Conformance: Mandatory

The voice and tone of the brand is critical to all messaging. It helps establish trust and a line of communication from the City to our residents. The readability of content is important so users can understand and digest the information in a useful and meaningful way. 

Content should be:

  • Welcoming
  • Vibrant
  • Straightforward
  • Helpful
  • Forward-thinking


  • Language should aim to meet Grade 6 to 8 reading level
  • Be clear and concise
  • Break up and organize content into digestible sections
  • Focus on the audience
  • Cut out unnecessary words
  • Address people directly as “you”
  • Be direct and give people a call to action


Some content, whether technical or regulatory, may have a higher reading level. 


  • Messages are easy to read and understand
  • Builds trust between the City and residents


  • Users are not able to understand content
  • Users may not know what action to perform or know what to clearly do

Writing Style Guide

A pencil illustration in a circle

To maintain a strong and consistent City voice, publications should use standardized terminology, punctuation, abbreviations, and other elements of style. Please refer to the writing style guide on SharePoint for specific guidelines.

Writing Style Guide (Internal Only)