Open Government Emblem
A few days ago the American Sunlight Foundation launched a logo for ‘Open Government’. The Sunlight Foundation is working to increase government transparency in the US. In March they will launch a big campaign to get more public government information on-line in real time. The tag-line they are using is ‘public = on-line’.
The emblem, a looping arrow, in which you can see both a G for Government as well as a power button, is intended for much wider use however. All the graphics are therefore available for download, and free re-use and adaptation.
With the emblem the Sunlight Foundation wants to strengthen the notion that Open Government is a movement for all who think the relationship between government and their citizens can be improved with respect to transparency, participation and collaboration. For all of us who think government could and should do a better job on our behalf. So, if you work on Open Government, feel free to use this emblem anywhere it is appropiate.

Open Government Emblem, by the Sunlight Foundation, license CC BY

Open Data Emblem
Open Government is not the same as Open Government Data. Open Government is also about transparency of processes and accountability of governance. Open Government Data is more about the free availability and re-usability of any data or information government produces. Open data is an important part of open government, but they are not the same. Open Government is the larger notion, and contains Open Government Data.
Last year James Burke already created an Open Data emblem, as part of our work for the Dutch Ministry for Internal Affairs. It was created so that government departments had an easy way of showing on their website where data can be found and downloaded. This emblem too is available for download and re-use.

Open Data Emblem, by James Burke, public domain

It’s good to see that both James and the Sunlight Foundation independently came up with emblems that aim for simplicity and ease of recognition, and both use clear symbols in black and white. That way they can be recognized at a glance.
I hope you will be using both emblems widely and often for all your open gov and open gov data projects. I already ordered a sticker booklet at so I can go around handing both emblems out.

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