ASU Brand Guide - Elements of the Brand
Elements of the ASU brand

Writing for the ASU brand

The ASU writing style guide is the university’s definitive resource for internal and public-facing communications. Based on The Associated Press Stylebook, this reference provides comprehensive guidelines to promote a strong, consistent voice across all ASU branding. In addition to writing style elements, you will find the latest AP style updates on topical issues including inclusive language, the pandemic, technology and more.

The ASU writing style guidelines are designed to encourage and ensure consistent composition in university communications. Contained in the guidelines are spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting, ASU standardized content (boilerplate) and items frequently looked up in the AP guide.

There are some exceptions to AP Style that accommodate ASU-specific terms and practices.

Designed to be inclusive and useful, these guidelines should serve as a foundation from which your tailored messaging is built. Styles will differ and exceptions will be the rule when news content meets advertising content; common sense, your expertise, and knowledge of the ASU brand and its unique place in the community will all play critical roles in the final outcome of your on-brand product.


The tone for our brand is: ambitious, bold, visionary, inspiring, aspirational, optimistic, determined, future-focused, authoritative, leading the way, strong, active, capable, committed, purposeful, honest. Learn more about the brand and tone.

University print and online communications should conform to these guidelines at all times, with two exceptions:

  • When analytics must be considered.
  • When specialized messaging (e.g., academic work, communication to the media) requires adherence to another specific style, such as APA, Chicago and the ASU Academic Catalog Style Guide.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, follow these steps:

  1. Consult the current edition of The Associated Press Stylebook.
  2. Consult Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition.

To get the latest AP style updates, sign up for the AP Stylebook newsletter at


Writing style elements

  1. ASU standardized text (Boilerplate)
  2. ASU word list
  3. Academic programs and degrees
  4. Abbreviations and acronyms
  5. Addresses
  6. Capitalization
  7. Company names
  8. Days, months, years, seasons, times
  9. Formatting
  10. Inclusion guidelines
  11. Language
  12. Lists
  13. Numerals
  14. Punctuation and symbols
  15. Titles
  16. Sun Devil Athletics spellings and abbreviations