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Signage Writing Style Guide

Interior signage

Directional signs

Use the full name of the building, school, office, department or division.

  • Professional Studies Building
  • Van Hoesen Hall
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Human Resources Office
  • Political Science Department
  • Division of Institutional Advancement

Include the word “Room” with numbers.

  • Room 307
  • Room 1116C

Overhead signs

 Use shortened version of names, omitting words such as “building,” “hall,” “school,” “office,” “department” or “division.”

  • Professional Studies
  • Van Hoesen
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Human Resources
  • Political Science
  • Institutional Advancement

List numbers without the word “Room.”

  • 307
  • 1116C

Faculty and staff names and titles

Use an individual’s official title from the SUNY Cortland Online Directory.

SUNY Cortland class years may follow a person’s name.

  • Edward Jackson ’08, M ’10

Do not use courtesy titles such as Dr., Mr., Mrs. or Ms.

Suffixes such as Ph.D., M.D., M.F.A., etc. may be included.

  • Shanelle Jones, Ph.D.


Avoid ampersands (&); instead, write out the word “and.”

  • Foundations and Social Advocacy Department
  • Registrar's Office

Spaces are not necessary on either side of a slash.

  • Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department
  • Sociology/Anthropology Department

Curve apostrophes and quotation marks.

  • Incorrect: Men's Restroom, Women's Restroom
  • Correct: Men’s Restroom, Women’s Restroom

Apostrophes with class years should curve away from the number.

  • Incorrect: Sharon Connor ‘01
  • Correct: Sharon Connor ’01

When using post-nominal credentials, include a comma after the name and abbreviate suffixes with periods.

  • Jason Nguyen, Ph.D.
  • Laurel Staiger, M.D.
  • Jerome Szabo, M.B.A.

Exterior signage

To enable quick reading comprehension for visitors driving by, use a shortened version of building names when possible, omitting words such as “building” or “hall.”

  • Brockway
  • Old Main
  • Professional Studies