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. No hyphen is needed when a letter is associated with the office number.

  • 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. or suffixes such as Ph.D., M.D., M.F.A., etc.

When a staff member has two or more titles that come from the same department, the titles should be separated with the word "and." If the titles come from two or more departments, the titles should be separated with a semicolon. 

  • Associate Professor and Chair
  • Assistant Professor; Tutor, The Writing Center


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

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