WASHINGTON – The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) marks its 154th anniversary of opening for business today. Since March 4, 1861, GPO has seen many changes as the agency continually adapted to changing technologies. In the ink-on-paper era, this meant moving from hand-set to machine typesetting, from slower to high-speed presses, and from hand to automated bookbinding. While these changes were significant for their time, they pale by comparison with the transformation that accompanied GPO’s adoption of electronic information technologies, which began over 50 years ago with a plan to develop of a new system of computer-based typesetting. By the early 1980’s this system had completely supplanted machine-based hot metal typesetting. By the early 1990’s, the databases generated by GPO’s typesetting system were uploaded to the Internet via the agency’s first Web site, GPO Access, vastly expanding the agency’s information dissemination capabilities. Those functions continue today with GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys, at www.fdsys.gov ) on a more complex and comprehensive scale, which last year registered its one billionth document download.
As a result of these sweeping technology changes, GPO is now fundamentally different from what it was as recently as a generation ago. It is smaller, leaner, and equipped with digital production capabilities that are the bedrock of the information systems relied upon daily by Congress, Federal agencies, and the public to ensure open and transparent Government in the digital era. As GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks has pointed out, GPO is not just for printing anymore. Late last year, Congress and the President recognized GPO’s technology transformation by changing the agency’s name to the Government Publishing Office.
GPO’s new name provides an opportunity to introduce a new, modern logo representative of the 21st century. Based on the Lubalin Graph typeface, the G forms an arrow pointing forward, showing the direction the agency is moving. The arrow points to the P, which stands for publishing and conveys the significance of the communication services GPO provides today. The new logo will be phased in throughout the agency.
“GPO is on the move as a publishing operation. With publishing as our new middle name, GPO is offering a broad range of products and services to Federal agencies, ranging from conventional print to digital apps, ebooks, and bulk data downloads,” said GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks. “In our mission to Keep American Informed, we will continue to adapt to the new technologies that the Government and the public have come to expect from us.”