Our brand is how we tell our story. Our story is not only the words and images we use—it is working together to present a distinctive look, feel and voice that is immediately recognizable as the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP). The principles outlined here help us tell our story with creativity and consistency, whether we are talking to prospective job seekers, employers, training providers or funders.
This SDWP branding and style guide is designed to be a guide. There will be times when staff members and providers need to make exceptions to these guidelines, even beyond the exceptions that are already spelled out here. Use your discretion when making such exceptions and, when in doubt, contact us.
Refer to this SDWP Style Guide cheat sheet as a quick reference to the most common issues.
To easily search this style guide, use the below button to expand all sections, then use Control+F or Command+F to find what you are looking for.
Our mission is our reason for being.
To empower job seekers to meet the current and future workforce needs of employers in San Diego County.
Our vision spells out how we envision the present and future of our community and the impact we strive for in our work.
Every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. Our community will view us as the leader for innovative workforce solutions, which add great value to our region.
Our Core Values
Our Brand Tagline
Our brand tagline succinctly describes what we do, represent and care about. It appears on our business cards, website and other external facing communications.
Our message is what we say. Our voice is how we say it. Together, a compelling message and a consistent voice are what make our messages resonate. In this section, you will find guidance to help you achieve this across all of our communications.
Personality articulates the tone and voice of our messages and how we want our audiences to feel about our brand.
- interconnected (collaborative and inclusive)
- creative (visionary and inspired)
- approachable (humanizing and supportive)
- trailblazing (ambitious and innovative)
- intelligent (knowledgeable and insightful)
- reliable (evidence-based)
In general, we want to sound professional yet human, factual (avoid opinions) yet friendly.
Use the active voice when possible, but don’t alter the author’s emphasis when changing from passive to active sentence structure. When restructuring a sentence, remember the active voice emphasizes the doer of the action, and the passive voice emphasizes the receiver of the action. Examples: The San Diego Workforce Partnership funds a number of community-based organizations to deliver workforce services.” (Avoid: “Many community-based organizations are funded by the San Diego Workforce Partnership…”)
The persona is made up of characteristics SDWP might have as a person. Keeping the below, which was created with cross-departmental input, in mind helps us draft messages in a more human voice.
The San Diego Workforce Partnership is a multi-cultural, mid-career woman born and raised in South County San Diego. She dresses in business-casual and wears her hair up, ready to work. She is college-educated and strongly believes in lifelong learning. She is nurturing and motherly yet carries herself with a business-like and professional demeanor. She is energetic and outgoing, resourceful and masterful, inventive and attentive, calm and compassionate. She is a go-getter with large ambitions but relies heavily on others to move her passions forward. She is a visionary with high hopes for her community. She is a philanthropist, a storyteller and a caregiver. Her values include promoting inclusion, equity, diversity and authenticity. Her goal is to become the #1 leader in workforce development for San Diego County. She will do this by providing useful labor market research and resources for the community. She will match employers with qualified job seekers while working to halve the gap of disconnected youth in the San Diego region. Her mission focus is to ensure equal opportunity for all within San Diego’s job market.
Keeping the audience in mind when writing results in better decisions about not only what information to include, but also the organization and formatting of the piece. Effective writing uses language that reflects the audience, not the writer. This could mean avoiding jargon and esoteric terms, or stepping into the audience’s shoes to consider what they might find most important, and convey that in the most concise and simple way possible.
Common SDWP audiences:
- Government officials
- Job seekers
Consistency is key to writing effectively and on brand. Use this guide to make sure you are following established writing styles.
In general, for everything aside from designed pieces, use Arial for a range of documents:
- PowerPoint presentations
- meeting agendas
Title: Arial Narrow, 14 pt, bold, ALL CAPS
Header 1: Arial, 12 pt, bold, ALL CAPS
Body: Arial, 11 pt
If a grant or other document calls for a specific font size and type that should be used in place of the following, please follow the specific guidelines given by the funding entity for the particular grant application.
For designed pieces (done through the marketing & communications team):
Title: Avenir Next Condensed, 14 pt, bold, ALL CAPS
Header 1: Avenir Next, 12 pt, bold, ALL CAPS
Body: Avenir Next, 11 pt
Career center branding guidelines
Verbally and in writing, SDWP’s network of career centers should be referred to simply as “career centers” (lowercase).
America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) co-branding
The career center co-branding should appear on the following:
- SDWP website footer
- Window decal to be displayed at all career center locations
- Career center documents and collateral (all enrollment forms, agreements, reports, flyers, fact sheets, explainers, letterhead, etc.)
- Career center staff business cards (see template)
- Career center staff email signature
The career center co-branding may be presented in one of two ways:
- Display the AJCC logo in conjunction with the SDWP logo. In this case, the logo must print at least one-third the size of other logos used.
- Use the following tagline in conjunction with the local brand logo: A proud partner of the America’s Job Center of California Network.
The slogan, which is to be printed in Arial typeface, shall appear immediately adjacent to the logo and can be proportional to the size of the logo; however, in no case shall the text be smaller than 8 points. It is also permissible to use the slogan without the logo.
Whenever possible, use professional photos from our photography vendor, Bauman Photographers (see both the 2018 gallery and pre-2018 gallery). You can also browse Central > Communications > Shared > Photos for in-house options. If you have exhausted these resources and stock imagery is needed, use a free site such as Pexels.com or Unsplash.com and attribute as required or recommended by license. (At this time, we do not have a paid subscription to a fee-based stock image site.)
Avoid pulling images from search engines, as copyright laws can be violated when using images found on the internet.
When using stock imagery, the images you select should feel authentic and convey our core values of stewardship, collaboration and excellence. They should be diverse, bright and positive without any artificial filters placed over them.
Staff are encouraged to send photos of SDWP events or staff participation at other events to the marketing & communications team for use on social media, eNews and for banking in the shared drive.
If you get media inquiries pertaining to the use of our photography, please direct them to the marketing & communications team. In general, we want to include the language “Courtesy of the San Diego Workforce Partnership” when our professional and in-house photography is being shared.
Glossary of Workforce Terms
Refer to this when looking for descriptions and definitions of programs and workforce terminology.
Refer to this when creating charts and graphs for any purpose.
Created by the research team, this template shows how we design our research bifolds and reports.