Visual design principles

These visual design principles provide guidance for applying and extending the 18F identity into other communication assets. They serve as a framework for evaluating potential design solutions against our core values and priorities.

18F's visual design principles are intended to be applied to projects that should reflect the 18F brand, not work we do for our partners.

Lead by example

You’re a role model. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t encourage others to copy.

Let the content be the voice

Bring clarity to content through design choices that support meaning and intent. Design a fair, inclusive, and open platform for the many voices that make up 18F.

Start with the expected

Meet expectations before you raise them. Favor solutions from standards. Use common design patterns that establish confidence and trust. Don’t reinvent the wheel, incrementally improve it.

Convince with soundness not loudness

Design with confidence and calmness by being honest and direct. Practice visual design with solid fundamentals, attention to detail, flexibility, and resilience.

Keep questioning

Have opinions, express them, and be open to change. Question the principles — acknowledge their dynamic, iterative nature. Evolve alongside 18F’s people, culture, and core values. Push forward.