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House Style

Personalized style issues for organizations


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No, it's not about the style of your residence. House style is a set of guidelines used in schools, in the publishing industry, in companies and organizations of all types, that sets out things such as punctuation (quotation marks inside or outside a period), grammar, preferred spelling and capitalization (gray / grey or Web site / website), formatting of citations and other references, abbreviations (TX / Tex. or US / U.S.), and other matters related to both the readability and visual appearance of printed documents and Web sites.

House style may follow a standard style guide such as The Chicago Manual of Style (US), the Associated Press Stylebook (US), The Oxford Style Manual (UK), CP Stylebook (Canada), or one of many other published style guidebooks. However, an organization may have an internal house style that includes issues not covered in that style guide or that vary from these manuals. For example, a company may use AP style for everything except how they format book titles. AP styles specifies the use of quotation marks. The house style may call for italics instead.

House style may include matters such as the preferred fonts, colors, margins, and acceptable formats for electronic submission of materials. It may also dictate the way in which a company logo can be used (aka brand style guidelines — for example, the exclusion zone) and what standard style guidelines to use for matters not specifically addressed in the organization's internal house style guide.

Buy a Style Guide

Compare PricesThe Elements of Style (general public classic)
Compare PricesThe Chicago Manual of Style
Compare PricesPocket Guide to the Chicago Manual of Style
Compare PricesMLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing
Compare PricesA Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian)
Compare PricesNew York Public Library Writer's Guide to Style and Usage
Compare PricesThe Business Style Handbook
Compare PricesBusiness Grammar, Style & Usage
Compare PricesThe ACS Style Guide (scientific)
Compare PricesThe Redbook (legal)
Compare PricesThe Bluebook of Grammar and Punctuation
Compare PricesAMA Manual of Style (medical)
Compare PricesWriting the Research Paper (MLA & APA Styles)


Also Known As: style guide | style manual | style book

Examples: Adherence to house style ensures consistency within an organization. One way that designers can simplify and speed up production and make sure that the documents they create meet the house style established by a client or employer is to incorporate any specific formatting issues into the style sheets they use in their desktop publishing software.

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