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New Branding Freshens Up DOD Flagship Website

Sept. 23, 2021 | BY C. Todd Lopez , DOD News

A new Pentagon logo, along with a new color palette and a new set of standard typefaces, now adorns the Defense.gov website. Additionally, changes have been made to the site's navigation to make it easier for readers to find valuable content.

The most visible change to the site is a new Pentagon-shaped logo that sits at the top left of the page. The site has used a highly-stylized Pentagon logo for years, but the new logo for the website includes more detail. Additionally, the typeface for the words "U.S. Department of Defense," has changed as well.

A graphic shows a small pentagon shape and the words "U.S. Department of Defense."
Logo and Typeface
A new logo and typeface has been designed to represent the Defense Department. The logo, which represents the DOD's headquarters, the Pentagon, has more detail than the logo it replaces.
Photo By: DOD
VIRIN: 210923-D-D0439-001

The changes to these design elements are the result of a new DOD branding guide recently published by the department. The guide includes a variety of new "Pentagon" logos with varying levels of detail customized for various use cases, and also provides specifics on how to place the logos into content. Other changes include a new color palette and typeface specifications. The branding guide is expected to affect more than just the department's flagship website, however.

"We'll use this in any online or offline materials where using the DOD seal doesn't make sense," said Andy Oare, the department's director for digital media. "Publicly, you'll see it most prominently on Defense.gov websites, graphics and videos. Within the department, it will be used on memos, presentations and other materials."

The new logo was designed in-house by artists at the Defense Media Activity and was partially inspired by another graphic representation of the DOD headquarters – the Pentagon logo that appears behind the lectern during press briefings.

A blue Pentagon graphic in an oval
New Logo
A new logo has been designed to represent the Defense Department. The logo, which represents the DOD's headquarters, the Pentagon, has more detail than the logo it replaces.
Photo By: DOD
VIRIN: 210923-D-D0439-107
Pentagon Briefing Room seal.
Briefing Room Seal
The Pentagon Press Briefing Room seal as seen March 27, 2020.
Photo By: Lisa Ferdinando, DOD
VIRIN: 200327-D-BN624-2026Y

Such changes must come periodically to keep things fresh, Oare said.

"Branding elements should always be dynamic, always be re-examined," he said. "The old Pentagon logo had been in place for several years, and as an effort to take a look at various branding elements, it made sense to include the logo in our assessment."

Oare said with the new design changes, the department was looking for a more classic and formal feel.

In addition to a changed look, there's also structural changes to the Defense.gov site as well, Oare said. Those changes came after analyzing how users interact with the site and considering what things they look at most often.

An image of a website is shown
Site Nav
The DOD's official website, Defense.gov, is now adorned with a new identifying logo for the Defense Department. The Pentagon symbol at the top-left of the page is more detailed than the logo it replaces. The change is part of a new DOD branding guide that will affect more than just the website.
Photo By: DOD
VIRIN: 210923-D-D0439-105

"One notable change is the emphasis on our Spotlight pages," he said. "Spotlight pages go into detail about a specific initiative or issue, and they do it by displaying information in a variety of mediums. Not everyone likes long articles, and not everyone likes videos – Spotlight pages aim to provide content that cater to consumption preferences."

According to the new branding guide, authorized users may employ the logo, in keeping with brand standards, in all DOD communications across all media platforms. That branding guide can be found at https://www.defense.gov/Brand-Guide/.