VOICE AND TONE
Our voice. It’s the beating heart at the core of all our communications. If our message is what we say, our voice is how we say it. Use these guidelines to breathe life into our story and give it meaning, conveying who we are, what we do and why it all matters.
These short paragraphs are the basis for telling our story at the highest level. We call it our brand narrative. Use it to set the tone for your writing for the brand. More than a collection of poetic phrases, these lines help us translate our brand strategy to audience-facing language, and form the spark that inspires our audiences to pay attention.
Big thinking occurs in the unlikeliest of spaces.
Genius thrives in the places where science bumps into art, technology meets humanity,
and sandy shores surround the fertile ground
where solutions grow.
And that’s why we’re here.
On the cutting edge of a continent. In sight of two coastlines. On the brink of a new horizon.
And when the brightest minds come together with the vast resources of this one-of-a-kind environment, something extraordinary can happen.
Invention finds purpose at the intersection
of the abstract and the concrete. Solutions
gain magnitude where analysis and creativity converge.
Ambitions are propelled when limitless potential meets boundless opportunity. Imagination gets direction where knowledge is shared, concepts are combined, and innovation is unleashed.
Here, engineering shapes medicine, agriculture gains optics, entrepreneurship is set to music,
philosophy is informed by data, astronomy is grounded by design, and impossibilities
The ideas that go on to change the world. They’re launching from right here.
Concepts collide. Solutions accelerate.
HOW TO USE LANGUAGE FROM OUR BRAND NARRATIVE
This language is designed to give our communications a human voice. It helps us deliver on our messaging, it keeps us consistent, and it makes our stories believable.
USE THIS LANGUAGE:
To ensure that our personality comes through in the voice.
The tone of what you’re writing should capture the spirit of this narrative and convey the same propulsive, inspiring feeling. This language can help you make appropriate choices to achieve a relatable voice. Make sure that whatever you’re writing sounds like it’s coming from a person who possesses our personality traits.
To give context for our messaging.
We have a multitude of stories to tell, and lots of information we need to deliver. By couching this information in a compelling narrative, we can help ensure that what we say gets received and remembered. When our content aligns with this narrative, we give our message emotion, meaning and relevance.
To maintain consistency.
With this brand narrative as a guide, we can ensure that all University of Florida communications work together and sound as if they’re all coming from one consistent brand voice.
To ensure that the world hears our story.
By keeping our story consistent, compelling and clear, we can deliver an incredibly potent message. This way, we’re all sharing one story, repeatedly, with a variety of audiences, across all types of media.
There’s a palpable energy and a powerful spirit at the heart of the University of Florida. It’s fueled by the magnitude of our reach and resources. It’s propelled by the velocity of the innovations we develop. And it gains direction as we share our work with a world that needs our solutions more than ever. This energy and spirit should influence all our language. The world will hear our voice, but more than that, the world should feel
The approach: Whether we say it overtly or suggest it through the words and images we choose, momentum is the force that drives all our work, and all our communications.
LANGUAGE THAT HARNESSES MOMENTUM
It starts with Florida.
Momentum, launched from Florida.
From Florida to the world.
The University of Florida.
Where momentum begins.
Momentum builds here.
Momentum. From Florida, skyward.
The power of Momentum.
It starts with Florida.
This is where momentum takes us.
A community of collaborators.
It’s people who make the University of Florida what it is. Our campus attracts the best and brightest in every field, places them together, and connects them with world-class resources. We are all driven by the joy of discovery, and we drive those discoveries by bringing together the best thinking and the best thinkers in every discipline.
The approach: Make the work personal by illustrating what drives each person to do what they do, and the passion and spark they bring.
LANGUAGE THAT SHOWS
THE JOY OF DISCOVERY
When the brightest minds come together with the vast resources of this one-of-a-kind environment, something extraordinary is bound to happen.
It’s momentum that jolts our synapses as we make new connections.
Momentum gives us the spark of joy that comes from each unexpected realization.
Momentum drives that buzz of excitement as impossibilities become realities.
What brings us together is a love for what we do.
On the cutting edge of a continent.
Use this language to highlight our unique location on the peninsula of Florida, with the coastlines as a metaphor for the new horizons we’re chasing. This is something that we can singularly own, so the more we can make the link between innovation and our location — our coasts, our fertile soil, our region’s topography, the gulf and the greater ocean, and the unique spaces we call home — the more we can grow our reputation as the place where big ideas come from.
The approach: Find inventive and ownable ways to talk about the state of Florida, the unique environment that surrounds us, and the distinctive vantage point we have.
LANGUAGE THAT CELEBRATES OUR LOCATION
On three edges of a continent.
In sight of two coastlines.
On the brink of a new horizon.
Before we changed the world, we started
right here. Momentum begins at the
University of Florida.
On the edge of the continent, in the fertile ground where solutions grow, surrounded by miles of sandy shoreline, and the waves that big ideas create.
Momentum begins on the cutting edge of the continent.
From Florida, upward.
From Florida, onward.
From Florida, forward.
Collisions at the intersections.
One of the most distinctive features of our voice is how we talk about the breakthroughs and discoveries that occur where different disciplines bump into each other. We are proud of the work we do in the sciences, the humanities, business, medicine, engineering and every other field of study we pursue here — but things get more interesting when we highlight the intersections.
The approach: Tell the story by showing what came together to make it possible. Combine ideas, unite disparate disciplines and smash together concepts. Whether it’s through a simple “this plus that,” or something less conventional, experiment with different ways of showing the parts that collide to make something new.
LANGUAGE THAT SHOWS COLLISIONS
WHERE AG COLLIDES WITH AI:
Ideas gain the momentum to enhance crops,
improve food and feed communities.
AT THE CROSSROADS OF GEOLOGY AND
Explorers find the momentum to open up
Healing coastlines at the intersection of
marine science and engineering.
Machine Learning x Human Learning
THOUGHTS SPARK CONCEPTS INSPIRE
THINKERS INVENT SOLUTIONS CHALLENGE
IDEAS CREATE POSSIBILITIES IGNITE
In the spaces where the social, political,
technological and historical collide,
new understanding gains momentum.
When AI collides with design,
momentum propels creativity.
An intellectual theme park.
There’s a unique spirit of joy and playfulness that runs through our work. This is a place where we combine experiences, pull together ideas and smash together concepts, just to see what might happen. The university is more than just a laboratory, more than a research facility — it’s a full-scale intellectual theme park, fueled by imagination, dreams and big thinkers.
The approach: Show the things that could only happen here, by highlighting the spaces between thinkers and ideas. Draw on the language of one discipline to talk about another, and use unexpected language to make new connections.
LANGUAGE THAT SHARES OUR
ENVIRONMENT OF INNOVATION
Where science inspires art,
concrete becomes abstract,
technology finds humanity,
ideas gain purpose,
discoveries spark joy,
breakthroughs propel solutions,
and innovators make connections.
The science of art.
The poetry of engineering.
The business of health.
The technology of agriculture.
The psychology of finance.
The geography of design.
Engineering invented it.
Artificial intelligence powers it.
Agriculture harnessed it.
The world embraces it.
Populations thrive with it.
Where solutions are launched.
Above all, our brand language gives us an opportunity to show the world what we’re capable of, what we’re working on and how the world will benefit. Active words such as “launched” and “propelled” are drawn from our state’s history in space exploration, but also speak to the powerful kinetic energy we harness here. We use our voice not only to demonstrate the tremendous impact of our work, but also to remind our audiences that these big, global solutions come from right here in Florida.
The approach: Tell the story that happens before the story. We are developing world-changing solutions here, even if they’re not out there in the world yet. Talk about the promise and the potential we represent, and always remind our audiences exactly where this impact is coming from.
SHOWS OUR IMPACT
The ideas that go on to change the world.
They’re launching from right here.
Soon, it will create healthier, better-tasting crops.
And it’s launching right here, right now.
Momentum. From Florida, to the world.
It has the power to heal coastlines all over the world.
And it’s coming soon, from Florida.
Momentum starts in Florida.
What starts here
What starts in Florida doesn’t stop.
OUR PERSONALITY DRIVES OUR VOICE
These six personality traits inform the tone of our language. We speak (and write) in our brand voice by applying these characteristics. Imagine someone who personifies this personality, and imagine how they’d speak and what they’d say, and the brand voice will follow. The specific vocabulary you use will vary, but you should always ensure that the UF voice is driven by these essential ideas.
Note: When telling stories, choose examples that demonstrate how we embody these features. Use them to make your story more compelling and full of emotion.
Our personality is original,
and our voice celebrates the uniqueness
of every member of our community.
We aren’t bound by tradition or expectations —
we’re proud to do things our own way.
Our personality is inclusive,
and our voice is welcoming and open.
Each of us brings something distinctive to the university, and our brand gives voice to all.
Our personality is bold,
and our voice is focused on achieving our goals.
Everything we do is purposeful, and we bring a single-minded focus to the work we do.
Our personality is empathetic,
and our voice demonstrates understanding
People are at the heart of our brand, and they
are the reason for all our work.
Our personality is imaginative,
and our voice is characterized by a sense of curiosity and wonder.
We take on these pursuits because we love them, and we look for innovative approaches to every challenge.
Our personality is vibrant,
and our voice is lively and full of energy.
There’s a boundless spirit that runs through everything we do. Our voice is bold because
we need the world to hear it.
TIPS FOR WRITING
1. Start with a hook.
Give them a reason to care right away. Lead with a benefit.
2. Find an angle.
A story should be about one thing: place, process, purpose, people.
3. Find the hero.
People are at the heart of everything we do. Put them there.
4. Reveal our character.
You don’t always have to say “momentum.” But you should always show it. Demonstrate what the university is doing to generate momentum and create possibilities for our students, our state and our world.
5. Breathe life in every breath.
Our voice is personal — we write like we talk. Read it out loud to test.
6. Be real. Clever is overrated.
The best writing doesn’t call much attention to itself. Speak to people.
7. Avoid jargon and hyperbole.
Even if it’s what everybody says. Especially if it’s what everybody says.
8. Cut out the excess.
Say only what you need to say. Get to the point without using unnecessary words.
9. Say one thing well.
Don’t overwhelm your audience with content or tiresome lists of information.
10. Use inclusive pronouns.
“We” speak to “you” whenever possible. Our voice is conversational.
11. Show the impact of our work.
Every story should reveal why we do the things we do.
12. Make an emotional connection.
Decide how you want your audience to feel, and write accordingly.
13. Draft a plot.
Rather than state the benefit, dramatize it. Show our brand promise at work.
14. Be consistently inconsistent.
These aren’t rules, and they shouldn’t be. Choose the language that best communicates our message, and the voice will follow.