This is Tate’s online style guide. It’s a small section of the Tate Style Guide. We’ve put this part online so that it’s easy to find and use. It’s for anyone who publishes content on our website, writes emails or produces digital content for Tate

Mira Schendel, 'Untitled (Disks)' 1972

Mira Schendel
Untitled (Disks)1972
Letraset, graphite on paper and transparent acrylic
Support: 270 x 270 x 7 mm
Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery 2007
© The estate of Mira Schendel

View the main page for this artwork

If you spot anything you’d like to have a chat to us about, do drop the Digital Team a line.

Staff writing and preparing all forms of text produced at Tate can find the comprehensive guide to Tate Style on the staff intranet – simply search for ‘Working at Tate/Guidelines and procedures’.

Quick links to what’s on this page:

Ampersands

‘&’ is a tricky beast. To be on the safe side don’t use it except if part of a recognised brand, like M&S and Thames & Hudson, or if it’s part of the title of an artwork or the following artists:

  • Gilbert & George
  • Art & Language
  • Langlands & Bell

Tate-specific exemptions:

Apostrophes

Members Room not Members’ Room (the room is for our members, it doesn’t belong to them).

Add ‘s when indicating possession even if the word/name ends in an s or z:

Perhaps Millais’s use of the lone robin is a reference to Ophelia’s abandonment by Hamlet, which leads to her death?

Bold

Should be used sparingly to add emphasis or to bring out a key piece of information: The closing date for entries is 12 June 2014.

Use in body copy only.

Contribute to Tate Papers and Tate Research Centre: Learning

Tate Papers is Tate’s online peer reviewed journal. We welcome submissions of extended scholarly articles relating to Tate’s varied activities as a museum.

The Tate Research Centre: Learning exists to promote research and knowledge exchange and to inform practice in the field of learning in galleries. We welcome ideas and proposals for new projects and events, as well as inviting submissions for publication to Working Papers.

Dashes and hyphens

Hyphens help with pronunciation: re-invent, co-opt, and help avoid ambiguity: a black cab-driver, or a black-cab driver.

Words and phrases that don’t need a hyphen (this is not an exhaustive list!):

  • art historical skills
  • civil rights movement
  • website
  • subtitle
  • paperbacks
  • still life

Use hyphens with short and common adverbs: a well-known fact or a much-needed lesson.

But do not use hyphens with adverbs ending in -ly: wholly owned or a socially inept manager.

For everything else use an en dash (–).

Elsewhere, the spectre of her lingers in his ‘sketchings’ of nature – her hair flowing, for example, in the graphite-grey grass of…

Dates and times

Dates

Format dates like this: 12 June 2014

For date ranges: 12–16 June 2014 or 12 June 2014 – 18 September 2015 (note spacing and the use of an en dash)

Years

Grouped years should be 1980–1. Although teen years should be in full: 2013–15

Artists’ lifespans are always given in full: Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)

For decades, use, for example, 1960s. Avoid starting a sentence with a figure, though, instead spell out the decade: Sixties Britain witnessed a seismic shift in attitudes towards sex and sexuality. During the 1960s Britain and the British changed fundamentally.

Times

Use 24-hour clock with a full stop, not a colon: 12.00, 08.30, 17.15

For time ranges: 10.00–15.30 (note no spacing and the use of an en dash)

Use the word midnight not 00.00

Abbreviate ‘minutes’ in details of programme or film duration, not in body text. Use ‘min’ for both singular and plural: 10 min not 10 mins

When used together separate the date and time with a comma: 12 June 2014, 14.00

Many of our webpages have a long lifespan. If the information is particularly timely, it’s important to clearly indicate the year to help our users understand the context of the page and if we are talking about a past event.

Headings

Headings are a great way to break text into readable chunks and help users make sense of the content on a page.

Use sentence case.

In body copy you can use:

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 1 is used for page titles. It is not available as a format for body copy.

They should always be used in order.

Image and artwork credits

1 of 3
  • Georges Braque, 'The Bird' 1949

    [Example 1]
    Georges Braque
    The Bird 1949
    Lithograph on paper
    image: 498 x 762 mm
    Presented by Patrick Seale Prints 1975
    © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2004

    View the main page for this artwork

  • Visitors in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern

    [Example 2]
    Visitors in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern

    © Rory Gardiner

  • Richard Deacon Untitled 2003

    [Example 3]
    Richard Deacon
    Untitled 2003

    © the artist

Example 1: Collection artworks

For artworks from Tate’s collection all the credit and caption information is automatically pulled through from Art & artists when you add the artwork to a webpage. If you want to overwrite the caption, please check with colleagues in Copyright.

Example 2: Photographs showing a scene or event

For photographs showing a scene or event use a descriptive title. Use sentence case and no need to italicise. Always include the copyright information.

Example 3: Basic captions

For other images and artworks (that are not in Tate’s collection), a basic caption follows this format:
Artist
Title of artwork date
Photo credit* owner* copyright*
[* = optional]

Estate is always capitalised.

Links

Links are a great way to provide users with places to go for more information than is provided on a particular page. Either link them through to different – but related – sections of our website eg artist information, artworks or articles etc, or link off to pages on other websites.

Links shouldn’t be added in standfirsts or headings.

Do not link to commercial gallery exhibitions.

Hide the destination web address within the body copy, making sure the link text is meaningful and can stand alone:

In the past six months we have carried out a substantial piece of research to get a better understanding of who comes to our website. We started to analyse the motivations and usage of the online collection and based on this research, a series of changes will be implemented as part of the Archives & Access project. This audience research helped to define our subsequent piece of work, a survey for the whole website aimed to better know our online visitors, their motivation to come to the site and the role that the website plays in the gallery experience before, during and after their visit.

Money

Avoid confusion and write prices as simply as possible: Adult £18 (without donation £16.30) Concession £16 (without donation £14.50).

Numbers

Write numbers from one to nine as words and from 10 upwards as figures. But don’t mix styles: there were 6 to 18 in each group.

When writing for Tate Papers and Tate Learning Reserch Centre all numbers up to 100 should be written in words, not figures, unless they are measurements.

Per cent

Use per cent not %: Each year the gallery receives approximately 40 per cent of its running costs from Government.

Phone numbers, email address and contact details

People visit our pages from all across the globe. Phone numbers should be for British and International visitors: +44 (0)20 7887 8867

Mobile numbers should have a space after the first five digits: Call +44 (0)7976 878 330

For email addresses it’s best to use a generic email address, rather than personal one. If you need to set up a generic email address, please contact colleagues in Information Systems for help.

For contact details keep each piece of contact information on a separate line:

Email tate.inbox@tate.org.uk
Call +44 (0)20 7887 8867
Mobile +44 (0)7976 878 330

Quotes

Use single quotes in body copy: ‘My work has always come from empathy and love’ says American photographer Nan Goldin.

Use double quotes only for a quotation within a quotation.

Use the blockquote feature for quotes longer than a sentence. No need to use any quote marks, and always italicise the author of the quote (who sits on another line):

This is one of the most generous gifts ever to Tate by an artist or a foundation. It ranks alongside Rothko’s gift of the Seagram mural paintings in 1969 and together with Twombly’s cycle of paintings. The Four Seasons 1993–5, acquired in 2002, this gives an enduring place in London to the work of one of the great painters of the second half of the twentieth century. I would also like to thank Nicola Del Roscio, President and Julie Sylvester, Vice-President of the Cy Twombly Foundation in realising Cy’s wishes.

Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate

When adding press quotes to exhibition pages use the blockquote tool. These quotes sit at the bottom of the page:

What a joyous and fascinating exhibition this is… How rich all this is, how marvellous, how alive.
***** Adrian Searle, The Guardian

By the exhibition’s close, you’re convinced that good old gouache paint is the most radiant substance on earth – appearing in the final room to outshine even a stained glass window.
”***** Martin Coomer, Time Out

Nothing can prepare you for the joyous brilliance – and scale – of Matisse’s late, great work, ‘proliferating from one gallery to the next like some super-abundant garden’ in Tate Modern’s beautifully orchestrated show
Laura Cumming, The Observer

Titles of artworks, films, events, festivals and books etc.

Books

  • Use italics, except for the Koran, the Bible and books of the Bible
  • The date follows the title in brackets: Citizen Kane (1941)

Artwork

  • Use italics
  • The date follows the title with no comma and no brackets: Ophelia 1851–2

Film

  • Use italics
  • The date follows the title in brackets: Citizen Kane (1941)

Full reference:

Title, director, country year, format*, duration, certificate*, subtitles*
[* = optional]
Yacoubian Building, Marwan Hamed, Egypt 2006, 161 min, cert 15, subs

Magazines

  • Use italics

Newspapers

  • Use italics, but do not italicise ‘the’ in references or within sentences: she picked up the Guardian; he bought a copy of the Times
  • In press quotes italicise the name and captialise ‘The’

Exhibitions

  • Use italics
  • Main titles use Title Case: Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs

Displays

  • Use italics

Events/festivals

  • Do not italicise
  • Titles use sentence case (unless you’re referencing a book/exhibition/film title within the title)

Articles

  • Titles use sentence case (unless you’re referencing a book/exhibition/film title within the title)

Tate Papers

  • Use italics
  • Main titles use Title Case

What to call Tate

Quite simply Tate is known as Tate. There’s no need to add ‘gallery’ or ‘The’.

When talking about our collection we’re all one big family: Tate collection or Tate’s collection.

Use the following sub-brands:

  • Tate Kids
  • Tate Collectives