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The University of Essex

Universities are in a perpetual battle for the best students. A distinctive tone and a clear identity underline the ambitions of the institution. e challenge is creating a tone that is consistent and still appeals to a wide range of audiences – from undergrads to academics, businesses to the community. Essex’s own attempt at creating a tone of voice guide was more irreverent than it was insightful and we were asked to help.

The challenge

Creating a truly distinctive voice in this sector isn’t an easy challenge. Most universities o er a similar range of courses, most engage in research, most have links with the community and business.

What we did



Tone of voice






"Brilliant! I want everyone in the institution who writes to do it."

Claire Lindsay

Head of Brand Management

"FANTASTIC! So useful, so practical, I can't wait to try out new techniques."

Emily Banfield

Head of Internal Comms



The results

The workshops were very successful at the beginning to embed the idea of a bold tone of voice. Many different teams attended the sessions and the feedback was excellent.

One look at the university homepage and you’ll see how a bold tone and look can work together to create a distinctive yet clear identity.