Editorial Style Guide
Writers and editors should adhere to Associated Press (AP) Stylebook standards for virtually all writing, except when an FIT style standard differs. FIT style generally supersedes all other style standards.
When abbreviating, do not use punctuation: AAS, BS, BFA, MA, MFA, MPS, MBA, PhD
Capitalize only when using an official, complete department name or when a proper noun or adjective is used. Prepositions should be lowercase in all instances. For example: Jane Smith is in the Department of Illustration, or the Illustration department teaches digital and traditional techniques. Note: Departments are not necessarily the same as degree programs. See also the rules for majors and programs.
Acronyms may be used on second reference when referring to FIT entities, provided that the formal name is provided on first reference, along with the acronym to be used: June Smith is a student in Spatial Experience Design (SED). She helped create SED’s holiday window displays.
Long acronyms should be avoided. For entities outside FIT, acronyms may be used only in accordance with Associated Press style.
Write out streets numbered one through nine and use numerals for streets numbered
10 and above. Write out the name of the avenue when referring to a New York City address.
e.g. First Avenue, 10th Avenue, First Street, 21st Street
Capitalize street, avenue, boulevard, etc. except when referring to multiples.
e.g. First Street, First and Second streets
e.g. FIT is between Seventh and Eighth avenues
FIT mailing address
[Name of person]
Office [or, for academic departments, Department] of xxxxx
227 West 27th Street
Room xxxx (e.g. B905)
New York, NY 10001-5992
Use an ampersand only when it is part of a company’s formal name or of a composition title (book, work of art, musical piece, etc.). Do not use ampersands in the names of FIT schools, departments, or programs.
e.g. School of Art and Design, Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, Barnes & Noble
Board of Trustees
Capitalize Board of Trustees when referring to FIT’s board; however, lowercase “board” when the word stands alone. The board gathered for its fall meeting.
Refer to FIT’s buildings by their formal names. Do not use letters.
- Marvin Feldman Center (short form: Feldman Center or Feldman)
- David Dubinsky Student Center (short form: Dubinsky Student Center or Dubinsky)
- Business and Liberal Arts Center (short form: Business and Liberal Arts)
- Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center (short form: Pomerantz Center or Pomerantz)
- Shirley Goodman Resource Center (short form: Goodman Resource Center or Goodman)
Avoid unnecessary capitalization. Capitalize proper nouns. Common nouns such as “ college ” and “ president ” should be capitalized only when used as part of a full name for a person, place, or thing: FIT marks its 75th anniversary in 2020. The college opened with 100 students, and now has nearly 10,000. FIT President Joyce F. Brown has served since 1998. The president earned her doctorate from New York University.
Not cell phone. Similarly, smartphone.
Common names such as “the center” can be used on second reference: FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies offers evening and weekend classes. The center’s instructors are industry professionals.
Use chair, not chairman, chairperson, or chairwoman.
When referring to FIT, the word college is lowercase. The college offers nearly 50 degree programs.
Capitalize names of formal college bodies.
e.g. the President’s Cabinet; Board of Trustees; the Diversity Council
On second reference, the cabinet; the board; the council
Do not capitalize unless accompanied with a specific year, making the occasion a proper noun.
Capitalize names of FIT committees
e.g. Enrollment Management Committee
On second reference, the committee
dates and months
When a month is included as part of a specific date, use Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. For example: John Smith’s birthday is Sept. 12, 1985. Jane Smith’s birthday is June 7, 1983. Do not abbreviate the names of any months when only a month and year are given: The research project began in January 2000 and ended in November 2003.
Capitalize full names of degrees as follows. With full names, do not use apostrophe s.
- Associate in Applied Science
- Bachelor of Fine Arts
- Bachelor of Science
- Master of Arts
- Master of Fine Arts
- Master of Professional Studies
For partial name of degree, use lowercase as follows:
- associate’s degree
- bachelor’s degree
- master’s degree
For degree abbreviations, capitalize without punctuation. The same applies for GPA .
e.g. AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, MPS
departments, divisions, and offices
Capitalize the word department or division in the unit’s full name.
e.g. Division of Information Technology; Department of Social Sciences
Capitalize the word office in the name of an FIT office.
e.g. Office of Admissions
When the name of the department or office is not used or when the word department
or office follows the name, it is lowercase.
e.g. The department has five faculty members.
As shown above, do not hyphenate. However, a hyphen should be used with e-book, e-business, and e-commerce.
The format for all employee email signatures should appear in black typeface, Sans Serif, “normal” size setting.
Office (or Department) of xxxx
Write FIT in capital letters without periods.
Lowercase floor numbers in copy, and uppercase floor numbers for addresses and listings.
Write out floors one through nine. Use numerals for floors 10 and above.
e.g. The classroom is on the eighth floor.
e.g. New Student Orientation: David Dubinsky Student Center, Sixth Floor
Do not use a hyphen or split fundraiser into two words. Correct: fundraiser, fundraising.
Gladys Marcus Library
The library’s full name is the Gladys Marcus Library. The library is acceptable on second reference.
Capitalize official names of institutional documents, such as reports and plans.
e.g. FIT Strategic Plan; Facilities Master Plan; Middle States Self-Study
Do not capitalize: She surfed the internet.
Joyce F. Brown
The president of the college should always be referred to as Dr. Joyce F. Brown where possible; however, the doctor title is dropped when the title of president precedes her name. Correct: President Joyce F. Brown , Dr. Joyce F. Brown. Incorrect: President Dr. Joyce F. Brown.
This is the preferred acroynym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, and other self-identifying members of the community.
majors and programs
Capitalize names of FIT majors; do not use abbreviations. Do not capitalize standard
majors offered by other colleges and universities.
Correct: Fashion Business Management. Incorrect: FBM. Correct: He has a degree in art history from Harvard University.
Do not capitalize the word “program” following a FIT major name.
The Fashion Design program offers a number of specializations.
When referring to FIT’s Menswear program, menswear is one word (not men’s wear). Women’s wear, children’s wear, etc., are written as two words with an apostrophe s.
The Museum at FIT
The museum’s full name is The Museum at FIT. On second reference, “the museum” is acceptable. The abbreviation MFIT may be used if it has been denoted parenthetically after the first use of the full name, The Museum at FIT (MFIT).
Use first and last name on first reference and last name only on second reference. In cases where two people have the same last name, use first and last names on second reference: Jane Smith is a great teacher. Smith has been at FIT since 1984. Her daughter, Jessica Smith, joined FIT one year ago. Jessica Smith is also a talented teacher, though she has less experience than Jane Smith. In general, do not use courtesy titles. Use middle initials according to a person’s preference and when the initials help identify a specific individual.
New York State
Capitalize the "s" in state, contrary to Associated Press Style.
When referring to common objects, spell out one through nine and use figures for 10 and above: Jane Smith has two computers, three pieces of paper, 10 pencils, and 11 pens on her desk. See entries in the Associated Press Stylebook for information on using numbers in circumstances not outlined here. Except when denoting a year, numbers at the start of a sentence should always be spelled out: 2009 has been a great year for Jane Smith. Sixty-six students signed up for a class she created.
- age – Use figures when referring to age: Jane Smith, 35, has a 1-year-old daughter. She also has a boy who is 10 years old.
- billion and million – Use figures with million or billion: A $1.5 million grant or 1 billion people.
- dimensions and weights – Use figures with dimensions and weights: A 4-foot-long fence or a rock that weighs 3 ounces.
- percentages – Use figures with percentages: 1 percent or 99 percent. Use figures when referring to ratios: 2-to-1.
- telephone numbers – See entry for telephone numbers in the FIT Style section above.
- times – See entry for times in this style guide for information on using numbers to refer to times.
Not per cent. Use the word percent rather than the percent symbol (%).
Use parentheses and a hyphen. This phone number format complies with web accessibility requirements. ex. (212) 217-xxxx
Always refer to residence halls as residence halls, not dormitories or dorms. FIT’s residence halls are:
- Alumni Hall
- Coed Hall
- George S. and Mariana Kaufman Residence Hall (short form: Kaufman Hall)
- Nagler Hall
Capitalize the word room and the building letter. Do not use a space or hyphen between
the building letter and room number.
e.g. Room B905
semesters and sessions
Do not capitalize spring, fall, winter, or summer when referring to semesters or sessions,
except in display text in course listings. (Note: summer and winter are sessions,
e.g. fall semester; summer session
Use the serial comma when listing three or more items in a series. The last comma
follows the next-to-last item. (Exception to AP style)
e.g. this, that, and the other
State University of New York
When referring to the State University of New York system or its central administration, use State University of New York in communications targeted to external audiences and in highly formal communications (such as contracts or policy statements). Use SUNY on second reference. SUNY may be used on first reference in communications targeting internal audiences and in less formal communications where the audience is likely to understand what the acronym represents. For example: FIT is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) and offers SUNY’s only MFA in Fashion Design.
When giving a numbered address, use the abbreviations Ave., Blvd., and St. and spell out all other similar words such as Drive and Circle. When only a street name is given, spell out all words: The Seventh Avenue Deli is at 1234 Seventh Ave., at the corner of Seventh Avenue and West 24th Street. North, East, South and West should be abbreviated as N., E., S., and W. only when a numbered address is given: The registration center for FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies is located at 236 W. 27th St., or The registration center for FIT’s Center for Continuing and Professional Studies is located on West 27th Street. For address numbers, use figures: Kaufman Hall is at 406 W. 31st St. Spell out First through Ninth when used as street names, but use figures for 10th Street, 11th Street and above.
Capitalize names of student clubs and organizations.
e.g. Comic Book Club; Merchandising Society
SUNY Distinguished Professor
Within the State University of New York system, the rank of distinguished professor is an order above full professorship and has three co-equal designations: SUNY Distinguished Professor, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor. When used with reference to specific faculty members, the titles do not incorporate the name of the department. Incorrect: Arthur Kopelman is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Science. Correct: Arthur Kopelman is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and professor in the Department of Science and Mathematics.
With the exception of noon and midnight , use figures and lowercase letters for “am” and “pm” with a space in between: 11 am, 3:30 pm, 9–11 am, 9 am to 5 pm. The class began at noon and ended at 1:30
pm. He went to bed at midnight.
To denote a span of time, you must either use a dash or words to separate the beginning and end of an event, not a combination. Correct: Jen Smith skipped the class because she worked from 11 am to 5 pm. Incorrect: Jen Smith skipped the class because she worked from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Job titles are lowercase when they appear after the person’s name, separated by a comma: Jamie Jones, assistant vice president for Advanced Studies. If the formal job title appears before the person’s name, it is capitalized (with no comma): Assistant Vice President for Advanced Studies Jamie Jones. Those faculty members who have been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, or SUNY Distinguished Service Professor should always be referred to as such on first reference. For information on nonacademic titles, see the Associated Press Stylebook entry on titles. Commonly used titles that are abbreviated include Gov., Lt. Gov., Rep. and Sen. when they precede a name: Gov. John Smith.
The domain for FIT’s email and website is fitnyc.edu . When writing web addresses,
do not use www. (Very occasionally, some sites cannot be reached without a www. prefix.
In this case, you may include it.) Do not include http:// or https://.
e.g., fitnyc.edu , nypl.org, suny.edu, mta.info
To cite a specific web address on the FIT site, always use an alias or shortcut rather
than a numeric web address.
e.g., fitnyc.edu/visit, NOT fitnyc.edu/3115.asp
If you don’t know the shortcut, email [email protected].
One word, not capitalized. However, web page and web design.
Two words, with an apostrophe s. However, menswear is correct.
Use the full figure, such as 1984 or 2010 , except when referring to the graduation year of alumni. When referring to graduation years, use the last two digits of the year, preceded by an apostrophe: Jamie Smith, BA ’93, recently published a book.
When a graduate has more than one FIT degree, list them in reverse chronological order: J.P. Smith, MPS ’00, BS ’93, recently published a book. In all cases, the degree precedes the year it was awarded.