Skip to main content

Brand Style Guide

Email Signatures

An e-mail signature is a block of text that is appended to the end of an e-mail message you send. Generally, a signature is used to provide the recipient with your name, e-mail address, business contact information, or website URL.

Standards for e-mail signatures

An email signature should be clean and professional and should provide contact information.

Keep them plain and simple

  • E-mail signatures should not be longer than 4 lines.
  • Use pipes (|) or colons (::) to separate components. Use two spaces between the text and the pipes or colons.
  • Do not use special colors, fonts or graphics.
  • Use your email client's default font or a simple 12-point standard font. Times is recommended, or a font from the typography link. Non-standard fonts and HTML do not translate across all email clients
  • Refrain from using images or logos within the e-mail signature. Images not only increase the size of emails (causing problems for those who have size limits on their email), but some email clients and mobile devices will block the appearance of images.
  • Do not use quotes or epigraphs. This adds unnecessary length to your signature. Plus, you never know when you might offend someone or send the wrong message.
  • Avoid using vCards. vCards are a convenient way to share contact information however, they add size to your email and appear as attachments.
  • Use complete urls instead of hyperlinks to ensure there are no problems with the link working.
  • Avoid using mulitple phone numbers and email addresses. Pick the most important phone number and email address.
  • Only include links to social media if it is appropriate to the work of your office.
  • Include your email address. Not all email clients will include header information in replies and forwards.

Standard E-mail Signature Format:

John Doe
Director, Vanderbilt University Creative Services (appears on its own line)
3401 West End Avenue, Suite 180W | Nashville, TN 37203
Phone | Mobile phone (optional) | Fax (optional) [use hyphens to format numbers; include area codes]
E-mail address | Web address
Follow us:| [An optional line to include your professional social network links is also acceptable on the last line]