You appear to be using an unsupported browser, and it may not be able to display this site properly. You may wish to upgrade your browser.


Adapting the Design System to your brand.

There are many benefits to using the Design System, including creating a consistent style for government services. 

If you’re a Scottish Government directorate, you’re expected to use the defined typography, colours and prototyping kits without adaptations. 

However, some organisations can change the styling to express a brand identity. 

Organisations that can change the styling 

You can either use the Design System’s default styling or make changes to express your brand identity if you’re: 

  • a Scottish Government campaign with an approved sub-brand with a colour scheme different from Scottish Government brand blue 
  • an organisation in the Technology Assurance Framework – check the Technology Assurance Framework on 
  • another Scottish public sector body 

For example, the following organisations have adapted the Design System to their brand: 

If you’re not a Scottish public body, you must use your own branding with the Design System. Check the National Public Bodies directory on This is so that users do not mistake your service for a government service. 

If you do not have an established brand 

Logos and colour palettes must be created and maintained by designers so they’re accessible and used consistently across a service.  

Creating a brand can add extra costs for your project or campaign. It’s likely to be cheaper and quicker to use the default Design System styling.  

User research can tell you if there’s a user need for a new brand.  

How you can adapt the styling  

You can express the brand identity of your organisation or campaign through: 

  • colour 
  • logos 
  • typography 
  • images 

Make sure the changes do not affect the performance, accessibility, interaction or measurability of the components and patterns.  


The Design System components and patterns have default colours. You can change the colours to match your brand.  

You must make sure that your colour palette and how you use it is accessible.  

Find out about adapting the colour palette and colour contrast for accessibility


You can put your organisational or campaign logo in the site header

The site header supports one logo, so you should use your primary brand logo. 

You can put one secondary logo in the site footer.  

There should be a user need for each logo you add.  

Using the Scottish Government logo  

You may want to use the Scottish Government logo if your service is provided directly by, or in partnership with, the Scottish Government.  

User research has shown that the Scottish Government logo encourages users’ trust in a service. 

You must get permission to use the Scottish Government logo. Email for advice on using the Scottish Government logo.  

Find out more about using the Scottish Government logo on Saltire (Scottish Government employees only).


You can use a different font with the Design System, although we recommend using the default font.  

Find out more about designing services using a different font.  


You can use images to express a brand identity with the Design System. For example, in navigational pages or a feature header.  

Find out more about using images.  

Back to top