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


This section provides style guidelines for the use of numerals in text that align with the ASU brand in addition to the latest AP style updates.


Amount vs. number

  • Amount refers to quantities measured in bulk or mass but considered as a whole.
    • βœ… Do: The amount of square feet in the classroom is enough to include a lab.
    • 🚫 Don't: She counted the amount of candies in the jar.
  • Number refers to things that can be counted individually.
    • βœ… Do: The number of books in the library grew in the last last year.
    • 🚫 Don't: The total number of square feet in the classroom includes a lab.

Numbers in copy

  • Spell out one through nine, except in headlines.
  • Use figures for 10 and greater, and for units of measurement and ages: 
    • βœ… Do: 3 mile.
    • βœ… Do: 18 years old
  • Spell out casual references: 
    • βœ… Do: ASU attracts thousands of international students each year.
    • βœ… Do: He walked a quarter of a mile.
  • Do not use both a word and numeric version of a number in a sentence: 
    • βœ… Do: Choose one of the sessions
    • 🚫 Don't: Choose one (1) of the classes
  • Beginning a sentence: 
    • Spell out a number at the beginning of a sentence except for calendar years
      • βœ… Do: Twenty people registered for the seminar.
      • βœ… Do: 1976 was a very good year.
    • A numeral-and-letter combination may start a sentence. 
      • βœ… Do: 3D movies are popular in the U.S.
      • βœ… Do: 401(k) plans are offered at the company.


  • Always use figures, even for numbers less than 10: 
    • βœ… Do: She was 6 years old when she decided she wanted to be a Sun Devil.


  • Use numerals and a decimal point when expressing all fractional values. 
  • For amounts less than one, add a zero before the decimal point and use the singular form of the measurement if singular: 
    • βœ… Do: 0.35 meter
    • βœ… Do: 0.55 cubic foot
    • βœ… Do: 0.75 kilometer
  • For grade point averages, include the hundredths place unless there are special circumstances: 
    • βœ… Do: 2.00 GPA

Dollars, cents, money

  • Use lowercase for denominations: dollar, cent, euro.
  • Do not hyphenate numerals and denominations.
    • 🚫 Don't: 2-million
    • 🚫 Don't: 10-cents
  • Cents: For amounts less than a dollar, spell out cents.
    • βœ… Do: 5 cents
    • 🚫 Don't: 5Β’
    • 🚫 Don't: $.05
  • Dollars: 
    • Use the dollar sign and the decimal system for amounts larger than a dollar
      • βœ… Do: $1.01
      • βœ… Do: $2.50
      • 🚫 Don't: 2 dollars

        Exceptions: Use the dollar sign with numerals in all cases except casual references of amounts without a numeral: about a hundred dollars.
    • For amounts less than $1 million, do not include decimal places: 
      • βœ… Do: $4
      • βœ… Do: $1,000
      • βœ… Do: $650,000
    • For amounts more than $1 million, use two decimal places if available: 
      • βœ… Do: Professor Jones was awarded a $4.35 million grant.
      • βœ… Do: He expended exactly $4,349,242 over the course of the grant.
      • βœ… Do: They proposed a $300 billion budget.
      • 🚫 Don't: $4.35M (except in tabular format), $300 Billion.
  • Euros: Do not use β‚¬ for euros, spell out: 
    • βœ… Do: 1,000 euros 
    • 🚫 Don't: €1,000


  • Use figures for precise amounts larger than one, converting to decimals when possible. See Decimals.
  • In text: Spell out fractions less than one in text, using hyphens between the words: 
    • βœ… Do: Two-thirds
    • βœ… Do: Seven-sixteenths
  • In tabular formats: Use figures exclusively, converting to decimals if the amounts involve extensive use of fractions that cannot be expressed as a single character. See Decimals.

Grade levels

  • Use the numerals with an en dash and no spaces: 
    • βœ… Do: The program is designed for teachers in grades 7–12.

Note: To create an en dash: Mac β€” Option+Minus keys; PC β€” Ctrl+Alt+Minus keys. See Punctuation and symbols for en dash guidelines.


  • Always use figures, even for numbers less than 10: 
    • βœ… Do: He lived just 3 miles from ASU’s West campus.


  •  Unless the ordinal is part of an official name or title: 
    • βœ… Do: Spell out first through ninth.
    • βœ… Do: Use figures for 10th and above.
  • Do not use superscript formatting. See Formatting for superscript guidelines.

Percent, percentage, percentage points

  • Use the % sign when paired with a numeral, with no space, in most cases: 
    • βœ… Do: The school’s enrollment increased 3.1% from a year ago.
    • βœ… Do: Nearly 14% were first-generation students.
  • Constructions with the % sign take a singular verb when standing alone or when a singular word follows an β€œof” construction: 
    • βœ… Do: Nearly 40% of the class was offered a chance to participate.
    • βœ… Do: The rancher reported 75% of the crop was harvested in September.
  • The % sign takes a plural verb when a plural word follows an β€œof” construction: 
    • βœ… Do: The rancher reported 75% of his trees were infested.
    • βœ… Do: Nearly 80% of the professor’s students participated.
  • Use whole numbers and decimals, not fractions, in percentages: 
    • βœ… Do: Nearly 10% of the crows migrated north.
    • βœ… Do: The increase in subscriptions was 13.25%.
    • 🚫 Don't: The increase in subscriptions was 13ΒΌ%.
  • For a range, the following are all acceptable
    • βœ… Do: 12% to 15%
    • βœ… Do: 12%–15% 
    • βœ… Do: between 12% and 15%
  • For amounts less than 1% precede the decimal with a zero: 
    • βœ… Do: The cost of living rose 0.6%.
  • Use percentage, rather than percent, when not paired with a number
    • βœ… Do: The percentage of people agreeing is small.
    • βœ… Do: A large percentage of the student body participated.
  • Be careful not to confuse percent with percentage point: 
    • A change from 10% to 13% is a rise of 3 percentage points. This is not equal to a 3% change; rather, it’s a 30% increase.
      • βœ… Do: Legislators passed a 0.25 percentage point tax cut.
      • 🚫 Don't: Legislators passed a 0.25 percentage points tax cut.
      • 🚫 Don't: Legislators passed a tax cut of 0.25 of a percentage point.
  • In casual uses, use words, not figures or numbers: 
    • βœ… Do: The latecomer had a zero percent chance of being first in line.

Phone numbers

  • Use only figures and hyphens
    • βœ… Do: 480-555-5555 
    • 🚫 Don't: (480) 555-5555
    • 🚫 Don't: 480/555-5555
    • 🚫 Don't: 480.965.5555
  • Always use an area code, but do not surround it with parentheses: 
    • βœ… Do: 480-555-5555 
    • 🚫 Don't: 555-5555
  • If an extension number is needed, separate it with a comma: 
    • βœ… Do: 480-555-5555, ext. 21


See Rankings.


  • Use figures and hyphens, no spaces between. Always include ratio or other noun with the figures.
    • βœ… Do: 22-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio
    • βœ… Do: A majority of 7-to-3


  • Use figures for all except zero. Use a word, not a minus sign, to indicate temperatures below zero.
    • βœ… Do: The day's low was minus 10, 🚫 Don't: The day's low was -10. 
    • βœ… Do: The day's low was 10 below zero, 🚫 Don't: The day’s low was 10 below 0.
  • Punctuation: 
    • βœ… Do: 5-degree temperatures
    • βœ… Do: Temperatures fell 5 degrees.
    • βœ… Do: Temperatures in the 30s (no apostrophe).
  • Temperatures get higher or lower, but they don't get warmer or cooler.
    • βœ… Do: Temperatures are expected to rise in the area Friday. 
    • 🚫 Don't: Temperatures are expected to warm up in the area Friday.

Tables, tabular data and statistics