Q&A on the Branding Guidelines

What are these guidelines for?

These guidelines provide an efficient and effective brand framework that will ensure clear signposting of services for patients and employees, as well as maintaining trust in the public health service as a whole. These guidelines provide a clear outline of how the HSE logo is to be used within the HSE itself, and why, when and how it should be reflected in materials produced by new health and social care organisations. The guidelines also give some best practice guidance on steps to be taken when developing a new health and social care brand or logo.

Who do they apply to?

These guidelines are to be used and by all HSE owned and funded organisations:

  • Hospital Groups, CHOs, National Divisions, National Programmes
  • All HSE communications teams
  • Organisations funded under Sections 38 or 39 of the Health Act, 2004 http://health.gov.ie/blog/acts/health-act-2004/
  • Partner Organisations working with the HSE on programmes or marketing campaigns

When are the guidelines to be used?

These guidelines are to be used by all Health Services for correspondence and stationery, for presentations, publications and information leaflets, and when any new or additional communications campaigns or digital assets are being developed. They should also be followed whenever a new brand is being designed. Existing communications, signage or printed materials do not have to be changed to meet these guidelines.   These guidelines are sponsored by the Director General and it is the responsibility of all senior managers in the health service, with the support of their communications managers, to ensure that these guidelines are followed and respected at every relevant touchpoint.

Who can use the HSE Logo?

The HSE logo can be used by all HSE services, and with prior approval from HSE Communications, by third party services or programmes funded by the HSE. This approval can be obtained after review of printed or
emailed copies of any materials, publications, promotions, advertising or other printed materials. This approval will not be unreasonably withheld or delayed. Permission to use the logo is automatically withdrawn when the funding arrangement ceases.

Where should the HSE logo be used?

All HSE services, public health services, new health and social care organisations and national divisions are expected to include the HSE logo in their stationery, signage, publications, websites, advertising and any other element of their brand identities, to ensure that the people in our care experience a clear understanding of being within the public health services, and where relevant, a smooth transition to any new brands or organisation names over time. In addition, the HSE logo should always be displayed in accordance with these guidelines on any printed materials, digital material and publications more than 20% funded by the HSE.

Who can grant permission to use the logo and provided print quality artwork?

Communications teams provide support and advice for HSE services and the wider health system. They can be contacted as follows:

Is there a new HSE brand and logo?

These guidelines, published in September 2017, outline 2 changes. 

  • The HSE logo is now simply the HSE letters, with the longer text removed.  As a very well established brand, this logo can now stand alone without losing meaning or clarity, and the symbol alone with aid its use alongside new and emerging brands in our health service.  This logo should be used in this way on all HSE materials and services, and the guidelines show how it is to be used on stationery, presentations, websites, social media and other materials
  • The symbol for the HSE's Mission - Building a Better Health Service - has been updated. This can now be combined with the HSE Logo, as part of the overall HSE Brand. The HSE Logo & MIssion, which together form the HSE Brand, can be used widely on printed documents, on all marketing communications, websites, and other materials that show who we are, and what we do
  • All printed documents from the HSE, reports, leaflets, brochures, regardless of cover design or colour, must now use the defined HSE Logo for Document Covers. This is to make the HSE's publications more consistent and is important to assist HSE staff across the country working with publications, particularly those with multiple partners and participants.

Email Signatures

A clear email signature is a requirement for all health service staff, to assist service users and colleagues to know your role and your contact details. The email signature should include your name and job title, your address (including Eircode), phone numbers and relevant website address.  The email signature should also include the new HSE Email Signature Logo.  This logo shows the HSE brand, the logo and mission together.  The email signature should be used on all outgoing emails, including forwarded or reply emails. Detail on how to set up an email signature are provided here, and you can get more help from your IT helpdesk.

What about Hospital Groups or CHOs who have or plan to develop their own new identity?

The guidelines provide a set of rules and procedures that should be considered when developing individual brands that exist within a broader network of health service provision.
They are essentially a handover process, with potential for both retrospective implementation for organisations already established, and proactive implementation, supporting the creation of new ones.
While some groups have already started and even completed the process of designing their new identity and building communications using that new identity, these guidelines will ensure retrospective
inclusion of the HSE logo in a way that adds to these communications assets. Those groups who have not yet begun their new identity process will be supported by these guidelines to do that.

Who can I contact for more information?

The development of these brand guidelines is being managed by the HSE communications team with the support of the network of communications professionals across the health services.

If you need further assistance, please contact us:
HSE Communications
Dr Steevens’ Hospital
Dublin 8
Tel 01 635 2180