future initiative under an assistance award, then co-branding with partners’ institutional logos may apply.

What about acquisition awards?

When a project is funded by USAID under an acquisition award as part of the Feed the Future initiative, partner organizations may not include their institutional logos on communication products related to the project. Communication products for acquisition awards will generally include two identities: Feed the Future’s logo in the top left corner and USAID’s in the lower left corner. Other U.S. federal agencies contributing to the Feed the Future initiative may choose to brand their products in this manner as well.

How do I co-brand an assistance award?

When a project is funded by USAID under an assistance award as part of the Feed the Future initiative, the Feed the Future and USAID logos must be included and partners may include their own institutional logo(s) as well. Other U.S. federal agencies contributing to the Feed the Future initiative may choose to co-brand their products in this manner as well. In most cases the Feed the Future logo should retain the greatest prominence, with USAID and partner institutional logos receiving equal treatment in visibility and prominence after Feed the Future. See USAID ADS 320.3.3.1 and the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for more details.

Will Feed the Future ever require greater prominence?

Yes, in most cases the Feed the Future identity will receive the most prominent placement in a communication product.

Where should Mission-specific logos (USAID country sub-brands) be placed?

If a USAID Mission wishes to brand using its approved country sub-brand, it should place the official sub-brand logo to the lower left of a document, where the USAID logo would go in our sample products and templates.

What if the project is jointly funded and Feed the Future is only putting in part of the funding?

The Feed the Future branding team at USAID will consider jointly funded project branding on a case-by-case basis to determine what makes the most sense. Consult with your project’s COR/AOR for more information.

What about projects co-funded and/or implemented by other U.S. federal agencies and host-country governments?

USAID’s policy is that programs, projects, activities, public communications or commodities implemented or delivered in cooperation with other U.S. federal agencies or other donors are co-branded and co-marked. In cases where USAID is providing funding under the Feed the Future initiative, Feed the Future co-branding and co-marking may apply. Contact your COR/AOR and feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov for questions regarding specific cases.

What about projects co-funded by international organizations like the World Bank and World Food Program? 

International organizations (what the USAID ADS refers to as “public international organizations” or “PIOs”) such as the World Food Program and United Nations agencies are generally exempt from Feed the Future branding requirements, as these organizations are typically multi-donor funded. However, Feed the Future branding and marking does apply if PIOs are competing with NGOs for grants, if Feed the Future is the sole donor (through USAID), or if other bilateral organizations will include their logo(s) on project materials.

What about Feed the Future-funded projects that also contribute to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition?

Feed the Future is developing further guidance for projects that contribute to the New Alliance. Please Contact your COR/AOR and feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov for questions regarding specific cases.

Do the Feed the Future naming and branding guidelines apply to trilateral cooperation projects, such as those with India or Brazil?

The Feed the Future naming and branding guidelines apply to any project or program that is 50% or more Feed the Future funded and that is issued on or after January 1, 2015, in addition to extensions of a year or more meeting the criteria listed above. If a question arises about the application of the guidelines to a specific project or program, please contact the Feed the Future branding team at feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov.

What must be co-branded?

Projects funded under USAID assistance awards (grants and cooperative agreements) must co-brand their project’s communication products with the Feed the Future logo, USAID logo and, when applicable, partnering institutional logo(s). Co-branded products include print and web-based materials such as fact sheets and reports, PowerPoint presentations, videos and websites. Administrative materials (such as those used in renting office space or hiring personnel) do not require co-branding, but rather should use only the partnering organization’s identity. Business cards are considered administrative materials.

Do the guidelines apply to sub-awards?

Yes. As specified in USAID policy (ADS 320), contractors and subcontractors under acquisition awards may not use their corporate identities or logos on USAID-funded program materials, including Feed the Future-branded ones (which will follow Feed the Future branding guidance for acquisition awards), except in extraordinary circumstances where an exception has been approved. For assistance award recipients and subrecipients, the Feed the Future branding guidelines for assistance awards apply. View the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for details.

Where should sub-award organizations’ logos be placed in communication materials preparedunder an assistance award?

Sub-award institutional logos should be placed to the right of or, where design requires, underneath the USAID logo and the prime implementer logo. The USAID logo should be placed in the lower left, with Feed the Future in the upper left. Note that USAID and Feed the Future branding “flow down” to sub-awards.

What happens when other U.S. federal agencies are involved?

Where appropriate and permissible by individual agencies and departments, U.S. Government entities participating in the Feed the Future initiative may choose to co-brand their products. Visit the “interagency branding guidance” section of the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for details.

If a Feed the Future project leverages private sector funding in addition to USAID funding, do the same naming and branding guidelines apply?

Such projects should be considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on the relative levels of funding and other factors. AORs should contact the Feed the Future branding team at feedthefuturebranding@usaid.gov to discuss in further detail.

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Branding and Marking Strategies and Plans

What is a branding strategy and marking plan?

A branding strategy and marking plan outlines how an organization receiving USAID funding to implement a project will name, communicate and promote the project (“branding”) as well as showcase the USAID (and/or Presidential Initiative) logo in project materials (“marking”). The plan will also identify any proposed exceptions. USAID has a detailed overview of separate, and different, branding policies and marking requirements for acquisition and assistance awards on its branding website, at ADS 320, and answers to frequently asked questions regarding both award mechanisms.

Do I need a branding strategy for Feed the Future projects?

Yes. A branding strategy notes how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering project messages. Projects receiving USAID funding as part of the Feed the Future initiative will need to include Feed the Future in their branding strategies, including how they will name and promote their project in accordance with Feed the Future standards documented in the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual.

Do Feed the Future projects have additional and/or separate guidance for branding and marking?

Yes. Projects receiving USAID funding as part of the Feed the Future initiative must include Feed the Future in their branding strategies and marking plans, including how they will name and promote their project in accordance with Feed the Future standards documented in the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual.

How does this differ from USAID’s branding and marking strategy?

If a project is funded by USAID as part of the Feed the Future initiative, Feed the Future’s branding guidance will supersede USAID’s. Be sure to consult the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual for detailed information to help build the branding strategy and marking plan.

What is the preferred Feed the Future tagline?

Feed the Future’s branded tagline is “The U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.”

Should we stop using USAID’s “from the American people” tagline in radio or television broadcasts?

Per USAID ADS 320.3.2.4.d, you should continue to use the words “from the American people” for any television or radio broadcasts. However, if the broadcast is Feed the Future-funded, you should add “made possible by USAID: From the American people, as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.”

If a project adjusted its branding and marking plan prior to January 1, 2015, to account for Feed the Future branding and marking guidelines, does it need to change it again?

If the award was issued prior to January 1, 2015, the project/program should continue to follow its current branding and marking plan, unless and until it is extended for a year or more, with funding, at which point it must adopt the updated Feed the Future naming and branding guidelines.

What happens to a project’s existing branding and marking plan if it receives a cost extension of a year or more?

If the project is 50% or more Feed the Future-funded, it will need to re-name and re-brand following the guidelines outlined in the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual.

Will Feed the Future provide templates for communication materials?

Yes. You can download templates for Feed the Future-branded fact sheets and PowerPoint slides on the Feed the Future website at https://feedthefuture.gov/branding. At this time, we do not offer templates for other materials, such as project signs and event banners. Logo placement for these materials should follow the guidelines in the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual: Feed the Future logo in the upper left, USAID logo in the lower left, and (if applicable) other partner organization logos to the right of the USAID logo.

Will Feed the Future provide stickers for marking various project-purchased items? Will they include Feed the Future and USAID logos?

No. Feed the Future does not currently have plans to create and distribute stickers. We expect partners to include such products in their branding and marking plans. For office/lab equipment (such as computers and printers), partners should continue to mark with USAID stickers only, as required. Vehicles, signage, and any other material should be marked with the Feed the Future and USAID logos, following the placement guidelines set forth in the Feed the Future Graphic and Naming Standards Manual, as well as in the branding and marking plan templates available to CORs/AORs.

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Waivers and Exceptions

What if marking poses a security risk?

The USAID rules and processes that govern marking waivers apply to Feed the Future-funded projects as well. Please refer to the USAID branding guidancefor details and frequently asked questions.

What’s the difference between a waiver and an exception?

Waivers are circumstantial, not programmatic, and are approved in response to adverse circumstances that affect implementation. Exceptions on the other hand are programmatic, not circumstantial, and are usually approved pre-award.

How do I apply for an exception or waiver?

Visit USAID’s branding hub for information on applying for a waiver. For exceptions, you will need to note any proposed exceptions to the Feed the Future naming, marking and branding guidance in your award’s branding and marking plan.

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Visit Feed the Future’s branding hub for more information and resources.