Tompkins County, N.Y. Government Preferred Brand Guidelines & Style Guide
Reference for County Departments, staff, community partners, media and contractors when using marks associated with the Tompkins County government. These guidelines are suggested to ensure consistency in communications with stakeholders, including members of the public.
*note - this page is a recreation of the Brand Guidelines and Style Guide document formatted to our website. For the official document, download the full PDF version*
The Official Tompkins County Logo is the County Seal as described in the County's Charter. The seal is the primary mark to denote something officially related to the Tompkins County Government organization. It is incumbent upon County departments and employees to present a consistent brand that helps stakeholders contextualize the myriad work of the county government.
The Tompkins County, N.Y. Charter states the following:
The Tompkins County Seal shall consist of an American bald eagle, whose body faces forward with head turned to the eagle's left, with wings widespread and claws outstretched. In the eagle's right claw is a bunch of arrows and in its left an olive branch. Rising above the eagle's head and between its wing tips are three arcs of stars numbering five, seven and eight respectively, for a total of 20 stars representing the number of states in 1817, the year of the founding of Tompkins County. Framing the above eagle, arrows, olive branch and stars is one narrowly spaced smaller concentric circle, and one widely spaced larger concentric circle. In the arc portion between the small circle and the larger circle are 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies. In the arc portion above the eagle, between these same circles are the words, in uppercase lettering, TOMPKINS COUNTY. These words extend from right of the eagle's right wing tip to the left of the eagle's left wing tip.
Using the County Seal as the Organization's Primary Logo:
The County seal may be used in various formats as the County government’s official logo. The seal should be used in primary colors with transparency behind the seal (.png, .eps, or .pdf file formats) and should retain a circular format and not be altered or stretched beyond the circular 1/1 ratio. The seal may be overlaid over an image, used in official letterhead, other graphics and public information materials, on signage, plaques, and markers among other official uses. The primary logo may be used as part of a default logo for a County department or program area (page 4).
Spacing & Layout County Seal as Primary Logo:
The County seal should be well spaced from edges of documents and images or other words or marks placed in its vicinity. The suggested spacing (shown in black to the right) is equal to 1/9 of the size of the seal.
Using this spacing formula ensures legibility as the size of the mark increases or decreases.
The seal should be placed justified to the left or centered on the medium depending on the use case.
Limited / Special Case / Secondary Marks or Logos
More appropriate for internal or special communications
Consider the audience’s familiarity with the limited or secondary mark before use, for example, if someone does not recognize the photo of the painted County Seal from the Legislature Chambers, it may appear unprofessional in a branding context.
County Values Logo
In 2020, Tompkins County adopted an official set of organizational values as portrayed in this secondary logo. An alternate version, featuring a white background and blue outline may be used.
Painted County Seal
This image is a representation of the Official County Seal that may be used in certain special situations.
Website Header Logo
This logo appears on the County's website and in various use cases from ITS, including GIS applications on digital forms and other departments.
County Geographical Outline
A simplified version of the County’s geographical outline may be used in certain contexts, primarily when your audience is familiar with the geography of Tompkins County. This version is slightly abstracted to include Cayuga Lake within the outline of the land for simplicity and reproducability reasons. The edges on the stroke (outline) should be rounded and the stroke should be aligned to center.
Recreations of the County Seal
Avoid using instances of the County Seal that do not use a single primary color and/or that have a solid background beyond the outer circle
Important Text Overlaid on Seal
Avoid using text overlaid on the county seal or other logos. Overlaid text inhibits reproducability and legibility
Avoid using graphics that are outdated and do not follow these brand guidelines.
Do not stretch any logos beyond the designated 1:1 ratio. To stretch and keep the ration, hold the [shift] key and re-size from the corner of the image
This series of fonts are preferred for use when communicating or creating documents from the Tompkins County organization.
This series of fonts are alternates for use when communicating or creating documents from the Tompkins County organization. Noto Sans should be the primary font for text translated into languages other than English.
These colors are primarily used to present the official county seal or on materials such as the county website.
These colors are adapted from the painted County seal in the Legislature chambers.
In the event that a County Department does not have its own logo with other guidelines for use, it is recommended that the department use the following brand guidelines. The suggested guidelines utilize the County Seal paired with the name of the department.
Default Department Logo
These suggested guidelines utilize the County Seal in black and the name of the department in the primary Cooper Medium font. In a case where the department's name is shorter than three lines, it should be centered vertically relative to the seal (seen in two examples below).
Some departments or program areas create and use their own branding outside of these guidelines. Departments should consider the necessity of a separate brand and the audience or client that might respond better to a brand more clearly associated with the work of the department or program. If a department creates its own brand, it should notify the Public Information Officer/Communications Director and the appropriate committee of the Legislature.
All variations should include "Tompkins County" to clearly denote that the mark is of a County government related entity or activity.
All variations should be clearly legible. All variations should be produced in professional design software and with professional help as appropriate. High quality design processes lead to more sustainable and consistent brands.
The development of any brand should include stakeholder involvement. A Brand Guidelines document similar to this one should be developed and published alongside any new brand.
Using Brand Guidelines in Logo Development
Following similar shared principles as laid out above, departments may use the content in this Brand Guidelines document to develop a new brand for their department or a specific program area.
New brands developed using these guidelines should use elements that connect to the core Tompkins County brand or seal, several examples are included below.
A template for letterhead that departments may use to create official documents and communication is available. Departments may download this template and change the text to reflect their department's information. The default tagline that many departments use is "Inclusion through diversity."
High-resolution, professional quality media (specifically photography and video) is a core part of Tompkins County's brand. Because the organization is a decentralized structure, operations, facilities, and cultures vary between departments and buildings. Media helps to capture these facets of the organization and can be a clarification and community engagement tool. Media can also reflect a sense of place and give context to a place or facet of County Operations.
If a department is in need of media services, consider coordinating with the County's Media Production Assistant. They can provide photography and video services that match your needs while adhering to brand guidelines. If you would like to hire your own photographer, please coordinate with the County's Public Information Officer.
Departments are encouraged to share any photography available for public use to the Communications Director for inclusion on the publicly available photography assets database linked below.