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Army Artwork, Branding and Copyright

Revised instructions on the use of Crown Logos

For many years, the use of Crown designs in the Armed Forces has largely been ignored.

In 2009, the Ministry of Defence made a decision to tighten up on its branding, image, and the use of Crown Copyright designs and started to restrict and license their usage. As a supplier to the Armed Forces for most of our history, we chose to become a licensed supplier and work with the M.O.D. in helping to improve the branding and image of the Armed Forces.

Essentially, if the design has a Crown in it, it is almost certainly going to be subject to Crown Copyright and there are restrictions on its use.

The reasons for this are, as we know only too well, that there are a huge number of variations of each design, each one having been drawn and redrawn over the years, and none of them are very accurate.

If you serve in a Regiment, you may think that the Regimental Crest is yours to do with as you please. Unfortunately, it isn't, no more than if you worked for Coca-Cola and wanted to use their design! You cannot reproduce it without permission of the Copyright Holder, and with payment of
a Royalty (or Copyright) fee.

It may sound a little unfair, but the reality is that the system has been abused for a long time, and is now being brought up to date.

As a Licensed supplier, we pay both a licensing fee to the M.O.D, and pass on all Royalties to them. Our fee allows us access to their database of Official Designs that have been produced ensuring that you get high quality, accurate reproduction, which can be consistently replicated and
therefore enforces your brand identity.

If you do use a product that has a Crown design from an unlicensed supplier and you do not pay a Royalty fee then both yourselves and the suppliers are open to legal action for illegal use.

The M.O.D. now has a specific Licensing department who are systematically targeting illegal use of the designs and there are potentially serious penalties for those caught transgressing.

One additional point is that Royalty Fees are not payable on items without a Crown such as Regimental striped ties OR if lettering is used without a regimental crest.

If you have any queries then do please call us to discuss the situation, or speak to the MoD directly;

Pauline Aquilina - Brand and Licensing Manager
Ministry of Defence
Directorate of Defence Communication
Main Building, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2HB
Telephone: 0300 151 8767