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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: info@houstonisd.org

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An Introduction to the

Houston Independent School District Style Guide

AUGUST 2006

HISD Communication Services Department

Kerry Reynolds, ManagerWeb site: www.houstonisd.org/CommunicationServices

Phone: 713-556-6130; E-mail: info@houstonisd.org

Press right arrow or click mouse to advance to next slide.

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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

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HISD Style Guide

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.

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HISD Style Guide

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.

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HISD Style Guide

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.

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HISD Style Guide

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.

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HISD Style Guide

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.

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The Style Guide Includes

  • Guidelines for the use of the approved district brands (seal and logo)
  • Standards for external correspondence and internal memoranda with templates available for download
  • Information about formatting manuals, reports, newsletters, brochures, posters, and fliers as well as PowerPoint presentations

continued

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The Style Guide Includes

  • Directions about official district business cards, letterhead, and envelopes
  • Basic rules of written communication, such as punctuation, abbreviations, and capitalization as well as guidelines that include information about names and titles
  • Graphics tips about using the seal and logo, including help with file formats (JPG, GIF, EPS, etc.), resizing images, and getting accurate color

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And much more!

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Memo & Letter Templates

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.

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Memo & Letter Guides

Use this link to access format guides (PDF) that detail the standards for letters and memos.

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Guide for general memos.

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Inside Cover Pages

A template for use in creating inside cover pages for manuals and reports is available online as well.

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HISD Branding Images

The guide includes information about the use of the district’s branding images: the HISD seal and the “graduates” logo.

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HISD Branding Images

Electronic files, in a variety of formats and sizes, of the HISD branding images are available at the Style Guide Web site.

Formats include:

  • GIF and PNG: for use online and in PowerPoint presentations
  • JPG: for use when printing to desktop inkjet and laser printers
  • EPS: for use when using a traditional offset printing press

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Computer Desktop Image

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.

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Style Guide Contacts

  • Questions or comments about the guide can be directed to Communication Services (713-556-6130; info@houstonisd.org).
  • Letterhead and business card information is available from Printing Services (4400 West 18th Street; 713-556-6041; copycenter@houstonisd.org).
  • Assistance in preparing documents for offset printing is available through the Design Department (4400 West 18th St.; 713-556-6041).
  • Assistance in producing documents in languages other than English is available from Translation Services (4400 West 18th Street; 713-556-6130).