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


This section is included as a reminder of issues that tend to cause confusion. It includes ASU exceptions to AP style.

Text styles

  • Bold: Use sparingly in copy. (See Using fonts and typography to communicate the ASU brand)
    • In limited amounts, boldface can help readers quickly scan long-format copy for key information.
  • Bulleted lists: See Lists
  • Underline: Only use to indicate a link. See Links and URLs below
  • Italics: Do not use 
    • Italics create readability issues for readers with visual difficulties, dyslexia or migraine disorders.
  • Subscript: Avoid using subscript letters. Exception: On second reference, abbreviate carbon dioxide as CO2.
    • โœ… Do: The research team designed a new method for reducing CO2 in the atmosphere.
  • Superscript: Avoid using superscript letters, such as with numerals and ordinals, because this treatment may not always display correctly. Use the same size type as the numeral:
    • โœ… Do: 21st century, ๐Ÿšซ Don't: 21st century
    • โœ… Do: 10th floor, ๐Ÿšซ Don't: 10th floor

      Exception: Trademark symbols are always superscript in text (e.g., Sun Devilยฎ Athletics, Go Devilsโ„ข).

      Note: Superscript ordinals are the default in Microsoft Word. Learn how to disable this default option.

      See Numerals for guidelines when using ordinals.

See Titles for composition and publication formatting standards.

See Fonts and typography for body copy styling tips.


See Addresses and U.S. states.


Email addresses

  • In text, all lowercase: 
    • Email programs do not distinguish between uppercase 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 the word email. See Word list

Email signatures

  • 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.


  • All expressions of headlines should be in sentence case โ€” the first letter is capitalized, as are all proper names and nouns. Exception: The first word after a colon is always uppercase in headlines:
    • โœ… Do: ASU journalism programs hailed by New York Times
    • โœ… Do: Beta blockers may halt cancer
    • โœ… Do: BT suffers broadband failure: Small businesses are affected the most
  • Use figures for all numbers, including those less than 10:
    • โœ… Do: 9 ASU students win competitive scholarship
    • ๐Ÿšซ Don't: Nine ASU students win competitive scholarship
  • Do not use punctuation, even at the end of a sentence, unless needed for clarity.
  • If quotation marks are needed, use single quote marks.
    • โœ… Do: Is texting the language of the future? ASU linguists say โ€˜yesโ€™
  • Do not use periods in abbreviations unless needed for clarity.
    • โœ… Do: Gas prices rise in the EU
    • โœ… Do: ASU is the most innovative university in the US

See Fonts and typography for headline styling tips.

Links and URLs

Whether in copy or a link on a webpage, in a presentation, in a Word or Google document or in print, links and URLs should be ASU Maroon and underlined.

In copy

  • All lowercase in text โ€” URLs are not case-sensitive. 
  • Do not include https:// and www
    • โœ… Do:
    • ๐Ÿšซ Don't:
    • ๐Ÿšซ Don't:
    • ๐Ÿšซ Don't:
    • ๐Ÿšซ Don't:

      Exception: Web addresses in the ASU Academic Catalog must include prefixes.
  • 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 symbol.
  • If a URL ends a sentence, use a period but do not hyperlink the period.


See Search Engine OptimizationUser experience design (UX).

Phone numbers

See Numerals.

Photo captions

  • Use complete sentences that explain the activity or subject.
  • Use present tense for the sentence that explains the action in the photo.
  • Supply information the picture cannot.
    • โœ… Do: John Smith shoots the game-winning free throw Friday at Desert Financial Arena. Smith scored 40 points for the game.
    • ๐Ÿšซ Don't: ASU basketball player.


See Punctuation and symbols.

Social media

  • Do not include the word hashtag or account.
    • โœ… Do: Use #FutureSunDevils, ๐Ÿšซ Don't: Use hashtag #FutureSunDevils
    • โœ… Do: Follow FutureSunDevils on Twitter, ๐Ÿšซ Don't: Follow our Twitter account @FutureSunDevils
  • Do not include symbols for accounts, theyโ€™re not necessary.
    • โœ… Do: Facebook page: FutureSunDevils, ๐Ÿšซ Don't: Facebook page: /FutureSunDevils
    • โœ… Do: Twitter account: FutureSunDevils, ๐Ÿšซ Don't: Twitter account: @FutureSunDevils
    • โœ… Do: Instagram account: FutureSunDevils, ๐Ÿšซ Don't: Instagram account: @FutureSunDevils


See Times, days, months, seasons, years.

Web links and addresses

See Links and URLs above.