BSA Brand Identity
Telling the Scouting Story
Scouts have great stories — how could they not? They visit some of Mother Nature’s greatest creations, go on great adventures, and form lasting friendships. Fortunately for us, cameras are there to capture some of these experiences as they occur, and the resulting adventure-inspired images are able to visually draw viewers into the world of Scouting.
Acceptable photos fall into three categories:
• LIVING: Photos that capture a candid, memorable moment.
• DOING: Photos of active Scouts, physically engaging with the world.
• BEING: Textural images
These photos capture the quiet moment before or after an activity. The images have a story to tell, one that may be obvious, but even better – they leave a little to the imagination, drawing the viewer into the story with questions about the subject and the setting.
Scouting is active, and it can be rare to catch a Scout standing still. These images freeze time, capturing a Scout
in motion at just the right moment.
Textural images can be used to tell a deeper, more multisensory story — the deeply textured end of a log you can almost touch. The smell of freshly oiled leather or fresh rain on a field of hay can be recalled by a deceptively simple image.
Scouting is rich in iconography. Every badge has its own visual meaning: council badges, rank badges, and merit badges are all linked to the look of Scouting, especially Boy Scouting.
It can be tempting to create new icons for digital projects, but with few exceptions, these distract and sometimes create conflict with existing BSA-approved icons.
As a rule, avoid creating original icons. Instead, use approved BSA icons (e.g., the Fleur-de-Lis as an app icon).
You may use universally-recognized third-party social media icons (make sure you comply with the license holder’s terms of service).
You may use icons in the development of mobile apps, but try to leverage icons already created for app developers by software manufacturers, rather than sourcing or creating your own. Reference the mobile apps section in this document for more information.
All photos and videos should have proper, signed releases (official BSA Talent Release form). When capturing images at a crowded event, make it known that any and all attendees may be photographed or recorded and used in BSA promotions and publications. Honor the request of anyone who asks not to be photographed or recorded.
Finding appropriate imagery isn’t always easy, but the search will pay off in a great-looking finished project. Below are a few resources you may find helpful.
BSA Brand Center
The BSA Brand Center has a vast repository of current BSA-owned imagery. Click here to access the Brand Center.
Images are posted to this social media site regularly, and this is a
great source of candid, realistic images of Scouts in action. Before using images for marketing purposes, please contact the BSA Marketing Department at