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

Times, days, months, seasons, years

This section provides style guidelines for times, days, dates, months, seasons and years that align with the ASU brand in addition to the latest AP style updates.


  • Use figures except for noon. Exception: For communications with international students, 12 p.m. is preferred.
  • Noon is 12 p.m. 
    • βœ… Do: The brown bag seminar will begin at noon.
  • Avoid using midnight if it would create ambiguity about what day something is taking place, since some users’ understandings may vary. 
    • βœ… Do: 11:59 p.m. Thursday or 12:01 a.m. Friday
  • Morning and afternoon abbreviations are lowercase with periods, not uppercase or small caps: a.m. and p.m. Include a space between the figure and abbreviation.
    • 🚫 Don't: AM, A.M., am
    • Avoid redundancies:
      • βœ… Do: 10 a.m.
      • 🚫 Don't: 10 a.m. this morning
      • βœ… Do: 12 p.m. or noon
      • 🚫 Don't: 12 noon
  • Do not use zeros for the top of the hour: 
    • βœ… Do: 1 p.m. 
    • 🚫 Don't: 1:00 p.m. (An exception may be made for formal invitation format. See Dates.)
  • For spans of time in text, use the word to between the numerals, not a hyphen or dash: 
    • The program is scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon.
  • In tabular format, an en dash may be substituted. 
    • Just remember: no spaces before or after the en dash. See en dash.
  • Use morning or afternoon abbreviations when both are required for clarity. 
    • 6–7 p.m. is a one-hour span; 6 a.m.–7 p.m. is 11 hours.
    • βœ… Do: The field trip is an all-day event, from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Numerical treatment:

  • Do not use numerical treatments of dates in headlines or narrative content.
    • βœ… Do: Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. 
    • 🚫 Don't: Election day is 11/5/16.
  • When using a numerical treatment of a date in "terms and conditions," expiration date, "fine print" or internal-use presentations, separate the date, month and year with a forward slash, e.g., 8/14/16. Do not use hyphens, periods, pipes or any other separator.
    • βœ… Do: Offer expires 8/17/16.
    • 🚫 Don't: Offer expires 08/17/2016.

Formal applications:

  • In formal applications such as university invitations, spell out the day of the week and the month, even when a date is included: Tuesday, February 1, 2012.


  • In sentences, spell out days of the week: 
    • βœ… Do: The first class will be on Wednesday.
  • In a tabular format such as table entries and chart labels, use a three-letter abbreviation without period: Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


  • When a month is used with a specific day:
    • Abbreviate only: Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec.
      • βœ… Do: Jan. 2 was the coldest day of the month.
      • 🚫 Don't: January 2 was the coldest day of the month.
    • Spell out: March, April, May, June and July even when used with a day:
      • βœ… Do: July 19 was unseasonably cool.
      • 🚫 Don't: Jul. 19 was unseasonably cool.
  • Spell out all months when used alone or with only a year, and do not offset the year with a comma:
    • βœ… Do: January 1972 was a cold month.
    • 🚫 Don't: November, 2004
    • 🚫 Don't: Feb. 1965
  • When a phrase contains a month, day and year, abbreviate months as listed above and set off the year with commas before and after:
    • βœ… Do: Feb. 14, 1987, was the target date.
    • 🚫 Don't: August 5 2021
  • Do not use ordinal suffixes with dates. 
  • In a tabular format such as table entries and chart labels, use a three-letter abbreviation without period: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Spring, summer, winter, fall, autumn.

Do not capitalize unless the word begins a sentence or is part of a formal name:

  • βœ… Do: spring break
  • βœ… Do: summer solstice
  • βœ… Do: fall semester
  • βœ… Do: Winter Olympics


Academic years

The ASU academic year spans August through May. See the ASU academic calendar.

  • Academic years run the same span as fiscal years at ASU. See fiscal years below.
  • Show a range of academic years in text and tables with an en dash between the years. Do not use spaces. Different from AP style, include four digits for the start year, just the final two years for the end year:
    • βœ… Do: The 2023–24 academic year begins next fall.

Calendar years

  • Years are the only exception to the rule that a numerical figure cannot begin a sentence:
    • βœ… Do: 2023 was a busy year for ASU.

      See Numerals.
  • Indicate decades in numeral form like any other plural: Add β€œs” in lowercase with no apostrophe:
    • βœ… Do: The 1980s
  • For numbers omitted at the beginning of a figure, such as years of graduation (Jane Smith, ’89 BA) or the less formal form of a decade with only two digits, use an apostrophe in place of the missing digits. An extra step may be needed to achieve an apostrophe in some applications:
    • Microsoft Word and similar programs will interpret this punctuation as a single opening quotation mark, not an apostrophe. To override this, type a second single quotation mark after the first, then delete the first. 

      This is not optional, as the default is incorrect:
      • βœ… Do: The ’80s, 🚫 Don't: The β€˜80s
      • βœ… Do: John Smith, ’23 BS business administration, 🚫 Don't: John Smith, β€˜23 BS business administration
      • βœ… Do: Class of ’23, 🚫 Don't: Class of β€˜23
  • Place commas before and after a year when month and day are also included: July 4, 1976, was the nation’s bicentennial.
  • Separate a range of dates with an en dash (no spaces before or after the en dash):
    • βœ… Do: April 16–May 8
    • βœ… Do: Monday, April 16–Tuesday, May 8
  • Show a span of calendar years with from-to phrasing, not an en dash: She was an adjunct professor from 2021 to 2023. Not: from 2021–23.

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

Fiscal years

  • Fiscal years at ASU run July 1 to June 30.
  • Fiscal years are named by the year they end in.
    • βœ… Do: FY23 is July 1, 2022–June 30, 2023.
  • Spell out fiscal year or use the abbreviation FY.
    • βœ… Do: fiscal year 2022
    • βœ… Do: FY22