Northeastern Illinois University’s printed and online publications represent the University to the rest of the world, and both the written style and the visual standards are vital parts of our image and our brand. Even though the University has many different programs and services, it is important that there is unity in the way we present Northeastern Illinois University. The goal of this Identity Manual is to help campus communicators adopt a style that is consistent and appropriate for University use, especially when they write for an external audience. This abbreviated manual is for any member of the University community who is writing materials that represent the University, its programs, activities, and services.
University editorial standards are based on The Chicago Manual of Style and the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. For journalistic writing, especially for those who work in the Office of Public Relations and deal with the media, the University uses the Associated Press Stylebook as the primary style guide. We update our collection of these and other reference volumes as new editions are published, and we change this manual often to reflect current usage and changes on this campus. We also welcome comments and suggestions from faculty and staff to help us keep it current, relevant, and useful.
University visual standards are based on the University’s design history as well as visual and graphic design best practices. The Office of Publications has CDs available that contain some of the basic elements of these visual identity standards. Many of the elements are also available on the University network drive (u: drive) in the Publications folder.
Although consistent written and visual styles are important parts of the University’s image, the substance of your written materials is key. Your writing is your own, even when edited according to the principles outlined in this guide. Think of these style rules as packaging: they do not affect what you put in the box, but they do help ensure that your message - and Northeastern Illinois University’s image - will be communicated professionally and coherently.