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


This section provides detailed information about the use of titles in addition to AP style updates.

Consult The Associated Press Stylebook for more details plus other types of titles not listed.


Personal titles

Academic titles

Academic titles indicate levels of formal education achieved.

  • Capitalize and spell out formal academic titles such as chancellorprovostprofessor, etc., only when they precede a person’s name:
    • ✅ Do: Chancellor Jones
    • ✅ Do: Provost Smith
    • ✅ Do: Professor Brown
  • Use lowercase elsewhere (see exceptions for specific academic titles below):
    • ✅ Do: Jones, who is chancellor of the university
    • ✅ Do: Smith, who was appointed provost
    • ✅ Do: Brown, who is a professor of history
  • Do not follow a name with an abbreviation for an academic degree as if it were a courtesy title. If mention of a degree is necessary to establish someone’s credentials, use a phrase instead of an abbreviation:
    • ✅ Do: He recognized Dean Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology, or: He recognized Dean Jones, who earned a PhD in psychology.
    • ✅ Do: Michael M. Crow, president of the university, spoke Wednesday, or: Michael M. Crow, who earned his PhD in public administration, is the president of the university.
    • 🚫 Don't: Jane Smith, PhD
    • 🚫 Don't: Smith, MFA 

Guidelines for specific academic titles

emeritus, emeriti (pl.)
  • Both are gender-neutral.
  • This word is added to formal titles for individuals who have retired yet retain their rank or title. 
  • Emeritus is singular.
  • Emeriti is plural.


  • ✅ Do: Jane Smith is a professor emeritus of journalism.
  • 🚫 Don't: Jane Smith is a professor emerita of journalism. 
Foundation Professor


  • ✅ Do: ASU Foundation Professor Smith is an expert in sustainability.
  • ✅ Do: He is a Foundation Professor recognized for his expertise in religious studies.
President’s Professor
  • An ASU-awarded recognition, one of the most prestigious faculty honors bestowed at the university.
  • Note the use and placement of the apostrophe
  • Capitalize:
    • ✅ Do: ASU President’s Professor Jones will teach the class this semester. 
    • ✅ Do: She is a President’s Professor known for her enthusiasm and innovation in teaching. 
  • Note that “ASU” should precede the award in the first reference. 
  • Treat all ASU-awarded professorships similarly
    • ✅ Do: Eduardo Pagán is an ASU Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History.
  • See also, Regents Professor below.
  • Not capitalized unless part of a formal title and immediately preceding the person’s name. (AP Stylebook variance)
    • ✅ Do: It was a professor at the West campus who first taught the class.
    • ✅ Do: It was John Smith, a Regents Professor at ASU, who first taught the class.
    • ✅ Do: It was Professor John Smith who first taught the class.
  • Professor (spelled out, not Prof.) should be used rather than Dr. as the title preceding names of ASU faculty, unless they possess medical degrees: 
    • ✅ Do: The president thanked Professor Jane Doe of the English department
    • 🚫 Don't: The president thanked Dr. Jane Smith.
    • 🚫 Don't: The president thanked Prof. Jane Smith.
    • 🚫 Don't: The professor thanked Jane Smith, a Professor in the English department.
professor of practice
  • Lowercase unless the title precedes a person's name.
    • ✅ Do: ASU welcomed a new professor of practice to the School of Social Transformation.
    • ✅ Do: ASU Professor of Practice Jane Smith published her research in the chemistry journal. 
Regents Professor
  • An ASU-awarded recognition, the highest faculty honor bestowed at the university. 
  • Note there is no apostrophe
  • Capitalize: 
    • ✅ Do: ASU Regents Professor Jones is teaching this semester’s class. 
    • ✅ Do: She is a Regents Professor for her pioneering research on honeybees. 
  • Note that “ASU” should precede the award in the first reference. 
  • Treat all ASU-awarded professorships similarly
    • ✅ Do: Eduardo Pagán is an ASU Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History.
  • See also, President’s Professor above.

Occupational and formal job titles

  • Occupational titles generally describe someone's job or work
    • Occupational titles are only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or in a salutation:
      • ✅ Do: Astronaut John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth.
      • ✅ Do: Attending the event was astronaut John Glenn, among others.
      • ✅ Do: Dear Astronaut John Glenn, I loved your presentation.
  • Formal titles are specific, officially designated job titles that denote a scope of authority, professional activity or academic activity.
    • Capitalize formal titles when they are used immediately before a name, but not after:
      • ✅ Do: He wrote an article about Pope Francis.
      • ✅ Do: She read many books about President George Washington.
      • ✅ Do: The director issued a statement.
      • ✅ Do: The pope gave his blessing.
      • ✅ Do: The vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, declined to run again.
    • The following formal titles are capitalized and abbreviated as shown when used before a name both inside and outside quotations:
      • ✅ Do: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep., Sen. and certain military ranks.
    • Do not include U.S. before the titles of government officials except when needed for clarity. 
      • ✅ Do: Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
    • Past and future titles: A formal title that an individual formerly held, is about to hold or holds temporarily is capitalized if used before a person’s name. But do not capitalize the qualifying word: 
      • ✅ Do: The speaker was former President Barack Obama.
      • ✅ Do: Attorney General-designate John Smith.

Examples of occupational versus formal titles:

OccupationalFormal — only capitalize before a name 
creative directorsenior campaign creative director
medical doctorDr. 
legislator senator, state representative
religious leaderpope



Common abbreviations

  • Use this all-uppercase, no-periods abbreviation only after the first reference for chief executive officer. 
  • The full title is capitalized only when preceding the person’s name.
Dr. Use Dr. in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual who holds a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine, doctor of optometry, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of podiatric medicine or doctor of veterinary medicine. Do not use Dr. before the name of individuals with a PhD.  


Composition titles

Apply the following guidelines to titles of books, movies, plays, poems, albums, songs, operas, radio and television programs, lectures, speeches and works of art.


  •  Capitalize all words in a title:
    • Examples:
      • ✅ Do: “Of Mice and Men”
      • ✅ Do: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
    • Exceptions, unless they start or end the title:
      • Articles — a, an, the
      • prepositions of three or fewer letters — for, of, on, up, etc.
      • conjunctions of three or fewer letters — and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet, etc.
  • Capitalize prepositions of four or more letters (above, after, down, inside, over, with, etc.) and conjunctions of four or more letters (because, while, since, though, etc.).
    • ✅ Do: “Time After Time”
    • ✅ Do: “Gone With the Wind”
  • Capitalize “to” in infinitives: 
    • ✅ Do: “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up”


Do not use italics for any composition titles. See Formatting, punctuation and symbols


  • Put quotation marks around the names of all works.
    • Examples:
      • ✅ Do: “Designing the New American University”
      • ✅ Do: “A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman”
    • Exceptions:
      • Magazine titles
      • Newspapers
      • The Bible and other holy books
      • Books that are primarily catalogs of reference material, such as catalogs, almanacs, directories, dictionaries, encyclopedias, gazetteers, handbooks and similar publications.
  • Do not use quotation marks around software titles, apps, or around names of video, online or analog versions of games:
    • ✅ Do: Google Docs
    • ✅ Do: Windows
    • ✅ Do: macOS
    • ✅ Do: Pokemon Go
    • ✅ Do: The Legend of Zelda
    • ✅ Do: Monopoly



  • See Italics.
  • See Capitalization for general title guidelines.
  • Do not capitalize the word “magazine” unless it is part of the publication’s formal title.
    • Follow the publication’s convention for punctuation if in doubt. Consult the organization’s masthead, not website header:
      • ✅ Do: ASU Thrive magazine
      • ✅ Do: Harper’s Magazine
      • ✅ Do: Newsweek magazine
      • ✅ Do: U.S. News & World Report


  • See Italics.
  • See Capitalization for general title guidelines.
  • Capitalize an article in a newspaper’s name if that is the way the publication prefers to be known.
    • ✅ Do: Chicago Tribune
    • ✅ Do: New York Post
    • ✅ Do: The New York Times
    • ✅ Do: The Wall Street Journal
    • ✅ Do: By circulation, The Arizona Republic, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Chicago Tribune are among the 20 largest U.S. newspapers.

Books and chapters

  • See Capitalization for general title guidelines.
  • Translate the title of a book into English if written in another language, unless the work is popularly known by its original title.
  • For chapters of books:
    • If the chapter has a title, follow the guidelines above for book titles. 
    • If the chapters are numbered and do not have a title, capitalize the word chapter in front of a chapter’s numeral (Chapter 20), as per AP style. Examples:
      • ✅ Do: He said he found the information in the book publisher's summer catalog.
      • ✅ Do: He referenced Encyclopedia Britannica in his work, not Wikipedia.
      • ✅ Do: The longest book I've ever read is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”
      • ✅ Do: Betty Mahmoody recovered from her harrowing experiences to write “Not Without My Daughter.”
      • ✅ Do: Professor John Smith contributed a chapter to the upcoming “New American Lives” anthology titled “My First Year as a Professor.”