Ringling College Editorial Guidelines


Ringling College is preeminent—and we are also creative, fun, avant-garde, forward-thinking, smart, flexible, adaptable, and original. We don’t talk down to our audiences; we deliver information in a way that awes and inspires.

The way we talk about the College is important, and it shapes the way our community, our supporters, and our soon-to-be friends understand who we are and what we do.

The first reference to Ringling College should always use the entire name, “Ringling College of Art and Design.” (Except for legal documents for which the legal name is Ringling College of Art and Design, Inc.)

Any subsequent references to the College can be “Ringling College” and “the College.”

When followed by a descriptor, such as “students” or “faculty,” the College can be referred to as just “Ringling.” For example, “Ringling students” or “Ringling faculty.”

In graphics and design elements, “Ringling College of Art + Design” is acceptable.

This rule also extends to Sarasota Art Museum

The first reference should always be: “Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design”

Any subsequent references to the Museum can be “Sarasota Art Museum” and “the Museum.”

RCAD acronym
“Ringling” (without being followed by “students,” “faculty,” “graduates,” “alumni,” or some other word that indicates it is the College and not another Ringling entity such as The Ringling Museum)
Ringling College of Art & Design (no ampersand)
This applies to majors as well: Business of Art and Design / Photography and Imaging

+ vs. & vs. and
The + sign should only be used in the logo
The preference whenever possible and always in body copy, is to write out ‘and’ i.e. Business of Art and Design; Ringling College of Art and Design
Exceptions have been made for design/space purposes, i.e. Photography & Imaging

The first reference to Dr. Thompson should always be: “Dr. Larry R. Thompson, president of Ringling College” (or Ringling College of Art and Design if it has not been named previously).

Or “President of Ringling College of Art and Design Dr. Larry R. Thompson”

Subsequent references can then be “Dr. Thompson.”

Credits at the end of articles or columns written by Dr. Thompson:
Dr. Larry R. Thompson is President of Ringling College of Art and Design.

When written in sentence form, professional titles should be upper case BEFORE someone’s name and lower case AFTER someone’s name.

“Please welcome the President of Ringling College Dr. Larry R. Thompson.”

“Please welcome Dr. Larry R. Thompson, president of Ringling College.”

Exception: when used in listed form, titles CAN be capitalized AFTER the name: Dr. Larry R. Thompson, President of Ringling College

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree, a master’s, etc., but there is no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science.

Use the abbreviation Ph.D. only after a full name—never after just a last name.


We generally capitalize departments on campus and the ‘Heads’ of each department when used as their title before their name:

“Computer Animation Department Head Jim McCampbell…”

But if this comes AFTER their name: “Kathleen Sobr is the department head of the
Business of Art and Design major at Ringling College.”

Majors should always be capitalized.

The following are the official titles/spellings of campus facilities. Underneath each facility are the official names of the spaces that are housed in that facility:

Alfred R. Goldstein Library (do not capitalize “the” before it)
Shorthand: Goldstein Library

(The word “the” should be lower case if added prior to any below.)

    • Roberta’s Café
    • Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center
    • Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation Academic Resource Center (shorthand: Barancik Academic Resource Center)
    • Ringling College Library Association Research Collection
    • Jan Schmidt Terrace
    • Cheryl Loeffler Service Point
    • Dolores Steinecke and Thomas J. Savage Learning Commons
    • Annamae Houston Sandegren Lobby
    • Barbara & Sanford Orkin Lecture Hall (shorthand: Orkin Lecture Hall)
    • Robert and Emilie Kimbrough Terrace
    • The Harry Sudakoff Foundation Project Work Room
    • Herman & Sharon Frankel Quiet Seating
    • The Frank E. Duckwall Foundation, Inc. Terrace
    • Bob & Beverly Bartner Director of Library Services Office
    • Gulf Coast Community Foundation Plaza

Larry R. Thompson Academic Center
Shorthand: Thompson Academic Center

Morganroth Auditorium in the Larry R. Thompson Academic Center

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College
Shorthand: OLLI or OLLI at Ringling College
*OLLI is located at Sarasota Art Museum on the Ringling College Museum Campus

Richard and Barbara Basch Visual Arts Center
Shorthand: Basch Visual Arts Center
     Lois and David Stulberg Gallery
     Shorthand: the Stulberg Gallery

Ringling College Continuing Studies *currently in the process of rebranding
Shorthand: Continuing Studies
Englewood Art Center
Shorthand: EAC

Ringling College Museum Campus
Shorthand: the Museum Campus

Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design
Subsequent mentions:
Sarasota Art Museum
Shorthand: the Museum
*We try and avoid using SAM in formal copy, unless referring to the Studios @ SAM (or something else branded as “SAM”)

Ringling College PreCollege Program and Teen Concentrations
Shorthand: PreCollege and Teen Concentrations

Ringling College Studio Labs
Shorthand: Ringling College Studio Labs
Related: “post-production” is hyphenated (just like pre-production)
Soundstage A / Soundstage B (soundstage is written as one word and capitalized if referring to a particular soundstage) 



  • Office of Academic Affairs
  • Office for Advancement
  • Office of Admissions
  • Office of Business Affairs
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Office of Marketing and Communications
  • Office of the President
  • Office of Student Life
  • PreCollege
  • Sarasota Art Museum

In the first reference to an alumni/graduate, we indicate the major and graduation year in this format: name ‘XX, major. For example, “Patrick Osborne ’03, Computer Animation”

INDEX (Industry Experience at Ringling College)
In references to the INDEX program/projects, always include the language: “Ringling College and The Patterson Foundation partnered in 2012 with the shared goal to strengthen the creative workforce of tomorrow. INDEX continues the legacy of this partnership by aggregating the myriad experiential learning opportunities the College has long offered.

Sarasota Art Museum images and artists’ works: always check credits are written properly for all SAM images of galleries/exhibitions and/or of artists’ works.

The terms “Black,” “Native,” and “Indigenous,” should be capitalized inline with other ethnic terms like “Asian-American” and “Latino” that have always been capitalized.

Retain lowercase treatment for “white.” While there is an obvious question of parallelism, there has been no comparable movement toward widespread adoption of a new style for “white,” and there is less of a sense that “white” describes a shared culture and history. Moreover, hate groups and white supremacists have long favored the uppercase style, which in itself is reason to avoid it.

The term “brown” as a racial or ethnic description should also generally remain lowercase and should be used with care. “Brown” has been used to describe such a disparate range of people—Latin, Indigenous, Asian, Middle Eastern—that the meaning is often unclear to readers. A more specific description is generally best.

Both “Black” and “white” should normally be used as adjectives, not nouns. Take care to avoid implying that “white” is the default (for example, by noting the race of a Black person in a story but not specifying the race of others).

The word “resume” should be written without any accents.

When in doubt, refer to AP style. We stick to it pretty closely, with a few exceptions:

  • Lowercase the seasons (spring, fall, winter, summer) UNLESS referring to a specific semester, such as Fall 2019 or Spring 2020.
  • am/pm: lower case, no periods, one space. For example: 1 pm, 1 am
  • use of the Oxford comma (this is the serial comma that comes before “and.” For example, “Ringling College is known for  its extraordinary students, alumni, and faculty.”
  • titles of longer works (books, movies, paintings, exhibitions, video game titles, etc.) should be italicized


  • Title of Work: artwork, film
  • Title of Exhibition
  • Name of Book, Magazine, Game Titles
  • Name of Series
  • Podcast Title, “Name of Episode”
  • “Name of Chapter or Article”
  • Name of Publisher


  • In general, spell out one through nine.
  • Use figures in almost all uses for 10 or above.
    • Exceptions: At the start of a sentence; in casual uses such as one in a million; in literary or special uses such as four score and twenty years ago.
  • Generally, spell out zero.



  • Singular common nouns ending in S: Add ’s; the virus’s reach, the witness’s answer.
  • Plural common nouns ending in S: Add s’; students’, the parents’
  • Singular proper names ending in S: Use only an apostrophe; Achilles’ heel, Dickens’ novels, Kansas’ schools.

Hyphen “-”: joins compound words or to form a single idea using two or more words. Use when helpful, don’t use when it adds to confusion. Use for date and time range. Do not add space on either side.

Em dash “—” or dash: signal abrupt change; set off a series within a phrase. Do not add space on either side.

En dash “–”: (the one in between hyphen and em dash) do not use.

This is a living, breathing document and things change. And, as living, breathing human beings, we may miss things. So, if you have a question that isn’t answered here, feel free to contact the Editorial Director. Bonus points for pointing out an error. It just makes us that much better. Thanks for reading! 


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