Federal Identity Program

Federal Identity Program

The Federal Identity Program (FIP) is the Canadian government's corporate identity program. The purpose of the FIP is to clearly identify each program and service of the government or the government of Canada in general. Managed by the Treasury Board Secretariat, this program, and the government's communication policy, help to shape the public image of the government. In general, logos – or, in the parlance of the policy, visual identifiers – used by government departments other than those specified in the FIP must be approved by the Treasury Board.

In 1969, the Official Languages Act was established to ensure the equality of English and French in all federal jurisdictions. That same year, a task force found that the Canadian government was conveying a confused image to the populace through a hodge-podge of symbology and typefaces (fonts). In 1970, the FIP was created to standardize a corporate identity for the Canadian government.


The Federal Identity Program covers approximately 160 institutions and over 20,000 facilities across Canada and worldwide. Among the applications are stationery, forms, vehicular markings, signage, advertising, published material, electronic communications, audio-visual productions, expositions, personnel identification, awards, plaques, packaging, buildings, labelling, and identification of equipment.


There are numerous basic components of the Federal Identity Program: the Canada wordmark and two corporate signature types with national symbols and bilingual titles, all of which are rendered consistently.

Canada wordmark

The Canada wordmark is mandatory on virtually all of the applications mentioned above. Established in 1980, the Canada wordmark is essentially a logo for the government of Canada: it consists of the word "Canada" written in a serif font, a modified version of Baskerville, with a Canadian flag over the final 'a'. In a 1999 study commissioned by the federal government, 77% of respondents remembered seeing the Canada wordmark at some point in the past. [ [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/fip-pcim/can_e.asp Treasury Board Secretariat: "Canada" wordmark study] ] Due to the logo's simplicity and pervasiveness as an identifier, it is likely more had seen it and forgotten. Television viewers may be familiar with the logo from seeing it in the credits of Canadian television programs.

Corporate signatures

There exist two basic types of FIP corporate signatures, each having a bilingual title and one of two symbols. The title is rendered in one of three typefaces of the sans serif Helvetica family, selected for its simplicity and modernity.

* One signature variant with the national flag symbol is used to identify all departments, agencies, corporations, commissions, boards, councils, and any other federal body and activity. In such signatures, the flag typically appears to the left of a bilingual title. When the FIP was first implemented, a similar signature without the pale on the flag's 'fly' (right) was used until 1987.
* The other variant with the Arms of Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada is used to identify ministers and their offices, parliamentary secretaries, institutions whose heads report directly to Parliament, and institutions with quasi-judicial functions. When applied within the context of the FIP, the coat of arms is often flanked on each side by an official's or department's bilingual title. Use of the coat of arms, instead of the flag signature, requires authorization by the Governor General as advised by the appropriate minister with agreement of the President of the Treasury Board.


External links

* [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/fip-pcim/index_e.asp Government of Canada Federal Identity Program website]
* [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/fip-pcim/man_pdfs_e.asp Complete FIP manual in PDF format]
* [http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/sipubs/tb_fip/titlesoffedorg1_e.asp Federal Identity Program - Registry of Applied Titles - Titles of Federal Organizations]

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