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Chinese Style Guide

UW brand beyond borders

UW is boundless and beyond borders. As such, the UW brand is global and we seek to ensure the University’s communications are consistent, compelling and comprehensive for all audiences. The Chinese style guide further expands upon the building blocks of our brand.

The Chinese style guide should be used in concert with the other brand resources available via the UW Brand Portal, including the general editorial style guide. You will find additional and specific guidance for topics ranging from letter and salutation formats, fonts, geographic considerations and more.

Questions? Contact

Explore the Guide

How to say University of Washington

The University of Washington is often mistaken for other institutions with similar names (Washington University, Washington State University). Write out “the University of Washington” as often as possible. Connect the University of Washington with Seattle as much as possible — use the city name, feature city photos with the Space Needle, etc. Seattle is quite well-known in China because it has served as the setting for popular movies, and audiences are familiar with iconic local companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks and Boeing. Be conscious of audience and avoid using UW and Washington jargon such as “Husky,” “dubs up,” “purple and gold spirit,” “Cascade curtain,” etc.

  • The approved character representation of “University of Washington” is 华盛顿大学
  • How to say it out loud?  hua-shin-tun da-schweh
  • The Chinese character representation of “UW” should only be used in body copy, never on business cards, letterhead, collateral headlines or in graphics.
  • Avoid flowery or uncommon language, slang, colloquialisms, abbreviations and metaphors.
  • Use short, direct sentences and simple sentence structure.
  • The UW wordmark and UW logos are NOT translated ­— always use them as indicated in the logo guidelines.

Sensitive issues or issues that might potentially be offensive may occur in any of the following:

  • Maps and flags
  • Country/region, city and language names
  • Art and graphics
  • Cultural content, such as encyclopedia content and other text where historical or political references may occur

Gift protocol

Gift exchange among visiting colleagues is very common in China. Expect to exchange gifts with visiting partners and delegations. Choose gifts according to the hierarchy and position of your visitors. The highest-ranking person should receive the nicest gift, and partners of equal rank should present and exchange gifts. Be prepared to exchange gifts even if you have met your partner or visitor more than once before. Do not offer the following items as gifts: Clocks, umbrellas, fans.

Geographic considerations

Maps and other graphic representations of countries and regions should be checked for accuracy and existing political restrictions. Country/region, city and language names change on a regular basis and need to be checked, even if previously approved. If in doubt, consider seeking advice from UW faculty experts and/or the Office of Global Affairs.

A thorough understanding of the culture of the target market is required for determining the appropriateness of:

  • Cultural content
  • Clip art
  • Visual representations of religious symbols
  • Body and hand gestures

When to use English or Chinese

When your audience is …  ›  use …

  • Alumni  ›  English
  • Current students  ›  English (unless identified need for clarification purposes)
  • Parents and families  ›  Chinese
  • Prospective students  ›  English (unless identified need)
  • Admitted students  ›  English (consider translation if documents are confusing or an identified need)
  • University partners  ›  English (unless identified need)
  • Business audiences  ›  Consider bilingual collateral

Simplified or traditional

The two most widely spoken dialects of Chinese are Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarin is widely spoken in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore and is the official spoken dialect in mainland China. Cantonese is widely spoken in Hong Kong and Macau. In writing, there are two widely used texts currently in use — Simplified Chinese (referred to just as “Chinese”) and Traditional Chinese.

  • Use Simplified Chinese for audiences in Mainland China
  • Use Traditional Chinese for audiences in Hong Kong and Taiwan

Names & addressing letters

It is customary in China to write a person’s surname first, then their given name (Example: Cauce Ana Mari). When writing a formal letter to a Chinese colleague or partner, we suggest the following format:

Last name/first name

September 12, 2016

Dear Dr. Last name:
Signature (use the standard English representation of their name (First name/last name)


  • Chinese period (。) is used in both documents and online communication.
  • Typing the Chinese period requires changing the language on your computer to Chinese. We recommend you work with a translator for the correct punctuation.


  • English period (.) is used in the English abbreviation, trademark, product name, company name. Example: const., U.S.A., Hitachi Ltd.
  • English period (.) is used as a separator in digit group or file name. Example: 123.45
  • If a generic English word is to be kept untranslated, please remove the plural “s” and capitalize the first letter of the word. Example: Select one or more cookies  /  Chinese: 選取一或多個 Cookie


Date representation differs from the U.S. standard. First preference is to write out the full date in English to avoid confusion. For short date formats, use the following: YYYY/MM/DD or YYYY/M/D

Social media

At this time, we do not recommend units have their own separate presences on Chinese social media sites. The UW needs more time to understand best practices on these channels and to establish a stronger foothold for the institution as a whole before we start expanding. There also are resource constraints when it comes to content generation, translation, monitoring and community management. There is not enough staffing — or plans for investment in staffing in the near term — to be able to ensure units can have a truly social, professionally managed presence. However, please contact us if you have a story you would like to post on our established Chinese social media sites. We would be glad to consider it!

Not available in China: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube

Popular in China: Weibo (the Twitter of China), RenRen (the Facebook of China), YouKu (the YouTube of China), WeChat (the WhatsApp of China; also kind of like Twitter),

The UW has an official presence on: Weibo, WeChat (UWChinaHuskies), English-language LinkedIn alumni groups for China and Beijing, Regional Huskies FB pages, Taiwan ( and Hong Kong (

Preferred content for CHINESE social channels:

  • Admissions information – international admissions
  • Campus photos
  • Local events
  • Innovation stories
  • Rankings
  • Student activities

Questions? Contact Sara Stubbs or Elise Perachio


Preferred font for all UW collateral published in Chinese or bilingual is SimSun.

  • You can bold and enlarge the Sim Sun font for headers
  • Download SimSun (note: this link takes you to an external site)

Taglines & tenets

Because translations of culturally significant phrases can be challenging, we recommend using only the following UW tenets
when communicating with Chinese audiences:

  • Undaunted   顽强不懈
  • We>Me   集体>个人
  • Dare to Do   敢于去做
  • Be the First   当第一人
  • Passion Never Rests   激情永不熄灭


  • Avoid wide smiles, use a more formal pose
  • Use sunny bright photos of campus
  • Avoid stormy or gray, rainy weather shots
  • Include photos of Seattle landmarks (e.g. Space Needle or Pike Place Market). Check out the Seattle folder on the UW Photo Database