Frequently asked questions


How do I download a file?

For a quick download you can click on the HD Downloads button (look for the button underneath the small thumbnail image of the file).

Alternatively if you click on the item's thumbnail image you will go a detail page about the file. Here if you click on the 'downloads' tab below the image, then the 'High res downloads' link.

Lower sized images (for web/PowerPoint)

Some of the images are quite large, so if you want to download a web-friendly lower size image (also good for PowerPoint) on photos you can download a 'comp image'.

To download a comp image of a photo, click on the down pointing arrow icon below the thumbnail, or in detail view right click on the image itself and select 'save to desktop'.

Where is my post's logo?

One of the quickest ways to find anything in the brand library is to use the search box at the top right of every page. For posts each logo has been tagged with the city and country so it appears in a search.

So for example you could add this in to the search - "Washington logo" or "Spain crest".

All the existing post logos are under 'Branding and Stationery kits' (the maroon tab on the menu bar) and are organised into alphabetical sections. Many toolkits include a translated version of the whole toolkit.

How do I make a quick poster/web banner/invitation?

There are DIY templates that you don't need specialist software to use. These include an A4 poster and a web banner template.

The poster and the banner include instructions (on a separate file for the web banner). But the basic rules are:

  1. Choose the colour by scrolling down the page

    (TIP: If you are using an image pick a poster colour that matches or contrasts well with the image)
  2. Write in your text in the text box provided.  

    (TIP: Only use Arial Font, avoid all caps or too much bold.)
  3. Insert your image, by clicking on the icon in the empty chevron.  Don't use images that where you don't know who owns them (i.e. just taken off Google).  And never use clipart or gimmicky photoshopped images.  Use real photographs

    (TIP: If the mage is not showing the part of the image you want you can adjust the crop by selecting FORMAT > CROP TOOL (far left of toolbar in 'Size'). Don't squash or stretch the image).

  4. When you are happy with it right click > send to back.  This will place it in the image chevron.

    (TIP: Make sure you have it in the right position first!).

You can find them here: Home » Galleries » Marketing tools » DIY marketing tools


How do I find an image?

Photos in the image bank are organised into regional areas and subjects. The images here are mostly what would be classed as stock images. Stock images are generic in style. This is good for posters or document covers.

For images of a specific event (for example 'Foreign Secretary visiting Austrialia in 2010) then you would need to go to the FCO Flickr site. These type of news style photos are called 'Editorial' photos.

The Brand Library image bank photos are into relevant folders that shoudl make browsing easy. It may be worth using the search box on the top right if you are looking for something specific.

If you cant find what you are looking for contact


Can I download a smaller version of the image?

The images in the image gallery are at a very high resolution, which also means they have large file sizes.

If you are using them for the web or for a simple poster then you can download a lower resolution version.

Click on the 'Download comp image' button (the button has a downward pointing arrow and is next the the HD downloads button).

Or if you click on the thumbnail image to got to the image detail view you will see a larger version of the image. Right click on the image, then select 'Save As' to save the image to your computer.


Can other departments use our images?

No. Many of these images have been bought under license and should only be used with FCO material.

If you have a query about an image then do contact


How do I search for an item?

Use the search box at the top right of the screen. Most of the items have been tagged so they will be easy to search. Try to avoid terms that could apply to lots of files (like "FCO"). You can add more than one seach criteria (e.g. "Logo Spain embassy").


What does 'lightbox' mean?

A light box is a folder of items you have 'favourited' so you can go back to them later.

You might want to use this to go to files you will regularly use (such as your post logo).

Or if you are working on a project you could use this create a selection of images you'd like to use.


How do I bookmark/favourite something for later?

You can add a file or an image to your lightbox (see above). Click on the 'favourite' button (the one with a heart on it, underneath the file you want to add to your lightbox).

When you want to see your bookmarked files you can click on the 'lightbox' button at the very top right of the screen.


Where can I find out the rules for using the FCO logo/brand?

From the home page you can click on the 'How to use the FCO brand' section.

Their are two sets of brand guidelines available. The full 'Identity Guidelines' and two shorter 'Quickstart' guides.

If you are using the brand for the first time, or what you need is fairly simple and straightforward, then the 'Introduction to the FCO brand' guides maybe the best place to start.

The Quickstart guide can be found here: Home » Galleries » Brand guidelines & information » Quick start guide to brand » Introduction to the FCO Brand

If you need to know something in more detail then the full 'Identity Guidelines' will give you more guidance.

If you want a simple overview of the key brand facts then use the 'Brand at a glance' document. This is a good document to send to someone working with the FCO (for example a designer or printer).


There's a problem, who do I contact?

It's best if you drop your enquiry to


Which is version of the logo should I download?

It really depends on what you are using the logo for.  A logo for the web shouldn't be used for a print document, the quality will be inferior and the colour will not appear as it should. 

On each of the logo pages there is a brief description of different versions of the files and what they should be used for. So do have a quick check to read which version is correct for what you want to use it for.

Also it's worth remembering that you should use the colour version of the FCO logo (blue). The black version is only for documents that will be printed in black and white.

If you are still unsure contact


Can I use the crest without the post text underneath?

Generally the answer is no.  The only exception would be official invitations (where tradition or protocol dictates) the crest can be used on it’s own.

Do remember that the crest does not belong to the FCO, it belongs to the Crown and is given to use to use by permission of the Royal Garter.  The same crest is used by a number of other UK Government departments.

So it only becomes specifically the FCO’s logo when used with the text underneath.  The crest on it’s own could be any other government department.


What colours can I use?

There is a palette of colours for the FCO and you should stick to using those (click here to see the FCO colour palette in the 'Introduction to the FCO Brand').

Generally the FCO crest should only ever appear in FCO corporate blue (Pantone 541) if printing in colour.

If the logo appears on a coloured background then use a white version of the logo. Black should only be used for black & white printing.


What fonts can I use?

We have two sets of fonts. One for designs (such as printed brochures) and one for everyday use (on Firecrest).

The design fonts are to only be used for professionally designed documents and collatoral (such as brochures or leaflets). Basically anything that is public facing. This font is called Frutiger.

You shouldn't use Frutiger on your Firecrest terminal. It's also a licensed font so it should not generally be distributed. If you arent sure what all this means for you then do contact for clarification.

For MS Office documents and every day use (Firecrest) you should use Arial.

Please don't use any other fonts in FCO material.


What's the FCO influencer device/Chevron?

The FCO 'marque of influence' device is a chevron-like shape that we use on posters, banners and document covers. It is always coloured in one of the FCO colours from the branding palette.

At the centre the FCO (or post) logo is placed. We can also add the FCO's web URL at the base. Nothing else should go in the chevron.

The chevron is essentially another way in which we can use clear branding to identify a document as ours. The chevron design also protects the logo so it's clear to see.

There are professional design templates on the brand library that incorporate the influencer device.

If you want to create poster template using the influencer, but don't have access to professional design tools, you can use the 'DIY poster template' in MS PowerPoint.


Can I give a contractor access to the brand library?

Yes, but please contact to let us know first. We will need to know that you can vouch for them, how long they need access for, and what they are going to use the material for. Without this they will not get access.

Once you have let us know this information we will give them time-limited access to the library for the duration of the project.

This may be useful for designers, printers or signage makers that you are employing. This way they can go straight to the professional versions of the files they need.

Do ask them to check the branding guidance first.


Where can I find the GREAT brand material?

All GREAT material are now hosted on a separate library held and run by the Cabinet Office & No.10. You can get access here

I'm afraid you will need to create a new, separate login account as this is a separate library to this one.


Can I use clip-art?

No. Please avoid using clip art in any of your work. You should instead use quality photography (as found in the Image Gallery).

The only time clip art can be used is in part of a PowerPoint presentation, and then only internally. But it must not interfere with the brand (don't use it with the influencer/chevron) and should be used only to add to the slide. Don't use it as a gimmick.

Clip art can look messy and unprofessional. A big part of the brand is maintaining a consistently professional approach to all of our output (even internally).


I have some good photos that I think other staff could use. Can I upload them to the brand library?

Yes, please do. What we need are images that give a flavour of where you work and the job you do. We are particularly short of images of the FCO at work.

The image should be able to tell a story in a single shot. If you want some help then have a look at our photography guide.

The brand library shouldn't replicate the photos on the FCO Flickr site. So photos of specific events (more 'news' type images) should still be uploaded there.

However if the photos include recognisable images of staff then you will need their consent. Contact


Last updated: 12 March 2012