Type: guidelines and proper use
General rule: limit the number of typefaces to one or two per piece, and use styles such as bold or italic, as needed.
- Set type in upper and lower case – do not use all capital letters.
- Set text and headings flush left, ragged right for easier reading – do not use centered or right and left justified text.
- Set text type with normal, consistent letter and word spacing.
- Line spacing or 1/2 line spacing for paragraphs are preferred to indents – if space is a concern, indents may be used. In this case, set the first paragraph flush left.
- Hang bullets in the margin.
- Do not digitally expand, condense, or otherwise manipulate type, except where it is being used as imagery.
- Use ruled lines with text or headings only when they are functional, and limit the weights to two. Rules may be used as graphic elements, and should be used instead of boxes to separate callouts from text.
- Vertical rules may be used as graphic elements, but should not be set between columns of text.
- Do not use ruled boxes around typography – it distracts from the primary message.
- Solid or shaded boxes may be used with reversed or overprinted type – Use color and typography to ensure readability.
- When setting headings in solid or shaded boxes, align the box (not the text) with the text column below it. Use same indents as text (if text is indented).
- Set column bars flush left. Base of column heads should align across the columns. Numbers should align vertically in the columns on the decimal point. Do not use ruled boxes around charts.
Written style guidelines
- If abbreviations are used, the first usage needs to be spelled out in full followed by the abbreviation/acronym in parenthesis, i.e. American Medical Association (AMA).
- Do not capitalize the name of an occupation (anesthesiology) unless it is in a title. Do not capitalize the “T” in “the” preceding a title unless the “T” would be used in the initials to represent the title.
- Do not capitalize generic terms such as “board” or “certificate.”
- Include a comma before “and” in the last item of a series.
- Do not include punctuation in credentials: MD, PhD. Place academic credentials before professional, registration, or certification credentials.
- 1973 to 1977 (not 1973-77). Pages 1181-1189 (not 1181-9). 3% (except at beginning of sentence).
All photographs must be used with AMA’s logo due to copyright laws regarding stock photos.
- The AMA seal may be used as an image – but only on core AMA corporate communications, such as the AMA’s Annual Report.