March 2022

1. Introduction

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) delivers key elements of the government’s National Space Strategy to inspire and lead the UK in space.

We use our expertise to:
* catalyse investment
* deliver missions and capabilities
* champion space

To build and maintain confidence in our brand, we must be consistent in all aspects of our communications.

Following these guidelines correctly will ensure we present an authoritative, professional and trustworthy brand.

The master logo is red, white and blue, and should primarily be used on a white background.

Black and white versions of the master logo are also available, for use on coloured backgrounds and on images.
The black version of the logo should only be used on light backgrounds, while the white version should only be used on dark backgrounds. Particularly busy backgrounds should be avoided.

Do not alter the logo’s colour, typeface, dimensions or proportions, and do not stretch the logo or remove elements from it. Any changes will undermine the authority and professionalism of our brand.

2.2 Icon

The icon can be used on its own.

As with the logo, do not alter the icon’s colour, dimensions or proportions, and do not stretch the icon or remove elements from it.

2.3 Exclusion zone

The exclusion zone ensures the logo is not compromised by other elements and helps it stand out.

The exclusion zone should be equivalent to the height of the uppercase letters. This is the minimum space that must be left clear between the logo and other graphic elements, text or the edge of the page. Whenever possible, leave more space.

The same exclusion zone applies when the icon is used on its own.

2.4 Logo minimum sizes

Minimum size for print

To make sure the logo is clear and legible, it should never appear smaller than a width of 30mm in print.

Minimum size for digital

The logo should never appear smaller than a width of 70 pixels on-screen.

2.5 Positioning

For maximum impact, the logo should always be used prominently and legibly.

Whenever possible, place the logo in the top-left corner of communications.

2.6 Co-branding

When co-branding communications, the preferred placement for the UKSA logo is at the top of the page, with the partner logos placed in a row at the bottom of the page, as shown here. Please ensure equal spacing and sizing for all partner logos used.

If this is not possible, for example on a web banner, the UKSA logo should be on the left of the page, with the partner logos on the right.

3. Typography

3.1 Primary typeface

Our primary typeface is URW Geometric, which should be used across printed and digital material. Geometric Light should be used for all body text.

This typeface should be given the same respect as other elements of our identity. It should not be condensed, expanded or substituted for another typeface.

3.2 Secondary typeface

Our secondary typeface is Arial, which should be used when URW Geometric is not available, such as with Microsoft Office.

This typeface should be given the same respect as other elements of our identity. It should not be condensed, expanded or substituted for another typeface.

4. Colour palette

4.1 Primary colours

Using consistent colours is key to building a strong and recognisable brand. The primary colour palette is based on red, white and blue, inspired by the union flag.

Use the primary colour palette for all communications with a more serious tone, such as formal reports and corporate stationery. Tints may also be used. The primary colours are:

  • Pantone 7687
    C99 M79 Y13 K1
    R19 G68 B137
    hex 134489

  • Pantone 7426
    C23 M100 Y59 K18
    R168 G22 B63
    hex a8163f

  • Pantone 275
    C100 M100 Y38 K41
    R35 G29 B70
    hex 231d46

  • Pantone 199
    C4 M100 Y75 K1
    R220 G7 B50
    hex dc0732

  • Pantone 291
    C42 M2 Y0 K0
    R157 G213 B245
    hex 9dd5f5

  • Pantone 7416
    C1 M71 Y65 K0
    R234 G103 B82
    hex ea6752

4.2 Secondary colours

An extended secondary colour palette accommodates both formal communications and vibrant creative materials, ensuring our brand makes an impact in all formats.

The colours on the top row should be used with the primary colour palette for materials with a more serious tone.
The colours on the middle row can be used to add vibrancy and energy to materials such as social media posts and events banners.

The colours on the bottom row are RGB screen‑only colours for digital use. They can be used for materials primarily aimed at engaging younger audiences.

Tints may also be used.

The secondary colours are:

  • Pantone 631
    C70 M7 Y20 K0
    R49 G177 B201
    hex 31b1c9

  • Pantone 5605
    C80 M51 Y71 K65
    R33 G55 B43
    hex 21372b

  • Pantone 260
    C68 M97 Y24 K14
    R104 G37 B101
    hex 682565

  • Pantone black 6
    C82 M71 Y59 K75
    R16 G24 B32
    hex 101820

  • Pantone 339
    C80 M0 Y58 K0
    R16 G170 B135
    hex 10aa87

  • Pantone 496
    C0 M28 Y13 K0
    R249 G203 B206
    hex f9cbce

  • Pantone 715
    C0 M53 Y86 K0
    R247 G143 B59
    hex f78f3b

  • Pantone 7439
    C29 M51 Y2 K0
    R182 G137 B185
    hex b689b9

Screen only

  • R134 G232 B236
    hex 86e8ec

  • R118 G231 B201
    hex 76e7c9

  • R252 G112 B208
    hex fc70d0

  • R162 G133 B249
    hex a385f9

4.3 Text contrast

It is important that the background and font combinations meet AAA accessibility standards. This means that certain colours cannot be used for text.

The colours that meet accessibility requirements for text and icons are shown on this page. Only use these colours for headings on a white background.

Black is the primary text colour and can be used on white, lighter colours from the palette and tints of the brand colours. Always check the contrast using a contrast checker such as WebAIM.

White or light coloured text on dark backgrounds must be avoided for accessible PDFs that will be hosted on a government website. White text on a dark background is permitted for limited use on printed materials, presentations and social media if it meets contrast requirements.

5. Graphic elements

5.1 Shapes and patterns

Geometric shapes

Geometric shapes can be used as graphic elements. Additional shapes can be added as needed. Use solid colours or tints from the colour palette.

Geometric patterns

Dynamic geometric patterns inspired by space imagery can be used to form part of a flexible identity system.
Patterns can be cropped within a shape or used as a background. They can be a single brand colour on top of the background, or made up of two brand colours.

Additional patterns can be created as needed. They should consist of a more heavy‑weight line fading into a lighter‑weight line.

Colourful geometric shapes can be used to hold patterns, photography and text.

They can be overlapped and manipulated in a variety of ways, with a white or transparent outline to define shapes. Some examples are shown opposite.

When shapes are sliced or tilted, you may incorporate a 23 degree angle, inspired by the tilt of the Earth on its axis.

Shapes and patterns may also be overlaid on photography.

5.2 Illustrative elements

Additional decorative line graphics inspired by space imagery can be combined with the geometric shapes, patterns and cut-out photography to create a distinctive illustrative style. Colours should be taken from the brand palette.

Further illustrative elements can be added as required, following a similar style.

When creating graphics, consider your audience and subject matter. Keep the illustrative style simple for communications with a more serious tone, using colours from the primary palette.

For more informal communications with a less corporate feel, such as social media or materials targeting a younger audience, use a more vibrant illustrative style combined with colours from the secondary palette.

5.3 Icon style

The UK Space Agency uses minimal outlined icons with areas of solid shading. They are simple and realistic, with a combination of round and sharp edges.

Icons can be outlined in black or in any of the darker brand colours, on a white or light coloured background. They can also be reversed out in white on brand colours that meet accessibility requirements.

The line weight should be consistent between icons and thick enough so they are clear even when scaled down to smaller sizes.

6. Photography

Photography should be UK-specific. Abstract graphical depictions of the UK can be used.

Please make sure you correctly credit images if using an ESA or NASA photograph.

7. Writing style

For the public and stakeholders to trust our brand, they need to understand what we are saying. Our communications must therefore be as clear and consistent as possible.

Following these writing principles ensures your writing style is accessible for all our audiences. You should:

  • use plain English – avoid long or complicated words when shorter, simpler ones are available
  • use short sentences without multiple sub‑clauses – usually no longer than 25 words
  • use active language, not passive language – it is clearer, more direct, and does not disguise who is responsible for the action
  • avoid technical language and jargon

For more information on writing style, see the Government Digital Service Style Guide.

8. Accessibility

Accessible design

The following guidance is offered as best practice. You should follow this advice as far as is practical to ensure that your communications are inclusive and accessible to the widest possible audience.

Typeface and type size

Always use URW Geometric or, if that is not available, Arial. The default type size for all printed material aimed at a general audience is 12pt. This includes text in tables and footnotes. If content is aimed specifically at people with a visual impairment, or older people, you should use a minimum type size of 16pt. Take account of how the size looks (some typefaces appear larger than others at the same point size).

Type style

Avoid italics and excessive use of capital letters in body copy, as these letter forms affect the outline shape of words and are more difficult to read. Avoid underlining as it impedes legibility. This includes web addresses – it is better to highlight them in bold or a different colour.

Reversing out text

Do not reverse out text on photographs or patterned backgrounds. Reverse out text only if the background is plain and provides adequate contrast, and only use medium or bold type that can be read clearly against the background. This is especially important for press advertisements, because newsprint has a tendency to allow ink to bleed into the white area, which affects legibility.

Leading

Allow adequate leading (line spacing). For body copy, add a minimum of 2pt leading to the type point size (e.g. 12pt type should have 14pt leading). Increase the leading for larger type sizes. Lines of text should never touch each other.

Letter spacing

Ensure adequate, even spacing between letters. Letters should never appear to touch. Kerning (adjusting the space between two letters) can cause legibility problems for people with less‑than‑perfect eyesight.

Word spacing and justification

Keep word spacing even. Do not condense or stretch lines of type to fit a particular material. Avoid justified text. Type ranged left with a ragged right margin is easier to read than justified type.

Line length

Avoid very long lines of type. Around 70 characters per line, inclusive of spaces, is acceptable.

Layout

Keep layouts clean and logical – do not allow pages to become too busy. Break text into short paragraphs with adequate space between and around them. Break up longer text with plenty of helpful headings.

Columns

Allow adequate space between columns, and use rules to separate columns if they must be close together. Generally speaking, it is advisable not to use designs with uneven column widths (unless the distinction is very clear).

Text with pictures

Make sure there is a clear area for text when running type over or around illustrations and photos. Where possible, use bold images in preference to indistinct or very busy ones.

Contrast and colour

Contrast between background and type is crucial for legibility: always use dark colours on light backgrounds, or light on dark. A quick way to check contrast is to view or print the design in black and white or greyscale – if the colours are too close in tone, this will be apparent in the similarity of the greys. Remember colour blindness: 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women experience colour deficiency. Different colours that are tonally similar and are used exclusively to define or distinguish information, such as data in charts and graphs, web links or chapter dividers, can make that information illegible or unnavigable for a lot of people.

Paper

Text printed on matte paper is more legible, because glossy surfaces create glare.

Newsprint also does not provide the best quality print.

Although there will be times when printing is necessary, always consider the environmental benefits of electronic publications and use these when possible.

For more information, contact the UK Space Agency communications team at [email protected]

Topics #Best brand #Brand competition #outside brand #Pro branding #Quality branding