AmeriCorps Brand Implementation FAQs

1.  May we still use program names?
Yes, programs names are still be used to distinguish AmeriCorps’ different programs. However, under our unified banner of service, we lead with “AmeriCorps” or “AmeriCorps Seniors” when we promote individuals’ opportunities to serve, or organizations’ opportunities to partner; when we talk about the people who serve; or when we talk about organizations being a resource recipient.  For example, we now say:

  • “Join AmeriCorps”, or “Join AmeriCorps Seniors”
  • “I am an AmeriCorps member [in the VISTA program]” or “I am an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer [in the RSVP program]”.  We no longer use the program names to refer to people – for example, we no longer say: “I am a VISTA”, “I am an AmeriCorps VISTA”, nor “I am a Foster Grandparent”, etc.
  • “I am an AmeriCorps grantee [and receive funds through their State and National program]”, or “I am an AmeriCorps Seniors grantee [and receive funds through their RSVP program]”
     

2.  Is AmeriCorps going to provide a version of the logos with each program name?
No, each program will no longer have a separate brand or logo – rather, the programs will utilize the applicable AmeriCorps or AmeriCorps Senior logos as part of a unified banner of service.


3.  Do I need to change the name of my organization or titles of my staff in cases where they reflect a program name?
Programs and program names are not changing.  Therefore, it remains appropriate for an organization to reflect a program name if it has chosen to do so (e.g. Foster Grandparents of Henry County) or a job title to reflect a program name (e.g. Director of the RSVP Program, United Way of Northern Virginia).


4.  Do I have to use certain colors for gear?
Grantees are encouraged to create gear that reflects the blue and gray presented in the brand guidelines; however, it is not required.


5.  How do I distinguish between AmeriCorps the agency and AmeriCorps the programs? 
With our new brand architecture, we should not need to distinguish between our agency and the brand AmeriCorps; AmeriCorps is all of us, and is a brand used for our programs (reminder: “AmeriCorps” itself is not a program name).  We know there are times one will need to use the program names to distinguish the features and benefits of programs – one can say: AmeriCorps is strengthening communities through its VISTA program or through its RSVP program. However, in general we unify the way we talk about the agency and its programs to eliminate previous layers of confusion.


6.  When am I required to comply with the new brand identity requirements? 
The timeline will vary by program award type, and grantees should refer to the requirements and timeline provided at www.americorps.gov/brand-resources to understand when the changes will be effective.  Generally, grantees will be required to comply with the new brand guidelines effective with the issuance of their FY21 Terms & Conditions or Memorandum of Agreement.  However, the brand guidelines referenced in the Terms & Conditions provide that grantees will have until at least October 1, 2021 (and longer for ASN or commission awards) to apply the new logos to materials or gear that are printed.


7.  How can we get merchandise that reflects the new logos? 
Gear reflecting the new logo is now available from the National Service Gear Store, which can be located through americorps.gov/brand-resources.  Additional gear and merchandise options will be added in the months ahead.


8.  May we get access to the “wave” imagery? 
Generally, the wave imagery will be reserved for the materials our agency produces or makes available to grantees.  This allows AmeriCorps to maintain control over its brand identity and avoid confusion about the relationship between AmeriCorps and the organizations who receive our resources.  We would expect that grantee organizations have their own visual identities, and organizations should follow our brand guidelines including co-branding guidelines to communicate and illustrate their relationship to AmeriCorps.

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