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Brookes online style guide

Tips for team members and freelancers

The Brookes web & email style for Marketing materials differs somewhat from the official Brookes Style Guide for the production of our books and resources. The Marketing web & email style is geared toward an online audience, adapted in part from The Yahoo! Style Guide, and includes some house/department exceptions.

Brookes Marketing web & email style guide


Tone and voice

Generally, the tone of the Brookes website, emails, and newsletters is friendly, more direct, and less formal than the tone of our books (yet still professional).

Note: We write the way people speak, occasionally opting for conversational over strict adherence to grammatical correctness that sounds stilted (so we may use “their” to refer to a child or student rather than “his or her,” for instance, for ease of reading). Here are some other types of “rules” we may break.

Speak directly to the audience and frame things from the readers’ perspective (reader-centric rather than Brookes-centric: Have you gotten your new catalog? vs How you gotten our new catalog?).

Highlight the benefits to readers. Demonstrate an understanding of the challenges they face and the outcomes they seek, and highlight tips and strategies that will help the professionals we serve achieve their desired results.

For newsletters: Use practical illustrations and concrete examples to illustrate points as much as possible. How-tos are very popular (see our most popular newsletter article more than 5 years running.)


Our audience is made up primarily of professionals working to support the learning and development of children and youth with disabilities or delays:

  • early childhood professionals (pediatricians/clinicians, home visitors/early interventionists, day care providers, preschool teachers and other early childhood educators)
  • K-12 teachers (general educators, special educators, paraprofessionals) & administrators
  • other education specialists (speech-language pathologists, reading specialists, occupational therapists)
  • the professors and instructors who teach those professionals

These professionals often are under pressure from (under- or unfunded) mandates and lack adequate resources, including time, money for materials, training, and sometimes administrative support.

Philosphy & approach

Marketing draws evidence-based content from Brookes books and other resources and packages it into practical, easily accessible material to make it easier for those practitioners to do their jobs.

Our writing incorporates core terms and concepts embraced by Brookes and reflecting best practices in the field:

  • strengths-based – highlights what a child can do and areas for improvement, constructively presented, rather than focusing on their deficits
  • person-centered – a person is not their label; any disability is just one aspect of who that person is: He has learning disabilities vs He is LD.
  • inclusive – we emphasize the value not only of all children being in the same settings, but also of having access to the same experiences and material, made relevant with differentiation, adaptations, modifications, and universal design for learning
  • blended approaches – we emphasize best practices that include integrative methods, co-teaching, and multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary coordination
  • presumption of competence – whatever a child’s developmental level or communication ability, we assume they are competent and capable of learning, set high expectations, and require accountability, with adapted assessments that accurately reveal their ability
  • positive behavior support – behavior is a form of communication; we put in place environmental & instructional supports, assessments, and monitoring to facilitate positive behavior
  • social-emotional development – the development of social-emotional skills are foundational to a child’s ability to learn and make progress, and therefore as critical as development of their academic skills
  • parents and caregivers as critical partners – no one is a greater expert on the child (besides the child him- or herself) than the parent or caregiver
  • self-determination and self-advocacy of children and youth – children with disabilities and delays not only get a seat at the table; they get a prime voice
  • routines-based intervention – we work with children and families where they are, helping them identify solutions that fit within their own culture, values, resources, routines, and environments
  • the importance of talking, reading, singing, engaging in early childhood – the groundbreaking study reported by Brookes in Meaningful Differences revealed what a critical role the number of words a young child hears and the quality of interaction with others plays in a child’s future learning

When presenting challenges that children and youth face, we frame the issue positively, highlighting resources and strategies that lead to positive outcomes: Children at risk for literacy and language disorders benefit from explicit instruction in areas such as phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension. Here are some strategies … We avoid subjective value judgments (a boy who has autism rather than a boy who suffers from autism).


The goal of our writing is to

  • build community and credibility
  • reinforce Brookes’s reputation as a publisher of trustworthy resources responsive to the needs of professionals in the field
  • bolster professionals’ efforts and help them be more effective in their work
  • supply them with the information they need to move along in their decision-making process toward making a purchase

… all with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of children and youth making real progress in their learning and development through the widespread use of best practices.

Accessibility & search engine optimization

Make it easy for everyone to find and access the content on the site.

  • In every instance when you use an image, also include alt text descriptions in the html code. People with limited vision rely on these descriptions (that are read by their readers), and search engines scan them to deliver more targeted search results
  • Use content-rich keywords in your headings, titles, captions, calls to action, and links (so, instead of Click or tap here, say, Download the literacy toolkit)
  • Complete the Yoast fields for optimal SE

Writing for online/mobile

Online writing displays differently depending on the device and programs viewed through; space is often of a premium:

  • Headings: Create headlines and subheadlines that distill content, make stories easy to scan, and break up text into readable chunks.
  • Write strong headlines. Successful headlines tell the gist of the story in a few powerful words.
  • Paragraphs: Keep them short, simple, and on one topic.
  • Use verbs that are strong, active, fresh, and accurate.
  • Lists: Make use of bullets and simplify complicated steps, organize ideas for your readers, and add welcome white space to a page.



  • Use well-recognized abbreviations and acronyms in headings and headlines before the expansion has been introduced in text.
  • Do not over-capitalize when using the expanded form; in most cases, the full term is rendered in lower case: universal design for learning … UDL.


  • Headings & titles: Use sentence case. First letter of first word, proper nouns, and abbreviations/acronyms are capitalized; all others are lower-cased.
  • Titles of individuals: Capitalize formal titles when they precede a name, lower-case them when they follow or when used with an article (a, an, the).

Hyphens and dashes

  • Use a hyphen to connect two words that precede a noun and act as a unit modifier (evidence-based practices).
  • Do not use a hyphen with -ly adverbs in compounds.
  • Use an en dash for number and page ranges.
  • Use an en dash for noun pairs that modify another noun (parent–child interactions).


  • In the interest of brevity, numbers in headings, titles, and subject lines may be rendered as numerals; usage should be consistent throughout a text.

Styling list items:

  • If one or more of the list items is a complete sentence, capitalize the first word of every list item and use ending punctuation after each item.
  • If all the list items are sentence fragments, don’t use any ending punctuation; the first word of each item should be lower-cased.



  • Use the first time the title or acronym appears in copy.
  • Use in product titles (in Acumen).
  • Use logos with ™ or ® marks.
  • Do not use in section headings, call-outs boxes, or captions.


  • Use marks in the first instance in body copy only.
  • Use logos with ™ or ® marks.
  • Don’t use marks in subject lines, titles, subtitles, or captions.

Social Media

  • Do not use in social media copy.
  • Include on any applicable content pieces, quote pics, etc. promoted in social media.

Word usage

  • website (one word)
  • online (one word)
  • email (no dash)
  • ebook (no dash)
  • Brookes’s (apostrophe-s, or, reword so it’s not awkward: “the Brookes approach” rather than “Brookes’s approach”)

Design & imagery

Brookes online style guideThe selection of images, whether for emails, newsletters, articles, infographics, quotepics, or other content, should depict children and settings displaying the results of best practices. The images show the outcomes and progress that our books are aiming to promote. They represent a diverse range of children with and without disabilities, in the appropriate age range, and the professionals who work with them.

Brookes website colors

Brookes website colors:

[panel title="Brookes web colors"]


  • gray: 4C5A58
  • orange: EE802B (orange wash call-out box: FCE8DE)
  • teal: 2C8E92


  • red: EF5025
  • chartreuse: E8DF45
  • light gray: 9E9D90
  • sea mist: C1C8A9

Brookes logos

Image dimensions

On the PowerWeb/store side of the site (

Product images

Save two sizes:

product page image

  • 120 px by whatever length px is proportional @ 72 dpi
  • add a 1-point black (#000000) border
  • name as 13 ISBN with hyphens
  • save for web as gif (so, for example, 123-4-56789-0.gif)

thumbnail image

  • 65 px by whatever length px is proportional @ 72 dpi
  • add a 1-point black (#000000) border
  • name as 13 ISBN with hyphens with _t
  • save for web as gif (so, for example, 123-4-56789-0_t.gif)

Upload both to Web 2 Market’s ftp site: Assets/ProductImages.

Author/contributor images

  • head shot to about the V of the neck
  • 120 px by 160 px @ 72 dpi
  • add a 1-point black (#000000) border
  • name as the 4-digit Contributor ID from Acumen
  • save for web as gif

Upload to Web 2 Market’s ftp site: Assets/ContributorImages

For Savings, Faculty and newsletter emails and articles:

Savings email

Faculty email

General template/other

EC and ED newsletters

Main feature newsletter email image: 246 px x 246 px, saved as (or ED)-newsletter-main.jpg

Main feature newsletter article image: same image as in email but with different dimensions, uploaded to WordPress media library: 270 px x 180 px

Newsletter news blurb images: 268 px x 207 px, saved as (or ED)-some-descriptors.jpg or .gif

Newsletter placement

EC and ED newsletter: (or early-childhood-newsletter)/article-title-automatically-generated/

ASQ News & Updates

Main feature newsletter email image: 262 px x 262 px, saved as MMYY-ASQ-newsletter-main,jpg, uploaded to WordPress Media Library, with description included

Newsletter blurb images:

Main feature newsletter article image: same image as in email but with different dimensions, uploaded to WordPress media library: 270 px x 180 px

AEPS News & Updates

Brookes website updates

PowerWeb side of site

Home Page ( – Banner Image

  • The new image will need to be placed into the folder /App_Themes/BrookesPublishing/
  • You will need to update the HTML which places the image on the homepage. This code resides in a Sriptlet titled Home Page.htm
  • Home Page.htm resides in the folder /App_Data/Scriptlets/Custom/Content/

***All Scriptlets in use for the site reside in sub-folders of /App_Data/Scriptlets/Custom/***

Header Updates

  • The HTML for the header and header menu resides in the header Scriptlet
  • You will need to edit the Scriptlet Standard Header.htm which resides in the folder /App_Data/Scriptlets/Custom/Header/
  • The menu is setup as a list, so you will need to add or remove the list items and links depending upon your updates

Left Column Updates

  • The category menu in the left column will need to be updated when you add or remove
    categories in ACUMEN.
  • The HTML for this menu resides in the file Standard Sidebar 1.htm
  • Standard Sidebar 1.htm is located in the folder /App_Data/Scriptlets/Custom/Sidebar/
  • As with the header menu, this menu is setup as a list, and you will need to add or remove list items depending upon the nature of your changes.

Footer Updates

  • The HTML for your footer resides in the file Standard Footer.htm
  • Standard Footer.htm is located in the folder /App_Data/Scriptlets/Custom/Footer/Stylesheets
  • The majority of the CSS resides in a file named style.css
  • style.css resides in the folder /App_Themes/BrookesPublishing/
  • The other stylesheet being used is titled cw_pagestyles.css
  • cw_pagestyles.css can be found in the folder /Assets/ClientCss/

***Google Chrome and Internet Explorer have built in code inspectors. If you use Firefox, I would recommend using the add-on called Firebug. These tools allow you to view the code being displayed in the browser. Using these tools, you can inspect which style is being applied to a specific element, and where on the stylesheet you need to make the edit.***

Formatting pdf downloads

Header and footer specs

These instructions are for older versions of Adobe Acrobat Pro; more recent versions may not require so many machinations.

Footer in Adobe Acrobat Pro 7 (Arial 8, bottom margin 0.03)

Header in Adobe Pro 9 (Arial 11, teal, top margin 0.50, bottom margin 0.03)

Part I. In Adobe Acrobat Pro 7

1. Pull the selected excerpt from the Final pdfs to Printer file in the PROJECTS folder (if it’s a not-quite or just-published title, the file may still be in the INPROD folder).

2. Make sure that the selection contains no tables or other material that may have permissions issues. If there is anything in the selection in question, find the appropriate permissions folder in the PROJECTS folder and/or check with the production editor to be sure we can use the sections in a digital download. If there is a permissions question, adjust the selection so it doesn’t contain the section, make another selection, or coordinate with the production editor to get clearance.

For instance, in the example we are using, there is a potential permissions question with a figure that will need to be checked:

Figure 5.1. Guide to Adapting Instruction. (Adapted with permission from The University of Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts. [2003b]. Special education reading project [SERP] secondary institute—Effective instruction for secondary struggling readers: Research-based practices. Austin, TX: Author.)

3. Extract the pages you need (Document –> Extract Pages) and be careful to save them somewhere other than the PROJECTS folder.

4. As a naming convention, please use the

author’s last name, hyphen, then a keyword or two, divided by hyphens, that encapsulate the content in the article, so …

rather than Denton_Excerpt_Ch5.pdf (which works perfectly well internally), denton-reading-instruction.pdf. We want the filename to be user-facing so it is meaningful to our readers when they download it.

Plus, including content-rich keywords helps our standing in search results. (Note: Macs do not like filenames of more than 31 characters, or with any spaces or unusual marks, so pls keep filenames to 30 characters or fewer).

5. Crop to get rid of any printer marks (Tools –> Advanced Editing –> Crop Tools). Delete any blank pages (Document –> Delete Pages).

6. Use a blank textbox to cover any extraneous segments. Make sure the textbox doesn’t extend up (or down) where your header and footer will go.

7. Add a centered header and footer to All the pages.

The convention for the centered header is

Excerpted by [title: subtitle][soft return]
by [or “edited by”] [author’s full name with academic credentials; use the ampersand (&) before final author if more than one]

The convention for the centered footer is

Brookes Publishing | | 1-800-638-3775[soft return]
© 2012 | All rights reserved

We currently use Arial 8 and set the headers and footers at .25 inches away from the top or bottom. Once you’ve added the header and footer, page through the selection to make sure they are not bumping into the text. If they are, reduce the margins ‘til everything fits (example attached).

8. Insert the most current Brookes Order Form as the last page of the document (no header or footer information needed). Save.

Part II. In Adobe Acrobat Pro 9

1. Reopen the document in Acrobat Pro 9. Adjust the page size to 100%. Under File –> Properties, set the Magnification to 100%.

2. Set security settings.

Under Advanced –> Security –> Show Security Settings

Where it says, Security Settings, change “No Security” to “Password Security”

That will bring up the Password Security – Settings window … check “Restrict editing and printing of the document … ”

Where it says Change Permissions Password: enter the word “mercantile”

Where it says, Printing Allowed, change it to High Resolution; where it says, Changes Allowed, leave it as None.

Click OK. When the notice comes up, click OK again

You’ll be prompted to enter the password you just created: enter “mercantile”

You’ll get yet another notice; click OK. Click OK again, and then Save your document

3. It is now ready for primetime. Email the doc to me. I will upload it and add it to the book’s Resources tab, unless you instruct me otherwise.

The location where the file will reside will be:[filename].pdf … so, for example,