Skip to main content
Brand Guide Banner Elements of the Brand
Elements of the ASU brand

Formatting

This section provides guidelines for common grammar and punctuation topics.

Bold

Use sparingly.

Bulleted lists

See Lists.

Compound adjectives

Hyphenate most compound adjectives, except when the leading word ends with -ly.

See Punctuation and symbols, Word list.

Dates

See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

Days

See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

Email address

In text, all lowercase: joan.smythe@asu.edu (Email programs do not distinguish between upper- and lowercase, so there is no need to confuse the reader with them.)

Avoid splitting email addresses between two lines.

Do not capitalize or hyphenate email. See Word list

Email signature

Use the standardized ASU email signature in your correspondence, maintaining its professional appearance by not personalizing or altering it. Out of courtesy to your readers, don't add graphics to your signature, as these appear to smartphone users as attachments that must be downloaded. Use ASU's official signature generator to achieve a standard signature.

General Studies

Place the abbreviation for a General Studies requirement between the course name or title and the credit hours.

Use a comma and spacing as shown: SOC 101 Introductory Sociology, SB (3)


Headlines

Make them short and powerful.

Capitalize the first word and proper nouns.

Use figures for all numbers, including those less than 10.

Do not use punctuation, even at the end of a sentence, unless needed for clarity.

If quotation marks are needed, use single marks.

Do not use periods in abbreviations unless needed for clarity.

  • Beta blockers may halt cancer
  • BT suffers huge broadband failure
  • Facebook adds phishing safety net
  • Wall St protests gain steam
  • ASU journalism programs hailed by New York Times
  • How Barry Goldwater changed Arizona politics
  • Is texting the language of the future? ASU linguists say ‘yes’

Italics

Do not use. They create readability issues for readers with visual difficulties, dyslexia or migraine disorders.

Links

See URLs.

Months

See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

Phone numbers

Use only figures and hyphens: 480-555-5555. Not: (480) 555-5555, 480/555-5555, 480.965.5555

Always use an area code, but do not surround it with parentheses.

If an extension number is needed, separate it with a comma: 480-555-5555, ext. 21

Photo captions

Use complete sentences that explain the activity or subject.

Supply information the picture cannot, such as that the basketball player’s free-throw shot pictured was for the game’s winning point.

Sentence

Use only one space after a period at the end of a sentence. A double space between sentences creates a readability issue for many readers.

If importing copy from a document with double spaces, search and replace two spaces with one.

Social media addresses

When we want students to find our accounts, follow us or see what we are posting, we would use the accounts for the networks.

Use the plural because our accounts represent all future Sun Devils.

When encouraging students to join a conversation or share something of their own, we would use the singular, hashtag version.

Do not include the word hashtag with the symbol-with-address form.

  • Facebook page: /FutureSunDevils
  • Twitter account: @FutureSunDevils
  • Twitter hashtag: #FutureSunDevil
  • Instagram account: @FutureSunDevils
  • Instagram hashtag: #FutureSunDevil
  • Storify account: /FutureSunDevils

Time

See Days, months, years, seasons, time.

URLs

URLs are not case-sensitive, so render them all lowercase in text. Do not use http:// and www prefixes: asu.edu.

If a URL is long or complicated enough to be confusing, consider creating an alias shorter than the full URL.

If a Web address requires two lines, make the split after a slash or dot.

If a URL ends a sentence, use a period but do not hyperlink the period.

Exception: Web addresses in the ASU Academic Catalog must include prefixes.

U.S. states

See Addresses.