GOV.UK Design System
Creative direction for Government Digital Service
2015 — 2019
The GOV.UK visual identity and brand was created iteratively and at pace, minimally documented and mainly communicated informally on mailing lists, GitHub and Slack. As the design language matured and stabilised, and hundreds of teams across government began to use it, standardising, formalising and scaling made sense.
The GOV.UK design system is now used by hundreds of UK government departments, as well as inspiring successful private sector scaleups like Bulb Energy. It was also important from a cultural perspective. While the design system is led out of GDS, digital teams across government can contribute improvements and new ideas, so everyone can benefit from what they’re learning.
Design system team led by Tim Paul, with design from Debs Durojaiye, David House, Joe Lanman, Ignacia Orellana and the rest of the team, based on initial prototypes by Gemma Leigh and contributions by designers across government. Overall design direction from Lou Downe. Visual language and branding designed with additional input from Mia Allers, Laurence Berry, Conor Delahunty, Stephen McCarthy, Christopher Thomas and Sonia Turcotte.