Brand Writing Guide
One of the most important aspects of SU brand identity is how we talk and write about it. Thinking through what we say and how we say it is an essential first step before beginning any marketing project or campaign.
The SU Brand Guide provides a detailed overview of the message, voice and tone to use when writing about the University. In addition, here are some quick guidelines for headlines/taglines as well as a handy list of Dos and Don’ts for writing about SU.
To download the Brand Guide click the button below (note: the Brand Guide is password protected. Click the button and enter your FULL email address and network password when prompted):
SU Brand Guide (PDF)
Headline/Tagline Style Guidelines
“Make Tomorrow Yours” and “tomorrow makers” are key concepts of SU’s brand. As such, they are frequently used in your writing as headlines, taglines and within your text. When using these concepts, please follow these style guidelines:
Make Tomorrow Yours
- When this phrase is the headline or a stand-alone tagline on your piece, it should be in title case with no end punctuation: Make Tomorrow Yours
- When it is part of the general text of your piece, it should be either lowercase or sentence case, depending on its usage:
- Lowercase: Find out how you can make tomorrow yours.
- Sentence case: Make tomorrow yours at SU.
The phrase tomorrow makers can be used to describe SU’s students, faculty, staff, campus stakeholders and prospective students (including even young children who are visiting campus).
- The phrase tomorrow makers is always two words with no hyphen.
- The phrase tomorrow makers is always lowercase in headlines, taglines and general text.
Because the key concept “Make Tomorrow Yours” is designed to be a jumping off point, frequently you will have other brand-related phrases for your headline/tagline. When that is the case, the headline/tagline should be in sentence case with no end punctuation. For example:
- Tomorrow is on the horizon
- Your tomorrow starts here
“Make Tomorrow Yours” is the only headline/tagline that is to be in title case.
While the SU Brand tagline “Make Tomorrow Yours” can be used to inspire general headlines/taglines (ex. Your tomorrow starts here), these general headlines/taglines must always be used in conjunction with the brand tagline. They cannot be used as unique taglines for campus entities.
Brand Writing Dos & Don’ts
DO: Use action words whenever possible (“SU sets success in motion,” not “SU students succeed.”)
DO: Reinforce the Brand Pillars and support with Proof Points:
- A refreshingly warm and friendly environment, where students of every background are made to feel included and supported to succeed.
- Incredibly dedicated faculty and staff who change the trajectory of students’ lives.
- Rich and plentiful opportunities for students to develop agency and excel.
- A personal return on investment that pays off beyond financial.
DO: Use Brand Character words and phrases, and concepts that invoke them: Proud, passionate, supportive, friendly, authentic, inclusive, community, “focus on excellence,” “make tomorrow yours.”
DO: Use positive words and phrases (“a best value,” not “cheap”; “opportunities” or “challenges,” not “problems” or “issues”)
DO: Include a call to action, when appropriate. (“Let’s make tomorrow brighter together.” “Learn how SU can change your future.”)
DO: Keep headlines short and active.
DO: Think of relevant ways to “show” the audience how SU community members are making tomorrow theirs rather than simply “telling” them.
DON’T: Be afraid to write in the first person if the story and intended audience allow.
DON’T: Skimp on adverbs if appropriate for the audience. (SU is “exciting,” “engaging,” “active” and “perfect.”)
DON’T: Be afraid to refer to someone by their first name instead of last (on second reference) if appropriate for the audience.
DON’T: Worry about starting or ending content with a question, if appropriate. (“The best part about studying biology at SU? Exploring the living laboratory around you.” “Why not take a campus tour to learn why SU is the right start for your tomorrow?”)