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Personality, Voice & Tone

Every communication not only conveys information, but also leaves an impression. 

Familiarize yourself with Northwestern's personality, voice and tone.


To ensure that our communications carry a strong and consistent voice, use these personality traits as a guide.

At Northwestern, we are intellectual thrill-seekers.

We are:

  • Ambitious: Driven, bold, and confident, without arrogance
  • Imaginative: Seeking opportunities to discoverinvent, and create
  • Optimistic: Confident that the best ideas are yet to come
  • Curious: Motivated to explore, excited by solving a problem

Voice and Tone

Our communications should carry a certain tone to express our personality.

Strike a positive tone 

Much of what we do at Northwestern is serious and complex. Strike a positive tone that focuses on impact, presents complex ideas in simple language, and celebrates successes.

Take the reader on a journey

The core of the Northwestern Direction idea is that the mindset that’s learned here guides us to far-reaching, sometimes unexpected places. Language and metaphors that speak to the journey traveled or the path taken paint a clear picture for readers.

It sounds like something written by people who went here or excel here

Does the communication carry a tone that says, “This must be from Northwestern”?

Content Examples

Read example copy that illustrates how to use our brand voice successfully.