Ontario Ministry of Education

Style Guide

2015

About the Ministry
The Ontario Ministry of Education (referred to throughout this document as
“the Ministry”) is responsible for administering publicly funded elementary
and secondary school education in Ontario. We are one of the Ontario government’s 28 ministries.

Mission Statement
We are committed to ensuring the right for all Ontario children to receive
quality education. No student or child should be left behind. It is government’s job to make this a reality.

This Guide
Those fundamental goals need to be reflected in the Ministry’s communications, print, and online publications. Ontario’s educators, communicators, and
policy makers need resources to create documents consistent with the Ministry’s standards and mandate. This Guide will outline communications standards, specifically those relating to the Ministry’s vocabulary, text formatting,
and visual identity.

Primary Audience: Ministry Employees
This Guide is for any educator, policy maker, curriculum writer, or communicator tasked with creating print documents or online content for the Ministry
of Education. This Guide is meant to facilitate communication between the
Ministry and the people and students of Ontario so that they are best served
and represented.

Secondary Audience: Ontario Residents
Although this Guide is written principally for ministry employees, it is ultimately written to communicate with and serve the people of Ontario. The
secondary audience is composed of any Ontario resident, child, student, parent, teacher, or tax-payer.

Channels
This Guide applies to the Ministry’s digital and print documents, as well as
content appearing on the Ministry’s website. These can range from print or
digital PDFs of curricula, parent’s guides, teaching assessment protocols, to
information about the Ministry displayed on its website (edu.gov.on.ca/eng/
about/).

Inclusive Language Glossary
Ontario is proud of its diversity, but the province is always striving toward
further inclusivity and respect for all Ontarians, regardless of background or
personal circumstances. To that end, here is a list of proper vocabulary to be
used when discussing different groups:
Aboriginal peoples: The descendants of the original inhabitants of
North America, encompassing separate groups with unique heritages,
languages, cultural practices, and
spiritual beliefs.
Disability: A term that covers a
broad range and degree of conditions, some visible and others not. A
disability may be present from birth,
may be caused by an accident, or
may develop over time.
Gender: A term that refers to those
characteristics of women and men
that are socially constructed.
Gender expression: The manner in
which individuals express their gender identity to others.
Gender identity: A person’s sense
of self, with respect to being male or
female. Gender identity is different
from sexual orientation, and may be
different from birth-assigned
sex.
Intersectionality: The overlapping, in the context of an individual
or group, of two or more prohibited
grounds of discrimination under the
Ontario Human Rights Code, or other
factors, which may result in additional biases or barriers to equity for that
individual or group.
Privilege: The experience of freedoms, rights, advantages, access,
and/or opportunities on the basis of
group membership, which is not extended to members of all groups.

Queer: A term for homosexuality
that was once pejorative but that
has more recently been reclaimed by
some ofthe LGBT movement to be
used for positive self-identification.
Race: A social construct that groups
people on the basis of common ancestry and physical characteristics.
The term is used to designate the
social categories into which societies
divide people according to such characteristics.
Racialized group: A group of people
who may experience social inequities
on the basis of race, colour, and/or
ethnicity, and who may be subjected
to differential treatment.
Racism: A set of erroneous assumptions, opinions, and actions stemming from the belief that one race is
inherently superior to another. Racism may be evident in institutional
structures and in the behaviour of
individuals.
Transgender. A transgender person
is a person whose gender identity,
outward appearance, gender expression, and/or anatomy are not consistent with the conventional definitions
or expectations of male and female;
often used to represent a wide
range of gender identities and behaviours.
For more information: www.edu.gov.
on.ca/eng/policyfunding/inclusiveguide.pdf

Print Fonts
This section will provide an overview of the appropriate use of fonts for the
Ministry’s print and digital documents (the following page will provide further
information on alternative colours):

Aa

C=80 M=35 Y=66 K=18
Typeface: Verdana
Size: 10 pt. (regular)

Use this font for body text in print and
digital documents.

Aa

C=80 M=35 Y=66 K=18
Typeface: Verdana
Size: 18 pt. (regular)

Use this font for section headings in
print and digital documents.

Aa

C=80 M=35 Y=66 K=18
Typeface: Verdana
Size: 32 pt. (regular)

Use this font for title page headings in
print and digital documents.

Aa

C=75 M=68 Y=67 K=90
Typeface: Verdana
Size: n/a

A neutral black font may be used as an
alternative.

Web Fonts
This section will provide an overview of the appropriate use of fonts on the
Ministry’s website:

Aa

C=75 M=68 Y=67 K=90
Typeface: Verdana
Size: 12 pt. (regular)

Use this font for general web body
text.

Aa

C=80 M=35 Y=66 K=18
Typeface: Verdana
Size: 12 pt. (underlined)

Use this font for hyperlinks in body
text.

Aa

C=69 M=63 Y=62 K=58
Typeface: Verdana
Size: 13 pt. (bold)

Use this font for section headings.

Aa

C=69 M=63 Y=62 K=58
Typeface: Verdana
Size: 14 pt. (bold)

Use this font for content headings.

Print Colours
The Ministry’s communications use a variety of colour templates. The green
template used and outlined in this Guide may be used for all purposes, but
other purpose-specific colour templates may also be used when appropriate.
For example, the purple template may be used when producing documents
relating to curricula. The green template is consistent with the Ministry website’s aesthetic. It should be treated as the default colour palette.
C=16 M=0 Y=30 K=0

Use this colour as a page background.

C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=0

This colour may be used as an alternative background or text colour.

The following colours may also be used for text, lines, or other visuals:

C=83 M=18 Y=61 K=2

C=78 M=15 Y=63 K=1

C=82 M=18 Y=61 K=2

C=67 M=10 Y=67 K=0

C=52 M=2 Y=69 K=0

C=31 M=0 Y=58 K=0

Footers should follow the colour template. The logo footer should appear on
cover pages. Body pages may include colour footers, but not logo footers.

The logo footer:

A colour footer:

Web Colours
The print colour template outlined in the previous section is consistent with
that of the Ministry’s website, which is displayed here.
This banner appears on www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/ with the following colours:

C=4 M=3 Y=3 K=0

C=10 M=2 Y=22 K=0

C=45 M=22 Y=61 K=1

C=86 M=51 Y=70 K=54

Logos and Slogans
The general Ontario logo and the Ministry’s specific logo are both permitted.
The Ministry logo should never appear on a page without the slogan “reach
every student” or the extended slogan “support every child/reach every student.” When using the extended slogan, a line break must appear between
“child” and “reach.” These rules apply to web and print.
The Ministry’s specific logo:

The general Ontario logo:

Style and Tone
The Ministry of Education serves the people of Ontario and as such requires
a communications strategy that is direct, accessible, and in tune with the
unique character of Ontarians.
Jargon and acronyms should be avoided where possible. The tone should be
assertive but not condescending, informative but not alienating.
The public-facing documents and online materials created by the Ministry
need to be easy to use and navigate. Information should be presented logically and efficiently, with nothing extraneous included.

Rules to Remember
• Titles and headings should always be in title case.
• The ‘Oxford comma’ should be used.
• Capitalize official names and titles, like the Ministry of Education.
• Style rules apply to both web and print.
• For specific questions about style, consult the resources below.

Helpful Resources
• Oxford Reference: www.oxfordreference.com
• The Government of Canada’s Public Service Commission Style Guide:
www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/abt-aps/stgd-gdst/index-eng.htm
• Industry Canada’s Style Guide for Writers and Editors: www.ic.gc.ca/eic/
site/pt-te.nsf/eng/h_00002.html
• Canadian Press Style Guide: www.thecanadianpress.com

Ministry Resources
• Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario: www.
edu.gov.on.ca/eng/about/renewedVision.pdf
• Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools: www.edu.gov.on.ca/
eng/policyfunding/inclusiveguide.pdf
• Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario
Schools: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/growSuccess.pdf

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