Use of the NPS Arrowhead Symbol
For over 50 years, the NPS Arrowhead has helped secure worldwide recognition for the Service and its mission. Five variations of the arrowhead are available.
Restrictions for NPS Arrowhead Use:
Use of the NPS Arrowhead symbol is controlled by law, regulation, and policy. Electronic files of the symbol provided on this website are intended for internal agency use only, for plaques, gifts, awards, business cards, publications, signs, exhibits, conferences and special events, and similar official NPS uses. Other uses require prior approval by the Director. For a full explanation of permissible, conditional, and prohibited uses, please visit Requesting Permission to use the NPS Arrowhead.
For guidelines and examples of appropriate usage please see How to use the Arrowhead (463K).
The most notable example of NPS graphic design is its arrowhead logo. Along with the ranger uniform, the arrowhead is the principal means by which the NPS is identified by the public.
The Special Directive states that:
"Under no circumstances is the Arrowhead symbol to be employed in any manner which would malign or denigrate the NPS or its employees. No reproduction of the symbol is permitted which in any way changes the wording or design elements found therein. The use of the symbol on souvenirs or other items or merchandise presented for sale to the public by private enterprise operating either within or outside of areas of the National Park system will not be authorized. The symbol will not be authorized for use in a manner that would imply endorsement by the Service of a product, service, or enterprise which the Service has no authority to endorse."
Information about the use of the NPS Arrowhead symbol is also included in Director's Order #52A, "Communicating the National Park Service Mission," signed January 31, 2001.
If you do not have a Postscript printer you must use the Non-Postscript arrowhead art to avoid a blurry or pixilated image.
The arrowhead may also appear blurry or pixilated if enlarged beyond the recommended size.
Full-color flat artwork (internal access only)
Use this arrowhead for color print applications and decals that cannot reproduce fine details.
Use for Web pages, PowerPoint slide shows, and audiovisual multimedia applications.
For large signs or banners, use the 1-1/2 inches or taller Postscript artwork.
Full-color shaded artwork (internal access only)
- Use for color print applications than can reproduce fine details
Grayscale flat artwork (internal access only)
- Use for grayscale print applications that cannot reproduce fine details
- Use for large signs or banners
Grayscale shaded artwork (internal access only)
- Use for grayscale print applications that can reproduce fine details
Black and white artwork (internal access only)
- Use for items that will be faxed, photocopied or printed from a low-resolution desktop printer
Frequently Asked Questions about Arrowhead Artwork
If you have questions about arrowhead file formats, Postscript printers or other technical issues, please read our Frequently Asked Questions about Arrowhead Artwork section.
Last updated: December 10, 2019