Tone and Voice

Brand Review

Before writing any content meant for an external audience, please review Western’s brand overview, which includes Western’s positioning statement.


Western connects with a wide variety of audiences. Tailoring communication to our audiences and communication channels allows us to create authentic connections with students, parents, community, alumni, faculty and staff.

When communicating or creating copy, use a tone that fits your purpose and primary audience. A friendly or funny tone may help us entice a prospective student to want to learn more, whereas brevity and clarity may be more important when relaying programmatic information.

Keep your audience–and their reading level–in mind when choosing language. Use words that reinforce Western’s brand position, voice and values. Focus on accessible language. Test your message with members of your target audience. Get creative with headlines and calls to action. Don’t be afraid to get witty or quirky if it fits your message and audience. Focus on dynamic, positive and inspiring vocabulary.

Our Voice

  • Equitable
  • Inclusive
  • Helpful
  • Collaborative
  • Honest
  • Creative
  • Engaging

Our Values

  • Commitment to student success, critical thought, creativity, and sustainability.
  • Commitment to equity and justice, and respect for the rights and dignity of others.
  • Pursuit of excellence, in an environment characterized by principles of shared governance, academic freedom and effective engagement.
  • Integrity, responsibility and accountability in all our work.

Examples of Tone

Example 1

  • Type of Writing: Postcard, ad
  • Audience: General
  • Tone: Fun, inviting, quirky, dynamic

Our Noise Policy: Make a lot of It

Hear that? It’s the sound of Bellingham Girls Rock Camp. Music students at the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies teach young girls to shred guitar, blast drums and belt lyrics, using music to inspire female empowerment and create social change. Yeah it gets a little loud sometimes. But hey, that’s rock n’ roll baby!

Example 2

  • Type of Writing: Program Flyer
  • Audience: Current and prospective students
  • Tone: Concise, engaging, inviting

Hey There

This is where you find out the stuff you were looking for.

Example 3

  • Type of Writing: Web page
  • Audience: Prospective students, community members, parents
  • Tone: Concise, helpful, organized, visual

Cybersecurity Program

History Major Description

Example 4

  • Type of Writing: Social Media Post
  • Audience: Students, stakeholders, community
  • Tone: Quirky, visual, engagin, fun

Oh deer!

The neighbors are out on the lawn again.

deer standing on grass