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Email Signature Best Practices at Northwestern Engineering

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Please apply the following standards to your email signature to ensure that Northwestern Engineering is referred to correctly and consistently in our communications. You may copy and paste these two email signatures into your Outlook signature files, then update the relevant information.

Click here for detailed instructions on creating signatures in Outlook.

Brief Signature

Use the informal signature when sending messages to regular contacts. Copy the entire contents within the box to preserve line breaks before and after the signature.

................................................
First Last
Title, Department
McCormick School of Engineering
Northwestern University

phone: 555.555.5555

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Detailed Signature

Use the formal signature when sending messages to new contacts. Copy the entire contents within the box to preserve line breaks before and after the signature.

................................................
First Last
Title, Department
McCormick School of Engineering
Northwestern University

2145 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 555.555.5555 | Fax: 555.555.5555

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Basic Best Practices

Note: To implement most of these practices, you need to set your default email to HTML, not plain text.

  • Use common, legible fonts such as Arial 8-pt. type and minimal colored text.
  • 3 to 4 lines is ideal, with a maximum of 72 characters per line (limit length to keep text on one line) and not more than 10 lines
  • Be concise. Include:
  1. First and last name
  2. Title
  3. School and University names
  4. Preferred contact method
  5. Website
  • Include your preferred contact method. It is not necessary to include the many ways to get in touch with you, unless that is essential to your job.
  • Have two signatures from which to choose: a brief version and a detailed version.
  • Separate signature from content:
    ................................................

Begin the signature with a paragraph return followed by a dotted line, followed by a return. After the text, add one or two returns to visually separate your signature from other text on the page.

  • In the detailed signature, use the shortest form of URL possible. At Northwestern Engineering, it is not necessary to include “www.” or to end the URL with a backslash “/”. Be sure to test the URL to ensure it is correct.
  • Do not include:
  • Quotations that are not relevant to the Northwestern Engineering brand. Personal quotations may not represent the Northwestern Engineering or Northwestern brands, and you risk offending business associates.
  • Other non-work related information such as your personal Twitter, IM or Skype details

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Images, Logos, and Attachments in Northwestern Engineering signatures

  • The Northwestern Engineering and Northwestern names should be represented in text, not in logo format.
  • Do not create the signature as a graphic image. Most email clients store images as attachments. If you present your signature as an image, your correspondents will have a hard time knowing when you have sent a genuine attachment.
  • Do not include a vCard in your standard message, although you may consider attaching it for first-time correspondence.