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Web Style Guide

Northwestern University's web style guide exists to facilitate consistency and usability and to promote standardized University branding across websites University-wide. For more detailed information on branding, please refer to the Brand Tools website.

Brand Tools Site

Web Style Guide Sections

Official Version

  • The online version of this document is the official web style guide for Northwestern University.
  • A department, school, program, or administrative entity may allow the development of additional web standards requirements, as long as they do not conflict with University web standards.
  • University standards supersede any units' internal standards.
  • Sub-units that do not establish a separate format must use the format of the nearest superior entity or the University's web style guide.


  • Identity: University branding allows visitors to recognize immediately a web page's affiliation with Northwestern University.
  • Usability: Sites must be made as usable (that is, quick and easy to use, navigate, and understand) as possible for the widest audience.
  • Consistency: This guide promotes consistency. Consistency simplifies navigation of pages for end users of Northwestern's web pages. Northwestern is committed to maintaining a high level of consistency across web pages in different areas of the University's website.
  • Accuracy: Pages must be accurate and up-to-date.


This web style guide has been organized in sections that apply to various roles in the website creation/management process. These roles may or may not overlap in a given individual's responsibilities.


Any web document that represents Northwestern University or its official units, programs, departments, or schools is expected to follow this web style guide.