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Brand exemptions

Any branding used other than the Master brand category requires a formal brand exemption and alignment to one of the Brand Framework exemption categories.


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Brand exemptions 

All branding including existing or new branding, logos or visual devices that does not follow the requirements of the Master brand category requires an exemption. Your cluster brand team and the  NSW Government brand team must be consulted prior to the development of any new branding.

Where a strong customer need is identified and supported by rationale and evidence, a brand may be granted an exemption from the Master brand category. 

Brands that are exempt from the Master brand category are required to follow one of the brand exemption categories:

  • Co-brand
  • Endorsed
  • Independent
  • Stand-alone.

Brands must follow the guidelines and requirements of the category they are granted an exemption in including the visual style. Exemptions are not granted for unique visual styles. 

Exemptions are only granted by the Minister for Digital, Minister for Customer Service and includes a formal process coordinated by the NSW Government brand team. An exemption application requires the support of the relevant Cluster Secretary.

The NSW Government brand team and the cluster brand team must be consulted in the early stages on any planned exemption applications and brand development should not occur until an exemption has been granted. 

Where a brand exemption is granted, it will automatically cease after three years unless an extension has been applied for and granted by the Minister for Digital, Minister for Customer Service. 

During August 2021 to October 2021, the NSW Government brand team will be coordinating exemption requests as all existing brand exemptions are required to transition to the Brand Framework and seek a new exemption under one of the exemption categories.

All final exemption requests exemptions must be submitted by the following key dates:

Details Date due Due to
Batch 1 exemption requests due  8 September 2021 Cluster brand team
Batch 2 exemption requests due  15 October 2021 Cluster brand team

 

If you are considering applying for an exemption, contact the NSW Government brand team and your Cluster brand team to discuss your brand requirements. You must first consult with the NSW Government brand team and your Cluster brand team before submitting an exemption request.

A brand exemption will only be supported if a strong customer need is identified and clear rationale and evidence is provided. Several factors are considered when determining the appropriate exemption category including the relationship to NSW Government, commercial imperative, areas of sensitivity and independence. The below provides a general guide to the types of brands which may fit within each exemption category.

Brand exemption categories

Co-brand

Brands in this category may include those where there is a strong connection with the NSW Government and a requirement for a custom logo. This may be due to strong equity in an existing brand that the NSW Government cannot provide or use of a separate logo under licensing requirements.

The NSW Government is the lead brand, and is most prominent.

  • the NSW Government logo is the primary logo and a custom logo is used in a secondary position. 
  • the NSW Government logo must be placed in the most visible and prominent position
  • the design of communications must follow the NSW Government visual style and associated guidelines.

Endorsed

Brands in this category may include those where there is a need for strong prominence of a custom brand relative to the NSW Government brand. 

This may be due to:

  • strong equity in existing branding and potential high risk if people cannot readily identify the entity or service
  • the brand makes a social or cultural contribution beyond what the NSW Government can provide
  • the strong presence of the NSW Government brand may inhibit the commercial activities of the entity
  • the strong presence of the NSW Government brand may affect engagement with customers. 

The custom logo is the lead brand and is most prominent, with the NSW Government logo used in a secondary position to demonstrate its relationship.

  • a custom logo is the primary logo and the NSW Government logo is used in a secondary position on all communications.
  • a descriptive text statement may be added with the NSW Government logo if appropriate, such as ‘proudly funded by’
  • in social media, a descriptive text statement about the brands relationship to the NSW Government is to be included instead of a logo, the NSW Government logo should be incorporated into cover images where the platform allows.  
  • the design of communications in this category follow a custom visual style.

Independent

Brands in this category may include those where separation is required for legislative, regulatory reasons, or when perceived or actual independence from government is needed including those providing independent advice or recommendations to the NSW Government.

  • independent brands use a consistent text based logo and visual style that has been specifically created for this category within the NSW Government Brand Framework
  • the NSW Government logo is not used.

Standalone

Brands in this category require a high level of distinction from NSW Government as they operate autonomously, e.g. those that operate as a commercial business under a fully user-funded model, or those with a high level of legal distinction from NSW Government.

  • a custom logo and visual style is used.
  • the NSW Government logo is not used.

 

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