UW Brand


With so many incredible stories to tell, it can be tough to know where to start. Here’s a quick guide to help you craft content that will meet your communication objectives while staying under the umbrella of the UW brand.

  1. Choose your story: Identify a story from your college, unit or department that demonstrates at least one of the four brand pillars.
  2. Narrow your story’s lens: Use the brand tenets as a guide for shaping your story. You can use a tenet as a headline or subhead, or just use it as a source of inspiration for how you communicate your story.
  3. Apply brand personality and tone of voice: Embody the UW personality and tone of voice through your word choice, syntax and style. Check that your language is personable, engaging and clear (see below for tips on how to achieve this), not stuffy or didactic.

Editorial tips

In addition to the personality traits and tone of voice as well as the writing on brand section, here are some general editorial guidelines to help you write content that showcases your story while remaining on brand.

  • Lead with personal stories and connections. We want to sound human, not institutional. And we want people — including prospective students, current students, alumni and the public — to identify with what we’re saying. Sharing stories of the people behind the UW helps us do that. If you’re talking about a specific program, for example, include who is participating and how people are benefitting rather than simply sharing facts about the program itself. Delve into who, not just what.
  • Address the impact. We tackle a lot of issues, big and small. And as a result, we impact a lot of lives. So, don’t just talk about the challenges we’re addressing; talk about how people are affected as a result. Again, connect on a personal level by incorporating issues of shared human concern.
  • Give examples. Whenever possible, be specific. Provide compelling, vivid details and adhere to that old writing adage: Show, don’t tell.