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True colors: Is your pack, troop, or crew website brand-compliant?

brand-id-guideThe color scheme on your troop’s website is red and blue, but is it the right red and blue? Is that the right shade of yellow on your pack page? And what about that Venturing logo you converted to 3D “for effect”?

In other words, are you brand-compliant?

Don’t worry, there’s no “BSA Brand Police” planning to perp walk you in handcuffs if your unit’s website or printed materials don’t match the official specs.

If this all sounds a little like minutiae, it is. But these details are an important part of maintaining the BSA’s iconic brand. And you’re a key player.

So why not do all you can to create a consistent look and feel in all the ways a Scout and his family interact with the organization?

The Boy Scouts of America Brand Identity Guide (pdf) breaks down the basics for you. You can learn the proper and improper ways to use BSA logos, the exact specs on official Scouting colors, and even tips on websites, social media, and photography.

Converting to the official colors can be your first step. Here are the specs: 

Corporate Trademark

  • corporate-trademarkScouting Red
    • Spot Color: Pantone 186
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:100 y:81 k:4
    • Web page: #CE1126
  • Scouting Blue
    • Spot Color: Pantone 294
    • Four-color Process: c:100 m:58 y:0 k:21
    • Web page: #003F87

Cub Scouting

  • cub-scout-logoCub Scout Blue
    • Spot Color: Pantone 294
    • Four-color Process: c:100 m:48 y:0 k:44
    • Web page: #003F87
  • Cub Scout Yellow
    • Spot Color: Pantone 116
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:10 y:100 k:0
    • Web page: #FCD116

Boy Scouting

  • boy-scout-logoYellow
    • Spot Color: Pantone 116
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:20 y:100 k:0
    • Web page: #FFCC00
  • Brown
    • Spot Color: Pantone 463
    • Four-color Process: c:50 m:80 y:100 k:30
    • Web page: #996633
  • Scouting Blue
    • Spot Color: Pantone 294
    • Four-color Process: c:100 m:58 y:0 k:21
    • Web page: #003F87
  • Scouting Red
    • Spot Color: Pantone 186
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:100 y:81 k:4
    • Web page: #CE1126

Venturing

  • venturing-logoVenturing Green
    • Spot Color: Pantone 349
    • Four-color Process: c:100 m:0 y:90 k:40
    • Web page: #006B3F
  • Venturing Yellow
    • Spot Color: Pantone 116
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:10 y:100 k:0
    • Web page: #FCD116

Sea Scouting

  • sea-scout-logoSea Scout Black
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:0 y:0 k:100
    • Web page: #000000
  • Sea Scout Dark Blue
    • Four-color Process: c:100 m:72 y:27 k:33
    • Web page: #003366
  • Sea Scout Dark Brown
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:61 y:100 k:3
    • Web page: #330000
  • Sea Scout Dark Gold
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:33 y:98 k:36
    • Web page: #996600
  • Sea Scout Light Yellow
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:14 y:75 k:3
    • Web page: #FFCC66
  • Sea Scout Light Brown
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:21 y:38 k:34
    • Web page: #B39475
  • Sea Scout Light Blue
    • Four-color Process: c:34 m:17 y:0 k:7
    • Web page: #9AB3D5
  • Sea Scout Dark Yellow
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:25 y:100 k:0
    • Web page: #FFCC00
  • Sea Scout Red
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:100 y:100 k:50
    • Web page: #990000
  • Sea Scout Gold
    • Four-color Process: c:0 m:26 y:98 k:16
    • Web page: #CC9900

Where do I find official logos?

Good question from MT_Momma in the comments. Here’s the page for official Scouting logos, ready to use.

52 Comments on True colors: Is your pack, troop, or crew website brand-compliant?

  1. Thanks, Bryan! Call me a geek (it’s true – I know!), but I do like having the branding guidelines. We deal with this often at work as well and it is nice to know the correct way to represent the brand. Is there a place on Scouting.org to get the official logos so we can start from a clean, full resolution copy? The search engine and menu system are not always the easiest to navigate…

    • texasaggie94 // June 7, 2013 at 11:19 am // Reply

      I can send them to you if you want. I was able to get them from National’s graphics department some time back.

      • I am interested in getting them as well! I have recently joined my Council Communications Committee. I am a Designer and have been making flyers and mailers for the Coucil. Getting clean logos would be awesome!

        • you can also download their logo guidelines from their site, open it up in illustrator (the pdf is illustrator friendly!) and presto, a designer’s best friend.

        • If you download their brand identity (cough http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Brand_Identity.pdf cough) and open it in illustrator, you have every possible logo, and all the cool scouting blue silhouettes at your disposal. All bsa official! Makes designing things at council and troop levels SOOOOOOO much easier!

        • Mind Blown and humbled. I should have thought of that.

      • Thanks for the offer! I think the link that Bryan posted will serve my needs for now.

    • This is where I get all my Scouting logos. They’re big enough for Web use and are always current/official. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Marketing/Downloads/CurrentLogos.aspx

      • Crystal Bowie // July 4, 2013 at 9:09 am // Reply

        Hey Bryan! Is there a place to obtain any of these logos in a FaceBook “cover photo” friendly format?

      • Crystal Bowie // July 4, 2013 at 9:29 am // Reply

        Bryan, is there any place to obtain Facebook “cover photo” friendly logos?

  2. One thing I just noticed while reviewing this was how to identify youth (photos, etc.). The guidelines state: “Safety is paramount within Scouting. When identifying youth members on your website, use first name and last initial only. Don’t provide too
    much identifiable information.”

  3. I believe that the answer lies in the National Council providing a website template for every registered Unit. Since we all need the same basic tools for each Unit, why not provide a template or a hosted solution that gives us unit leaders all a great starting point. When we become Units with 100 members and thousands in our bank accounts that we can think about other options, but since the vast majority of units can’t afford even the basics than this service would be a tremendous help in keeping us “brand” compliant.

    • That’s a great idea, Ray, and something that would be worth considering, if you ask me.

      • Howdy! Here are my thoughts on a BSA template – Utilizing the BSA branding standard is a completely different subject than BSA templates for websites (which leads to T-shirts, trailers, flyers and other collateral.) Providing templates to help the average volunteer is a fine idea but please no mandated DIY templates? For example, mandated website standards that control 100% of the design and functionality of a website would be a morale disaster unless the BSA is providing the same functionality that some of us units have already invested many hours and deep financial resources in. BSA would have to provide FREE hosting and FREE databases with FREE unlimited bandwidth as a minimum requirement to run the latest and greatest websites. Plus, what a bland world it would make if we all had the same exact website for each unit. That’s like having one color neckerchief. As long as a template does not lead to mandatory compliance – go for it! Thank you very much. Have a happy summer! :)

        • On one hand, I agree that it’s very bland when I run across Council and District websites that are all using the same template available to them; on the other hand, I very much appreciate it when I run across some of the truly, truly horrible websites of Councils or Districts that aren’t using the template.

      • We have been on Google Sites as a troop for a number of years now and i have used for at least 6 years, for a district SFF web site, all for free. Templates are nice, but you have to find volunteers in units that have experience in doing web sites.

  4. As a printing professional, I have looked at the BSA brand guide. Most folks don’t have a clue about Pantone or web colors, so they just grab the first image they find that looks right. The BSA used to have a graphics site with vector versions for publishing but it seems to have gone away. It would be nice to have a central image site with proper emblems. Otherwise this issue will never be resolved with proliferation of images on the web.

    You can find some images at the Brand Guide page:
    http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BrandGuide.aspx
    Navigate on the left sidebar for the various emblems. These are just JPGs, but they are decent.enough for web pages and most printing.

  5. just curious. There are many website solutions geared toward Scouting in its various forms. Many of these solutions lock down the look and feel of the overall site. Does BSA work with say Scoutlander to make sure how they present the brand is inline with what BSA is trying to do visually?

  6. scoutingdad // June 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm // Reply

    http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/Marketing/Downloads/CurrentLogos.aspx

  7. Great topic Bryan. I am a Creative Director based in Akron, Ohio. I provide graphic direction, design, and creative problem solving for customers for a living. To those of us in the communications business, brand protection that leads to brand equity is critically important in protecting what some have worked so hard to create. It’s not that we who do design are so in love with what we do, it’s that we understand that we are creating “value” for a product or company (or organization) to survive long after we are all off the planet. So, please pay close attention the BSA brand identity guide. When I offered my services to my son’s troop (full trailer wrap) to capture their chartered “image” and their long standing history….I look hard into the identity guidelines. I wanted to represent the organization properly. Please note if any of you have any questions regarding graphics usage, output, etc., drop me an email: darte@sssnet.com I can help with questions too regarding file prep for large format, offset, digital short run, online, etc., and postscript usage (EPS, TIFF, PDF, JPG). I live in the digital space, so please, all you users with computers and a downloaded BSA logo, please use your “shift” key when sizing the logo. Logo distortion is a no no and will help preserve the integrity of the BSA identity for years to come.

    • Forrest Smith // November 13, 2014 at 11:00 am // Reply

      Where might someone find good graphic files of rank patches or other insignia? Our troop was thinking of using the ranks on a trailer graphic as kind of a ‘trail to Eagle’ idea.

  8. Tim G in MN // June 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm // Reply

    Good info all! Have you ever seen the Smokey Bear usage guideline manual? 17 pages!! – http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5107994.pdf

  9. As stated a few times above, brand identities are almost uncommon to those who aren’t in the design field. BSA’s spells out everything from fonts, proper size of the images, the placement of the logos, colors, and everything in between. You can view the brand identity for BSA here: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Brand_Identity.pdf its 34 pages, however, its not very text weary. Regardless your position, give it a read. It will help when creating those event flyers, brochures, and everything in between!

    • Great thoughts. Thanks!

    • Tim G in MN // June 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm // Reply

      That is a nice manual. Much bigger than Smokey’s!

  10. In our troop we avoid the branding issue altogether. We have our own troop logo, our own troop colors and simply refer to ourselves as “Boy Scout Troop XXX”. In this respect we “do not appear more official” than we are, although we fully comply with BSA website protocols and guidelines. Our chartered organization is comfortable with our choices. If we are supposed to have the BSA emblem somewhere in the mix, I’m sure I could find somewhere to put it.

    • Jim, That’s how our crew rolls as well. I used one of the youths’ best photos as a site background, and kept things very simple. If a youth wants to take charge of reformatting our web presence, this branding guide will be very helpful.

  11. Went from BSA (Unit & District web guy) to Destination Imagination & have had a great time explaining all this branding stuff to our local teams. BSA was ahead of the curve on this. I also push the Team Managers to strongly consider having an assistant or co- Manager for that 2-deep leadership.

  12. Saint Bryan, carry our prayers to National: The downloads are great, but one more could be added–a Microsoft Office theme pre-loaded with the colors and fonts, and with the headings also set up with the correct fonts and colors. That way, no one need trudge into the custom colors menus and set them up, or into the even more arcane/frustrating heading settings. It didn’t take me long to figure out how to do it for myself, but the knowledge didn’t cut down on the time involved which was more than I bargained for.
    I really appreciate that you posted the hex codes for the colors. Bopping all over a chart is also time-consuming.

    • San Bruno Scouter // June 8, 2013 at 4:51 pm // Reply

      For website development the guidelines for the use and presentation of BSA logos and other Trademarks are relevant. But i do no consider these guidelines to be required for the look and feel of Troop websites. The BSA has made it abundantly clear that Troops are independently owned an are not Subsidiaries of BSA. Each Troop implements and runs the BSA on its own. Each Troop is unique from its neighbor, and our website should reflect that independence.

    • Can you share what you found to be the proper Red, Green & Blue vcalues?

      • There’s a pantone to RGB chart here http://goffgrafix.com/pantone-rgb-100.php

  13. I’ll admit: my first instinct was to dismiss this as corporate nit-picking. Then I remembered how upset I felt when I saw certain organizations appropriate all manner of BSA and scouting logos during the membership debate (especially a certain well-organized one based in Florida). The Boy Scouts of America is iconic, and I hope national reminded all the activist groups this spring that they did not have the right to use BSA logos and scouting imagery, no matter their position or how right they thought they were.

  14. There is also a licensing page at BSA for websites and other online media. http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Licensing/FanKits.aspx

    I use a background on my website and I have to post

  15. Bill Sharp // June 11, 2013 at 6:01 am // Reply

    Ahoy Brian. On page 13 (Position and Identity) under Venturing Value, (Emphasis on teens, coed 14-16) Please advise if the age “cutoff” is 16 or is it 21.

  16. thanks for the info – we switched to Word Press in 2011 and have been slowly building capacity with the site… thanks for the color info we’ve done some editing to the template to make the site more in-line with with BSA guildelines….. What about a WP-template for use with wp.org an wp.com sites?

  17. Bryan – thanks for bringing this up. I will say though – most folks don’t care. The reason is that they are more interested in getting the brand in front of people than they are the perfection of the brand.

    Our auction company has the same policies on our logo – if some one uses it incorrectly consistently, we move them to another position on the floor. However, in a volunteer organization where there is no teeth to the branding rules, it is going to be difficult at best to get folks into compliance. Some Troops don’t even use the FDL because of the negative connotations.

    It may be time that the weathered brand gets a revamp.

  18. CAPT Steve Coe // January 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm // Reply

    You have two different sets of four-color process numbers for Pantone 294 (Scouting blue). One is clearly wrong.

    • I tried looking up the specs for Pantone 294, and found a few different CMYK values on the web. But one site did list this:
      Four-color Process: c:100 m:58 y:0 k:21
      which matches what is listed for Scouting Blue under “Corporate Trademark” and “Boy Scouting”. So I would assume that’s the correct CMYK Spec. and the values for Cub Scout Blue should either be slightly different Pantone and RGB values, or they should all be the same.

      The difference between c:100 m:58 y:0 k:21 (Scouting Blue) and c:100 m:48 y:0 k:44 (Cub Scout Blue) is not that great, anyway (i.e. The second one uses slightly less Magenta and a bit more Black.) I doubt if it would be visible to the casual viewer unless they were used right next to each other.

  19. One of our Venturers needs the Red, Green, Blue values for Word. Any ideas as to the correct values?

    • found a site that had the values that look like they match
      yellow 252 R 209 G 22 B
      green 0 R 107 G 63 B

      • Kevin Hollenshead // February 4, 2014 at 4:47 pm // Reply

        The BSA Brand Identity Guide has all the colors for all the logos and programs broken down (CYMK values and HTML hex values). You can find it here: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/310-0231.pdf

      • Those are the correct RGB values for Venturing Green and Yellow.

        The “Web page” values, like #CE1126 for Scouting Red, are the RGB values expressed in Hexidecimal format.

        Here are all the colors listed in Bryan’s post, with their corresponding RGB values in decimal form.

        Cub Scout Blue 0,63,135
        Cub Scout Yellow 252,209,22
        Yellow 255,204,0
        Brown 153,102,51
        Scouting Blue 0,63,135
        Scouting Red 206,17,38
        Venturing Green 0,107,63
        Venturing Yellow 252,209,22
        Sea Scout Black 0,0,0
        Sea Scout Dark Blue 51,102,102
        Sea Scout Dark Brown 51,0,0
        Sea Scout Dark Gold 153,102,0
        Sea Scout Light Yellow 255,204,102
        Sea Scout Light Brown 179,148,117
        Sea Scout Light Blue 154,179,213
        Sea Scout Dark Yellow 255,204,0
        Sea Scout Red 153,0,0

  20. When did Scouts get so full of “Do This” and “Don’t Do That” picky guidelines? The: Boy Scouts of America Brand Identity Guide! Sounds like the BSA lawyers must have been busy.

    “If this all sounds a little like minutiae, it is.”
    You got that right.

    It’s not the BSA I once knew and loved.

    • Bryan Wendell // November 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm // Reply

      You’re free to ignore it. But a lot of webmasters, newsletter-creators and poster-designers have asked for this information. So there it is.

    • Private Pike // November 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm // Reply

      this is the first time I have been moved to respond

      I completely agree with Jake’s sentiment

      this is a volunteer organisation where most people do most things right most of the time

      Ignore your volunteers and their good will at your absolute peril

      • Bryan Wendell // November 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm // Reply

        Private Pike, what do you consider to be ignoring volunteers?

  21. Robert Lawton // November 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm // Reply

    This is good stuff. I worked on a brand-identity project for a global accounting firm years ago, and I know how important this is.

  22. How is making a 3D version of the officially colored logo any different than the monocrome white logo in the picture in the article. Neither are compliant with the colored logo. Both are revisions to the original. Does the brand group have an answer to that?

    • Bryan Wendell // November 13, 2014 at 9:54 am // Reply

      An all-white version is allowed. As is all-black. See here.

  23. all this talk of website protocols. any rules on trailer use outside of using correct colors. We once considered using the light blue action silhouette scene but probably go something more unique.

  24. I understand the want to be a unifying standard for the entire organization but the Scouts is made up of groups of volunteers from different areas each unique in their own way still unified under one goal if you want to standardize everything you might as well just have one web page for every Troop and Pack to use and be done with it. But give us guidelines and examples / samples and let us be creative and unique you’ll be surprised what might come out of some of these.

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