Comics are mostly forbidden in government publications


According to the 2009 Guidelines for Photography and Illustrations of the Dutch government (PDF, Dutch), the government should not use comics in its publications.

The government wants to communicate in a clear, accessible and unambiguous manner, by introducing a single style guide, and by using only a bare minimum of style elements. This suits the adult image the government wants to project. Within that style there is no room for a wild mixture of symbols, comics and shapes, i.e. frills.


In government publications comics and fantasy characters should not be used.

This style guide is the brain child of Studio Dumbar, the design studio that had already managed to make a name for itself by charging the tax payer 60,000 for telling the government to keep using the same logo. (Not necessarily something I disagree with, sometimes what you have already turns out to work the best.)

The same style guide seems to suggest (in examples rather than words) that you should leave in the watermarks of photo stock agencies.

(Link: Hans Aarsman. Image from the style guide: Rijksoverheid/—see the top left corner.)

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