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An Introduction to the Houston Independent School District Style Guide AUGUST 2006 HISD Communication Services Department Kerry Reynolds, Manager Web site: www.houstonisd.org/CommunicationServices Phone: 713-556-6130; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Houston Independent School District Style Guide
HISD Communication Services Department
Kerry Reynolds, ManagerWeb site: www.houstonisd.org/CommunicationServices
Phone: 713-556-6130; E-mail: email@example.com
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To help Houston Independent School District (HISD) offices, departments, and schools maintain a consistent, effective style and image in the communications and publications that they produce, HISD has prepared a style guide. The guide provides information about preferred styles and common practices in the district. It is intended not to limit what can be done, but to provide guidance and set standards.
I encourage you to read the guide and to incorporate the publication’s standards and guidelines into the communications that you are responsible for and to share this information with members of your staff and colleagues who are involved in the communication process.
Thank you for your attention to this very important new source of information.
Abelardo Saavedra, Ph.D.Superintendent of Schools
What is a style guide?
Style guides generally provide details of writing style required by an organization, including matters such as punctuation, language use, formatting, etc.
Guides can also consider elements of graphic design, such as the use of color, logos, and typography.
Why does HISD need a style guide?
Hundreds of communications (letters, memos, manuals, reports, newsletters, brochures) are produced each year by schools, departments, and offices. Having guidelines helps to ensure that communications from the varied segments of the district are as effective as possible and that they use a similar writing style and graphic elements to convey the fact that they are part of the HISD organization.
Where can I access HISD’s guide?
Printed copies are made available to work-location supervisors and the guide is also available online.
A PDF of the guide can be downloaded from a Style Guide Web site. The site includes an online “point and click” version of the document as well.
Who should use the guide?
HISD employees in decision-making positions should familiarize themselves with the guidelines and apply them, when possible, to the publications and other communications for which they are responsible.
The guide, especially the HISD Specific Writing/Style Guide in the appendix, should be a valuable resource for any employee who writes memos and letters or creates reports, manuals, newsletters, or brochures.
Will the guide be revised?
Yes. The style guide will be updated to add clarity as needed and to reflect new standards and common practices to help promote effective communication.
The Style Guide Web site will include an “Updates” channel, and the online versions of the guide will be revised periodically. Printed copies, beyond an annual distribution to supervisors, will be available on a print-on-demand basis from the Copy Center.
And much more!
The HISD Style Guide includes standards and guidelines for:
• external correspondence• general memos• action requiredmemos• information itemmemos
Use this link to access Word documents for use as templates to write letters and memos.
Use this link to access format guides (PDF) that detail the standards for letters and memos.
Guide for general memos.
A template for use in creating inside cover pages for manuals and reports is available online as well.
The guide includes information about the use of the district’s branding images: the HISD seal and the “graduates” logo.
Electronic files, in a variety of formats and sizes, of the HISD branding images are available at the Style Guide Web site.
Many HISD computer desktops currently feature an outdated HISD “star student” logo with a “Children First” tag line.
Click here for instructions on how to update your desktop with the HISD graduates logo.