Writing Style Guide

Our Name

We have had several names since we were first established in 1925, from the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts, to Emily Carr College of Art, and more.

As we embark on a new era in a new campus, we need to manage our name carefully to build recognition and reduce confusion in our audiences.

Choosing the right name for the right situation

The name When to use it
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
In formal situations, such as:
  • Diplomas
  • Signage
  • Press releases
  • Introducing a speaker
Emily Carr University
In day-to-day written use, such as:
  • Campus posters
  • Emails
  • Documents
Emily Carr Day-to-day informal use, within the university community and context, such as:
  • While teaching
  • On our website
  • On social media
ECU In written media, when our name is repeated frequently. This is our only acronym. Do not use ECIAD, ECUAD, or EC.

Writing style

Our written communications style is warm, approachable, intelligent and engaging.

Strive for these characteristics in your writing:

  • Write in the first person: Address your reader as “you”. Refer to Emily Carr University using “we”, “us” and “our”.
  • Use plain language: Use the shorter, clearer word or phrase whenever possible. For example, “teaching” instead of “facilitation of the learning process”.
  • Short sentences: Warm and approachable writing is to the point. Try writing the way you speak, with a clear idea in each sentence. Sentence fragments are fine. Keep paragraphs to a few sentences each.
  • Use Canadian spelling: Centre, grey, humour, colour, theatre, cheque, etc.
  • Use humour carefully: Be witty, not silly or juvenile. Keep humour out of bad news or media releases. When in doubt, have a member of your target audience read it over. Don’t be derisive or insulting.
  • Slang: avoid or use sparingly.

Territorial acknowledgments

These territorial acknowledgments aim to generate awareness of continued Indigenous land rights, acknowledge our settler-colonial history and the need for meaningful reconciliation in our society. We recommend using the preferred form below unless time or space limits your ability to do so.

Preferred form:

Emily Carr University is situated on unceded, traditional and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

Short form:

ECU is situated on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories.