(Current as of July 25, 2019)


These Social Video Branding Guidelines apply to NPS programs only and do not apply to 360 videos, animated graphics, or animated GIFs. The Guidelines will be impacted by the 2019 PBS Brand Refresh.

Ensuring that users immediately recognize PBS and the producer when viewing videos on social platforms is an important part of keeping our collective brands top of mind. Our visual identity needs to be consistent across platforms and programs, yet ensure that users properly attribute the content source, especially in the crowded space of social media. This style guide ensures that all social video content follows proper PBS branding on all platforms.

Note on Media Manager files

Any social video that will be repurposed for distribution through Media Manager needs to be a second, clean version (without the watermark) in order to have a consistent and clean format across all videos on all PBS and station branded platforms.

Technical Social Video Specs

Social MediaFormat SizeNotes
Facebook and Twitter
  • Square cuts (1080x1080px) are strongly preferred (mobile-optimized format)
  • 16x9 aspect ratio (1920x1080px) versions will still be accepted (only if 1080x1080px versions are impossible to create)

The main PBS social accounts reserves the right not to share social videos that are not square cuts. 

Other Facebook video specs

Other Twitter video specs

  • Only square cuts (1080x1080px)

Maximum Duration: Per platform restrictions, all Instagram video content must have a TRT (total run time) of 60 seconds or less.

Other Instagram video specs 

  • Only 16x9 aspect ratio, 1920x1080px
Other YouTube video specs 

Logos - Watermark/Endcard Inclusion

The section below includes guidelines around approved logo inclusion for watermarks and end cards. Video clips must feature either an approved PBS watermark, or "PBS | Series" co-branded watermark, as well as PBS/Co-branding in the endcard. Only the PBS and series logos outlined below are approved for social video inclusion. Any exceptions to this must be discussed with and approved by PBS before sharing on social platforms.



All clips, previews or extras (ex. series sell, episodic promos, and short-form video) shared on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, must include an approved PBS watermark throughout the entire duration of the video (excluding the endcard). The placement of the watermark in the top left corner is also required. This position was selected because the top-left corner has the least amount of in-platform conflict to ensure maximum visibility.

There are two options for including a watermark:

  1. co-branded (for pre-approved, on-going series)
  2. PBS template watermark (for all other programs).

The watermark requirements do not apply to animated GIFs and animated graphics (even if they are a video file).

Co-branded Watermarks (Approved, Ongoing Series)

Only approved, ongoing series may use a co-branded watermark for social video. co-branded watermarks must be approved and in-line with outlined specs by the PBS team in advance of use. Upon approval, PBS team must have a copy of co-branded watermark for any creative produced in-house by PBS creative services team (i.e. Press Tour filler, series sell, etc).

Only the approved on-going series listed below are eligible for co-branded watermark use:

  • American Masters

  • American Experience

  • Antiques Roadshow

  • Frontline

  • Great Performances

  • Independent Lens

  • Masterpiece

  • Nature

  • NewsHour

  • NOVA

  • POV

  • Washington Week

    Click to expand

    Example of co-branded watermark for a square (1080x1080px) social video

    (Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

    Click to expand

    Example of co-branded watermark for a 16x9 (1920x1080px) social video

    (Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

PBS Template Watermark (All Other Programs)

Producers not included in the above list of approved, on-going series for a co-branded watermark must use the template offered by PBS. The template watermark is available as a .TIFF and .PNG file.

Download PBS Watermark Files

Note on Watermark Implementation

TIP: Please check that the watermark is clearly legible throughout the entirety of the clip (If editing with Adobe Premiere, please use the .png instead of the .tiff file to improve legibility.)

Click to expand

Example of PBS watermark for a square (1080x1080px) social video

(Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

Click to expand

Example of PBS watermark for a 16x9 (1920x1080px) social video

(Example footage is for demonstration purposes only)

Not sure if your watermark is displaying correctly? Reference this video to see how the watermark should appear.


Overview: Endcards are required at the end of any social video. These endcard requirements do not apply to animated GIFs and animated graphics. The appropriate watermark (detailed above) should not appear during the endcard. Animated endcards are preferred, but still graphics may serve as endcards. However, the following elements are required:

  • Series logo and Show logo1

  • PBS logo2

    • For 1080x1080px videos, PBS logo must be at least 168px tall.

    • For 1920x1080px videos, PBS logo must be at least 197px tall.

  • Tune-in info (only required for series sell and episodic promos from common carriage programs)3

  • PBS Video App icon
  • Official hashtag (must be pre-approved by PBS)4

  • Official vanity URL (must be pre-approved by PBS)5

1 If the program is part of a presenting series (ex. Independent Lens, Nature, etc), then both the presenting series logo and show/film logo needs to be in the endcard.

2 The PBS logo in the endcard must be the full PBS logo (with circular shield and wordmark). See example endcards below.  

For evergreening purposes, tune-in information for clips (ex. straight-lifts, interviews, montages, behind-the-scenes, short form video, etc) is optional, and is at the producer's discretion whether or not to include.

4 Hashtags should be styled in title casing to to maximize readability. (ex. Use "#ChildInTimePBS", do not use "#childintimepbs")

5 URLs should always be styled in all lowercase for consistency across programs. (ex. Use "pbs.org/nature", do not use "PBS.org/nature" or "pbs.org/NATURE")

Pre-Approved PBS Logos for Endcards

Download the PBS logo from the Brands website

The elements listed above are also recommended to appear in the order as listed above. The endcard has a recommended :03 TRT (total run time). 

Below are recommended layouts for social endcards. The positioning of the elements are not required. Only the minimum size of the PBS logo (noted in green area) must be met.

Square (1080x1080px) Endcard Layout

16x9 (1920x1080px) Endcard Layout

Download PBS Video App Files


  • If there will not be any voiceover (V.O.) while the endcard is on-screen, producers are not required to maintain the closed captioning "safe zone." However, PBS does strongly recommend that the closed captioning "safe zone" is maintained during the video (unless captions are burned into the video).  
  • PBS requires that all social video have captions per FCC regulations (unless captions are burned into the video). The PBS Facebook account reserves the right not to share social video that does not have captions.

For all questions, please reach out to your program manager.