Does your financial institution have a certain style that permeates your marketing materials? Maybe it’s the way they’re written – very formal or more conversational. Maybe it’s reflected in the colors you use to tie everything together. Beyond all that though, there’s a level of stylistic detail that catches the eye of an editor, and it’s based on a style guide, which provides a set of standards for writing.
A style guide provides direction for how to format words, whether to use a hyphen, how titles are capitalized, whether names of publications are italicized and more. Following a certain style can be tricky because it changes over time, just like clothing styles. For example, with the 2016 publication of The Associated Press Stylebook, which we reference here at image.works, “internet” and “web” officially became lowercase words, instead of capitalized. Why is this important? Because when you use the latest style, you show that you’re up to date, you appear knowledgeable and professional and you improve communication.
In addition to following the current style for common words, it’s also important to use a consistent format for terms specific to your institution, like your financial services or product names. We keep our clients’ preferences in mind when we’re proofreading and look for consistency as well as adherence to current styles. Here are some examples of style choices we may make:
- Capitalization of pronouns and verbs in a capitalized heading: You’re Invited to Our Healthy Finances Workshop.
- Spacing: There should be only one space after a period at the end of a sentence. There should be only one space after a colon.
- No serial comma (no comma before “and” in a list): Bring proof of address, your driver’s license and the completed application.
- Money format: $45 million (not $45,000,000 or forty-five million dollars).
Now, you may think this is picky, and it is. But it’s also important. Your marketing materials leave an impression on your audience, and we can help you get it right. After all, it’s our job to stay in the know about changes in style – guides, that is, not clothing – and you can trust us to make your marketing materials the highest level of awesome both in creativity and even in the littlest details. Then you can focus on providing top-notch financial services to your accountholders and community, which is the reason you’re marketing in the first place.