The Message Guide and its Purpose

The point of this guide is to help us bring more impact and consistency to Mason’s communications. This is an important goal. By communicating more effectively, we can build recognition and respect for the university, ignite pride and loyalty, and fuel enrollment and investment.

Inside, you’ll find a set of key messages and strengths—what we need to communicate. You’ll also see a set of tools for doing so: headlines to catch attention, proof points to back up the headlines, and themelines that express some of our most important messages in powerful ways. The guide offers an explanation of each tool and instructions for using it.

Depending on the kind of communication you’re working on—a brochure, a web page, or an ad, for example—you’ll need to combine the tools in different ways. The second part of the guide, Visual Identity and Style, provides some examples. It also presents a set of graphic standards that will help ensure visual consistency.

Because Mason produces communications of so many kinds for such diverse audiences and purposes, it’s impossible to offer a set of simple 1-2-3 instructions. However, the tools provided here are a good starting point.

Dive in and get familiar with them, then start putting them to use. If you have questions along the way, don’t hesitate to ask. Your sources for guidance are Sarah Seeberg, creative director,, 703-933-8802, Elliott de Luca, art director,, 703-993- 8263, and Colleen Rich, editorial director,, 703-993-8805.