Tone of voice

When it comes to our brand, how we speak can be as important as what we say.

SFU is:
  • Positive
  • Provocative
  • Witty
  • Confident
  • Conversational
  • Concise
SFU is never:
  • Pessimistic
  • Corporate
  • Arrogant
  • Uptight
  • Boring
  • Longwinded

We know that content is key, so the brand stories we tell will ultimately reflect our big brand promise to improve society. These stories will also highlight our brand attributes that define us and make us uniquely SFU.

But how do these attributes (unconventional, fearless, approachable, compassionate and ready) translate into the tone of our communications and marketing?

SFU isn’t like other universities and we shouldn’t sound like them either. We should always consider the audience and occasion. We use different techniques for a short copy print ad or a brochure headline than an academic might use in formal publications.

We’re optimistic and intelligent – never pretentious. We’re friendly and when the situation is right, we’re not afraid to be witty or playful. We use concise, conversational language – don’t use twelve words if five will do.

Student manifesto from "Outside Thinking" campaign

Outside the classroom. Outside the status quo. Outside the traditional.

Outside is where change takes place.

Step outside familiar boundaries, and engage the world head-on.

Because making a difference outside, also makes a difference in you.

So go ahead, think outside. We’ll meet you there.

Headline examples

Example of headlines with punctuation marks
Example of headlines that do not require punctuation marks