It’s Emblematic, sometimes looks do matter

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Carl Clegg
  • 108th Wing Public Affairs
Imagine your child creates something in art class and, as any proud parent would, you post it to Facebook--Facebook being the new refrigerator and all. Then, a week later you see a viral Facebook image with your child's art making someone else famous and/or rich. Insert expletive here! Right? Or maybe the art gets butchered and looks like a crappy rendition of your child's creation. "Not cool Robert Frost," you say.
Some of the most iconic logos in history got that way because their appearance was so vigilantly protected by their corporations with the aid of U.S. trademark laws. A misappropriated logo could cost a company millions of dollars in lost revenue, that's why they don't waste any time pursuing violators. If you don't have a bevy of highly paid attorneys at the ready, the last thing you want is a trademark incident by even a simple violation of the law. Like Coke and Nike, the Air Force takes ownership of its graphical representation seriously and has a website dedicated to maintaining its integrity: 

We, in the Air Force, have the authority to reproduce official Air Force emblems. However, there are limitations to that ability. We have no right to reproduce them for personal gain simply by virtue of wearing the uniform. Furthermore, we have the responsibility to be faithful to the artwork as its creator or licensor intended. For instance, the Air Force logo cannot be reproduced in pink or any other color in support of an awareness campaign. In fact, the Air Force's trademark website spells out the exact shade of blue required for the logo's reproduction, its Pantone© 287.

Be it a PowerPoint presentation, a banner or a video production, we have the responsibility to make the Air Force look as good as possible. Always use a Portable Network Graphic format, better known as PNG, instead of a Join Photographic Experts Group or JPEG when placing the logo over a colored surface to avoid the white box around the emblem. To help you with this, the Public Affairs shop has placed high resolution PNGs for all the wing's emblems in a folder on the Y drive called "Official Emblems." Please update all of your PowerPoint slides and other graphical products with these images.

Speaking of updating; the Air Force, Air National Guard, et al., update their graphics periodically. For instance, the ANG vertical stabilizer emblem is obsolete and its use should be discontinued. The images in the aforementioned file are the most current available.

You may not care about the details as this article spells them out, but by maintaining the integrity of its graphical representation, the Air Force continues to appear as excellent as it is.

Please contact 108th Public Affairs with any graphics related questions you may have. We may not have all the answers, but we will find the answers for you.