NSW Government Brand Framework

The Brand Framework sets the branding principles and categories for all NSW Government agencies, statutory bodies and other government entities.

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The Brand Framework is designed to improve customer experiences with NSW Government services and communications through greater consistency and clarity of branding. 

Who this policy applies to

Agencies, statutory bodies and other government entities are required to follow the NSW Government Brand Framework. It applies to:

  • all government agencies under the Government Sector Employment  Act 2013.
  • statutory and other government bodies including
    • cultural institutions
    • parks and venue trusts
    • independent regulatory bodies with judicial or quasi-judicial functions
    • industry boards
    • professional registration organisations or superannuation and insurance entities
    • other independent bodies.

Principles of the Framework

Brand principles set the direction for branding across the NSW Government to support customer-centric communications. 

  • Recognition - The NSW Government Waratah is the primary brand.
  • Identification - NSW Government communications, services and products are easy for customers to identify.
  • Navigation - NSW Government services and products are easy for customers to navigate and provide a consistent experience.
  • Accountability - NSW Government receives recognition and is accountable for what it funds and delivers.

The NSW Government brand

Under the Brand Framework, the NSW Government is the primary brand.

The Brand Framework encourages consistent use of the NSW Government brand on communications, to make it easier for customers to identify and navigate programs and services.

The NSW Government brand:

  • has high awareness and is viewed positively by communities
  • is mostly associated with quality service, trust, and being customer and future-focused. 

The NSW Government Waratah logo is relevant and meaningful to the people of NSW. There is a sense of pride, ownership and familiarity and it is seen to be a part of the community. 

Brand categories

There are five categories of branding across NSW Government.

All NSW Government communications must follow the requirements of the masterbrand category (NSW Government brand) unless a brand exemption has been granted.

NSW Government logo


Brands in this category provide services, initiatives and support to the people of NSW. A strong visual connection to the NSW Government enables the people of NSW and stakeholders to easily identify NSW Government services, initiatives and activities. 

Examples of brands in this category include NSW Government: 

  • entities 
  • departments
  • agencies 
  • programs
  • campaigns
  • services
  • events
  • projects.
The NSW Government logo sits to the left of a rectangular box enclosing the word '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.

A rectangular box on the left encloses the word 'Endorsed' while the NSW Government logo sits to its right.

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.

The word '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.

A rectangular box encloses the word '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.

Brand exemptions

Where there is a strong customer need, a brand exemption may be granted under the Brand Framework in either the co-brand, endorsed, independent or standalone categories. 

The audience need must be clearly identified and supported with rationale and evidence.  Several factors should be considered when determining the appropriate exemption category including the relationship to NSW Government, commercial imperative, areas of sensitivity and independence.

All branding including existing or new branding, logos or visual devices that does not follow the requirements of the masterbrand category requires a brand exemption in one of the exemption categories. Brand exemptions are not granted for unique visual styles.

Updates to existing or the creation of new branding, logos or visual devices should not commence without prior consultation with the cluster brand team and NSW Government brand team and a formal brand exemption granted. 

How to request a brand exemption

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

Contact your cluster brand team and the NSW Government brand team  prior to the development of any new branding to discuss your brand requirements and  exemption application. You must consult with your cluster brand team and the NSW Government brand team prior to submitting an exemption request.

If a brand exemption is granted

Brand exemptions automatically cease after three years unless an extension has been applied for and granted.

Brands must follow guidance in the NSW Government Visual Identity System for the category they are granted an exemption in including the visual style.

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