A brand is more than visual elements – it is reflected in our communications. It is in our words. It is in our tone. And it is in the nuances of our everyday language. Our written identity supports the visual identity of our brand, portraying Lethbridge College as friendly and approachable, conversational and knowledgeable, community-focused and environment-oriented.
To maintain consistency in all written material coming from the college, we’ve provided a set of standards for typefaces and writing.
Lethbridge College has four official typefaces:
- two sans-serif
- two serif
- ITC Slimbach
These typefaces can be used individually or in combination in both your printed and electronic materials, documents and templates.
Additional typefaces may be available to the Marketing and Web Services team for use on your promotional materials.
Our Communications office follows the guidelines outlined in the Canadian Press Stylebook or CP style. This section is designed as a guide for any member of campus who writes about the college to internal or external audiences. You will see answers to the most commonly asked questions about style and usage, including:
- numbers and abbreviations
- Canadian rules
- common mistakes
- social media
If you have a question that is not answered here, consult the Canadian Press Stylebook or contact the Communications team.
Some basic writing rules, courtesy of George Orwell, E.B. White and others:
- Short words usually get the job done just as well as elongated, cumbersome words do. You can still use long words, but do so deliberately.
- If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.
- Use the active voice (I won the race rather than The race was won by me).
- Avoid clichés (not Avoid clichés like the plague). That is, if you are used to seeing a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech in print, avoid using it in your own writing.
- Avoid jargon, foreign phrases or scientific words if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Short paragraphs (like short sentences) are preferred because they help break up blocks of text. They are also easy to read. Long sentences, like long paragraphs and long words, should be used deliberately.
(never ever The Lethbridge College).
Lowercase college when not accompanied by Lethbridge: the college; college employees.)
Uppercase when full title is used: Lethbridge College Board of Governors (but use board of governors when used generally).
Capitalize formal building names: Val Matteotti Gymnasium, Cousins Science Centre, Instructional Building (never IB Building). Capitalize informal areas that have become common in usage: Fish Bowl, Brown Bag area, Centre Core.
Capitalize official campus departments: School of Environmental Sciences, Facilities Management, Kodiaks Athletics, Advancement, Residence Life.
Lowercase unless in address or formal reference
Use lowercase letters for directions, even when accompanied by the name of a province/country: north, south, east, west, southern Alberta, western Canada.
Use lowercase letters for seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter.
Capitalize schools: School of Justice Studies.
Capitalize formal programs: Communication Arts, Interior Design.
Lowercase program outcomes: certificate, diploma, applied degree: an applied degree in Correctional Studies; an Office Administration diploma.
Capitalize formal courses: Construction Estimating, Chemistry 095. Usage: The program includes Construction Estimating (but: you will learn construction estimating).
Lowercase subjects: psychology, journalism, environmental science.
Lowercase academic degrees: doctorate and masters.
Few titles are capitalized, and only when they come before the person’s name. At Lethbridge College, capitalize President and Dean: President John Doe, Dean Jane Doe (but: John Doe, president and CEO; Jane Doe, dean of Health, Justice and Human Services.)
Lowercase titles such chair, manager, instructor, coordinator, director, etc. In most cases, titles of more than two words should be placed after the name: Athletics director Mary Green; but: Joe Smith, director of Applied Research and Innovation (or: director Joe Smith, Applied Research and Innovation.)
Numbers and abbreviations
Range of times
Use “from” and “to” when writing a range of times but use an en dash in tables.
The meeting went from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Reception, 7–10 p.m.
In most cases, use the day of the week for an event if it is within seven days of publication and use the date otherwise. Avoid using both.
When writing dates use only the number. June 1 not June 1st.
Preferred order for event announcements: time, date, place: 2:45 p.m. March 2 in Centre Core.
Use periods for lower case abbreviations a.m. and p.m.: 10 a.m. (not 10:00 a.m.) but 5:30 p.m.
Write 1:30 to 5 p.m. (one “p.m.”) rather than 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Use noon or midnight, not 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.
Use per cent rather than %. (Two words and no hyphen.)
Spell out numbers under 10 and use figures for those 10 and above: one, two, three, 13, 42, 101, except when dealing with money: $7.
Spell out ordinals under 10: first, fifth, etc.
Spell out numbers greater than six digits: one million; 2.4 million.
Round off numbers where accuracy is not required: about 4,000 students; more than $5 million.
Avoid starting a sentence with a number; if you must, spell it out.
Spell out metric terms on first reference: 10 kilometres.
Plural abbreviations do not need an “s”: eight kg; 10 km.
Omit periods in abbreviations of academic degrees: BA, BSc, PhD
Spell out acronyms and other initialized nouns on first reference wherever a reader might be unfamiliar with the term: Executive Leadership Team (ELT); Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD); Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE). You may then use the acronym on later references.
Note: nouns such as GPS and similar initialized terms are usually lowercase when spelled out: global positioning system.
Unless referring to a geographical location, most all-caps initials do not require periods: NAIT, GPA, U of L, (but: N.W.T., U.S.)
Kodiaks Athletics (not Kodiak).
Lowercase individual teams: the Kodiaks men’s soccer team.
Lowercase positions: defender, guard, goalie, setter.
Hyphenate: cross-country running.
Do not abbreviate days of the week: Saturday.
Do not abbreviate months when no date is included: the semester starts in January; the semester starts Jan. 6.
Never abbreviate months with five or fewer letters: March, April, May, June and July.
Use of Indigenous is preferred to FNMI.
Use: Blood Tribe (Kainai), and Piikani Nation when referring to the official names of the two First Nations in our area.
Spell out all provinces and territories standing alone: British Columbia, Alberta.
Provinces can be abbreviated when a place name is included: Kelowna, B.C.
The Canadian Press standard for abbreviating Canadian provinces and territories is mixed upper and lowercase with periods after the name of the community: Alta., B.C., Man., N.L., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.
Neither Yukon nor Nunavut is abbreviated.
Only use Canada Post abbreviations in mailing addresses: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
Provincial designation is not required for locations in Alberta, or for major cities and provincial capitals: Leduc; Winnipeg; Vancouver (but: Prince Albert, Sask.)
Almost all punctuation marks go inside quotation marks. If more than one paragraph of quotation from a single speaker runs in succession, use quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph but at the end of the last paragraph only.
After the wine auction, President John Doe wrote the entire Lethbridge College staff with praise for all those involved in the successful event. He concluded by noting that “clearly our community stakeholders recognize the significant contribution we make to the economic livelihood of southern Alberta.
“But more than that,” he added, “we create truly bright futures for our students.”
Omit the last comma before “and” in a list of three or more items, unless a comma is needed to prevent confusion.
Staff, students and alumni lined up to give blood.
However, sometimes the comma is necessary before the “and” for clarity, as is the case in this book dedication example (unless one’s parents ARE Mother Theresa and the Pope).
To my parents, Mother Theresa and the Pope.
To my parents, Mother Theresa, and the Pope.
For words of more than one syllable in which the “u” is not pronounced, Canadian authorities have adopted the “our” spelling as the standard. The following is a quick reference list for “our” words.
- favour, favourite, favourable
- honour, honourable, honoured but honorary
- humour but humorous
- labour but laborious
- odour but odorous
- rigour but rigorous
- tremor (no ‘u’)
- vapour but vaporous
- vigour but vigorous
- valour but valorous
The double “L”
- compel, compelled, compelling
- counsel, counsellor, counselling
- enrol, enrolled, enrolment
- excel, exceled, exceling
- fulfil, fulfilled, fulfillment
- install, instalment, installation
- marvel, marvelled, marvellous
- signal, signalled
- total, totalled
- tranquil, tranquillize
- travel, traveller
The following is a list of words and their accepted Canadian spelling.
- centre, centred, centring
- cheque (as a method of payment)
- pretence, defence (but use defensive)
- grey (colour)
- practice (as a noun or adjective)
- practise (as a verb)
- sulfur (scientific standard spelling)
There are a number of words that are misspelled or misused, or both, on a regular basis.
use affect to mean act upon, influence or imitate; use effect to mean cause, make possible, accomplish or complete
interchangeable but analyze is preferable
the first is an expression of praise; the second is the quantity or number needed to make up a whole
composing is to make or create by putting together (composed of A, B and C); comprising is consisting of (comprising A, B and C)
a councillor is elected to city council; a counsellor offers advice
interchangeable but defence is preferable; use defensive
discreet means circumspect action or speech; discrete refers to something being distinct or separate
ensure is to make certain; insure is to protect against loss
if you can count it, use fewer; if you can’t count it, use less (fewer papers but less paper; fewer dollars but less money)
something important is historic; something that happened in the past is historical
use i.e. in place of “that is”; use e.g. to cite examples
its is possessive (the dog licked its paws); it’s is a contraction of “it is”
use license as a verb, licence as a noun
moral is a lesson; morale is an attitude or mental condition
use practise as a verb, practice as a noun
principal means head or leading figure; principle means rule, law moral guideline or general truth
rational is sensible; rationale is a statement of reason
re-sign is to sign again; resign is to quit
if you remain in on place, you are stationary; stationery is paper
use “that” when the clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence; use which, set off with commas, for clauses less essential to meaning
Short, simple lists are best written in sentence form, especially if the introduction and the items form a complete grammatical sentence. Other lists should be set vertically. A vertical list is best introduced by a complete grammatical sentence, followed by a colon. Consistency is essential.
If the bulleted items are complete sentences, punctuate the sentence as normal.
Here are a few facts about Lethbridge College:
- The college opened in 1957.
- It was the first publicly-funded community college in Canada.
- The campus includes many state-of-the-art facilities.
- More than 4,000 students attend the institution.
If the list items are not complete sentences, do not use capitals or closing punctuation.
Your application must include the following documents:
- a full resume
- a portfolio
- a writing sample
- two letters of recommendation
In a bulleted vertical list that completes a sentence begun in an introductory element and consists of phrases or sentences with internal punctuation, semicolons may be used between the items, and a period should follow the final item. Each item begins with a lowercase letter.
The president announced that:
- we offer programs recognized by national accreditation committees, which means your diploma will be recognized across the country;
- many of our instructors helped build the programs they now teach, after years of experience in their fields; and
- our grads are sought by employers who recognize the value of a Lethbridge College diploma.
In a bulleted vertical list where the items complete a sentence begun in an introductory element and the list consists of phrases or sentences without internal punctuation, no punctuation should be used after each list item. Each item begins with a lowercase letter.
The committee agreed to:
- review existing options and develop several possible solutions
- meet with officials to discuss their concerns
- create a website to keep the general population updated on developments
Social media accounts should be referenced as a username, not a URL, whenever possible. List @LethCollege, not http://www.twitter.com/LethCollege/. When no username is available, list the short or vanity URL without http:// or www. For example, Facebook.com/LethbridgeCollege, not http://www.facebook.com/lethbridgecollege.
A variety of mobile apps to accompany Lethbridge College services and products are available for use on mobile devices. When directing users to download apps, always provide a direct link to the app page on the corresponding app store. Never direct a user to “search the app store” for an app. For example: Ellucian GO is available to download in the Apple App Store for iOS, and Google Play Store for Android.