Brand guidelines

Logo exceptions

All countries should use the stacked version of the logo, where the words ‘British’ and ‘Council’ are positioned on top of each other. Other versions of the logo, or exceptions, can only be used if they have been approved by the Brand Team. Exceptions are made in situations where the organisation is bound by local law, due to political sensitivity and for tax and status reasons.

UK country versions

There are three UK country versions of the logo, which represent countries that make up the United Kingdom. These are the only approved country versions of the logo. All other countries should use the stacked version of the logo.

These logos may only be used on materials where the content is specific to that particular country. The Welsh logo is the only version which is translated because of the Welsh Language Law that requires all communications and logos to be dual language.

Country logos

Translated logos

The name element of the British Council logo must never be translated into any languages unless it is a local legal requirement. If a translation is required please contact the Brand Team with your rationale as to why you require one and we will discuss the options with you. All translated versions of the logo must be designed and supplied by Brand and Design.

Translating the words ‘British Council’ and attaching them to they symbol element of our logo to try and replicate our logo is against our guidelines, unless there is a legal reason to do so.


Incorrectly translated logo

A translation of our name ‘British Council’ may be displayed underneath our logo, but must be a minimum of one dot away from the bottom of the logo. Brand and Design must design all logo translations and agree how they will be used prior to sign off.


Taiwan translation

If you have a strong rationale for requiring a translation beneath the logo, please contact the Brand team who will advise you. All translated versions of the logo must be designed and supplied by the Brand and Design team.

China has two approved translated versions of the British Council logo. These should only be used on materials for the Chinese market.
Download the logo


Legal exceptions

China exception logo

Tax and status logo exceptions

The British Council is a registered charity which has to abide by UK charity law. The organisation cannot receive money for commercial activity under its charitable status. To allow us to receive money we set up BC Trading International Limited (‘BC Trading’) which is the ‘trading subsidiary’ used by the British Council to work commercially and receive payments for its services. BC Trading is a UK-registered company wholly owned and controlled by the British Council. It enables us to work with and promote other organisations and progress business development.

The name has been registered as ‘BC’ for legal reasons but never appears in visual or written form which would be against our brand guidelines and editorial standards. The name of the organisation should never be abbreviated to ‘BC’.

The BC Trading logo should only be used on the letterhead for BC Trading International Limited. In most circumstances colleagues would normally use the British Council logo, even where BC Trading is the contracting entity. For further advice please contact Kristina Ingate in the Tax and Status team.

trading and Holding logos

Find out more about BC Trading International Limited.

Friends of the British Council USA

Friends of the British Council USA is a non-profit organisation. The Friends is a new organisation that works in partnership with the British Council to promote engagement and support for British Council programmes around the world. Friends of the British Council recently received 501 (c)3 tax exempt status as a US-based charity.

Friends of the USA logo

If you wish to use the ‘Friends of the British Council’ logo in your country, you must first contact the Brand Team for approval.

Anniversary Logos

If an office is celebrating a milestone anniversary and wishes to have a logo created to signify this, the logo must be commissioned through Brand and Design, which will supply the required anniversary logo free of charge. Offices can not create their own anniversary logo or commission one through an external agency.

Materials carrying anniversary logos should only be used for the year of the anniversary itself and must be decommissioned after this time, so care must be taken when deciding what, and how many, materials to produce.

Anniversary logos follow a standard format, as shown here.


Anniversay logos

Bespoke anniversary logos such as these examples are against brand guidelines.


Anniversary unacceptable logos

Department or programme logos

British Council departments or programmes can not use adaptations of the British Council logo to include their department or programme name.

However, there is the occasional exception, when a programme area, requires an adaptation of the logo, such as the ‘Accredited by’ logo.

Any amendments to the British Council logo must be approved and created by the Brand and Design team.

Accredited by the British Council
Accreditation UK is the specialist quality assurance scheme for UK organisations who offer courses in English language to international students. It is managed by the British Council in partnership with English UK, and accredits over 500 providers. ELT (English language teaching) providers that meet the required standards when inspected are ‘accredited by the British Council’ and can use the appropriate version of the Accreditation Scheme marque.

For more information on the Scheme please visit the Accreditation UK website – www.britishcouncil.org/accreditation.

Instructions on use of the accreditation marque can be found on page 41 of the Accreditation UK Handbook.


Accredited by logo

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