Publications - editorial, branding and images

Editorial advice

The AAD Communications team can provide editorial guidance for the web, print or other forms of media as well as copy-editing services.

Guidelines on writing for the web

Writing for the web is not like writing for other media.

  • Web content should be short and written in plain English with an authoritative voice.
  • Spelling and grammar still matter, so ensure your content has been edited and is typo-free.  
  • Bullet points and lists help break up the information for the reader.
  • Use images and other media to explain your content where possible.
  • Consider that people tend to skim-read web pages. Try to simplify your page structure to suit this.
  • Try not to duplicate content – if you need to provide the same information elsewhere, use a link to the direct the user to the piece of content rather than writing it again.

Guidelines on writing for print publications

  • Start with a similar publication as a starting point. This will be helpful for the designer.
  • Consider your budget. You will need to allocate money for design, printing and delivery, image commissioning or copyright, and envelopes and postage.
  • Make sure you know how many copies you will need.
  • Make sure your copy is the right length for the publication format.
  • Edit and re-edit your content.
  • Follow the University's Style Guide. The guide exists to try to standardise University-wide communications in order to achieve greater consistency, readability and brand association. 
  • Ensure your copy has been approved and signed off prior to getting the publication designed.
  • Remember that standard print sizes exist because they’re cost effective and practical.
  • Keep it simple. The human brain likes simplicity, hierarchy and symmetry.  Making something bigger and bolder does not necessarily make it more noticeable.
  • Make the ‘call to action’ the last and most prominent thing on the final page.

Guidelines on writing for the AAD News Alert and Student News

The AAD News Alert and Student News follow the University's Style Guide. Some relevant points that may help contributors in crafting their items:

  • Keep it short, keep it succinct.
  • Avoid using ‘we’ when referring to your team/department.
  • Dates should be written in the format weekday/day/ month/year. Example: Thursday 7 April 2016.
  • Time should be written in the 24- hour clock. Example: 15:00–17:00.
  • Write out acronyms in full when used for the first time in an item. Example: University Admitting Bodies (UABs).
  • Provide a website or email address where readers can find more information.

Oxford branding

The Oxford brand is a valuable asset. The brand mark (logo) is available for staff to use on publications, websites, documents and presentations from the University of Oxford Branding Toolkit. Ensure you read the branding guidelines and use the logo correctly.


Beautiful, clear images can help elevate the professionalism of a publication. The AAD Communications Office has a subscription to the University of Oxford Image Library that can be used by AAD staff. Contact us to discuss your image needs.

Team AAD

The AAD Communications Office has an ongoing challenge to create understanding and awareness of the Division’s constituent sections. By achieving this, we help make life simpler for staff to find the information they are seeking or to contact the staff member they wish to approach – as a University, our information structure is very organisation led. 

You can help with this awareness through referencing the AAD in any presentations that you give, papers that you write, and through your email signature:

Job title
Section/team, Academic Administration Division
University of Oxford

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