The Sophos Brand Guide
Cybersecurity is complicated and at times overwhelming. Why would anyone make it more difficult? At Sophos we are devoted to removing the superfluous, the superficial, and the complex to provide clarity. We’ve carefully selected each aspect of our visual identity: colors, fonts, icons, and imagery to organize and optimize communication. Why? Because we all have the right to understand the security protecting us in a vast cyber world.
The Sophos Logo
The Sophos logo is a universal signature we use across all our communications. We want it to be instantly recognizable, so consistency is important.
- The logo may not be imitated or used as a design feature or disparage Sophos or its products or services.
- The logo or name may not be used in any other company name, product name, service name, domain name, website title, publication title, or the like.
- The Sophos logo should always be in Sophos Blue, black or white on Sophos Blue or dark background. The tagline should always be the same color as the logo.
- The logo must be used as provided and cannot be distorted in appearance.
- Don’t add elements or effects like shadows, dimensions, and gradients to the logo.
- Don’t create patterns with the logo.
- Don’t place the logo over busy or distracting backgrounds.
- The logo must never be used to represent the word “Sophos” in text, headlines, or product names.
Logo and Tagline
To properly display the logo, a minimum clearance between the logo and other elements must be maintained. The height and width of the S in the logo indicates the measurement of minimum clearance between the logo and other elements on all sides of the logo. The logo is not accompanied by the registered trademark symbol (®).
Background and Logo Colors
The ‘S’ Shield is a graphic representation of our company but it should not replace the Sophos logo in a single piece of communication. As such we are able to use and manipulate it to create assets to help communicate our message, from background elements to Partner conference branding. But consideration should always be used in how the icon is manipulated to retain its consistency with the Sophos brand.
- The integrity of the ‘S’ and shield must remain.
- Don’t manipulate the ‘S’ separate from the ‘Shield’
- When manipulating the icon, consider it existing in a 3D space and thus would adhere to proportions and perspective.
- Don’t add addtional elements to the icon.
- Don’t outline the icon.
Using color in a consistent way reinforces our brand. The distinctive vibrant colors play a major role in establishing our identity and should be implemented consistently in all web applications, print communications, and presentations, as well as in a broad range of marketing materials.
Sophos typographic identity is visible across many applications, including print, electronic, and environmental displays. The following type selections have been made to best represent the voice of Sophos and to maintain a consistent tone throughout various communications.
Sophos Sans Semibold
Headline = X pt size
Leading = 95-100% X point size
Kern to perfection
Left align left
> or = to the x height of headline
Sophos Sans Medium
50% of headline pt size
Leading 110% of subheadline point size
Kern as needed
These icons represent the core Sophos products. Black, white, or Sophos Blue are the recommended color to be applied when possible. Icons must be used in tandem with the their coordinating product title.
- Do not change or alter, color, proportion, design, or removal of any element.
- Do not distort appearance.
- Do not compress, stretch, distort, or rotate the icon.
- Don’t add additional elements to the icon.
- Don’t outline the icon.
- Icons must not be combined with any other object, including other logos, graphics, photos, design features, or symbols.
- Do not change or alter, color, proportion, design, or removal of any element.
- Do not distort appearance.
- Do not compress, stretch, distort, or rotate the tile.
- Don’t add additional elements to the tile.
- Don’t outline the icon.
- Tiles must not be combined with any other object, including other logos, graphics, photos, design features, or symbols other than the specific product image associated with the product.
The frontline I.T. warrior’s job is difficult and complex. At Sophos we strive to uncomplicate the world of cybersecurity by using humor, insight, direct and concise language. We’re here to help and if we use the same old platitudes as other security providers... well, that’s just not helpful at all.
We write for an international audience and must keep a consistent style, despite differences between regions. For global communications (especially the website and corporate blog), our style defaults to U.S. spellings.
Our style is based on AP Style. For all style inquiries, refer this guide first and then the AP Stylebook.
If you are writing for the U.K. or other regions where U.K. spellings are used, local language may be used in regional communications only.
To help establish the Sophos brand and it’s products requires consistent application across all communications. The name of the each product is to be used as seen below. Do NOT omit ‘Sophos’ before the name i.e. MTR, Endpoint, ZTNA etc.
Sophos Endpoint Detection and Response
or Sophos Managed Threat Response
Sophos Phish Threat
Sophos Professional Services
Sophos Rapid Response
Sophos Workload Protection
or Sophos Extend Detection and Response
or Sophos Zero Trust Network Access
Do NOT Write
enduser and network business units
endpoint and network technology
Next-generation/next-gen or “the next generation of”
Define abbreviations (e.g., AWS, EXE, PDF) the first time you use it in a document.
- Example: Active Directory (AD) is a Microsoft technology. AD is used by …
You do not need to define the abbreviation if it is commonly used (e.g., USB, UTM, OS).
Do not use periods in abbreviations (e.g., IT, not I.T.).
The exception is when abbreviating countries (e.g., U.K. and U.S.).
Acronyms we pronounce as words are written in lowercase, unless at the start of a sentence (e.g., laser, sonar, scuba).
For less common and technical acronyms, write them in capitals (e.g., CD-ROM, WYSIWYG interface, GNOME environment).
You can make abbreviations plural by adding a lowercase "s" without an apostrophe, (e.g., PDFs, CD-ROMs). For indefinite articles (“a” or “an”) before an acronym, choose the one you would use when pronouncing the acronym.
- Examples: an FTP server (“an eff-tee-pee server”), an OS (“an oh-ess”); a UTM (“a yoo-tee-em”).
Apostrophes are used to show possession (e.g., the customer’s complaint, the company’s future). If the owner is plural, the apostrophe usually comes after the "s" (e.g., the customers’ complaints, the companies’ future, etc.). If the plural doesn’t end in an "s," treat it as a singular (e.g., the women’s committee, the people’s choice).
Two situations can cause problems:
Ordinary plurals (plurals of a single word) don’t need apostrophes. We sell apple’s and pear’s is wrong.
It’s or its? It’s means it is or it has, (contraction). Its means belonging to it, (e.g., the company is confident about its future). Its’ is never right.
Avoid using the possessive form of Sophos (say “our”). When you need to use it, use Sophos’ and not Sophos’s.
Use bold sparingly to emphasize words, numbers, and dates.
Bold italic makes text hard to read, so stick with bold.
When creating a list of bullet points, do not use a period at the end of the sentence.
Only capitalize proper names (e.g., product names, headlines, etc.) or at the beginning of the sentence.
When listing a series of elements, include a comma before the and/or.
- Example: The final decision was among a Jeep, a Mazda, and a Nissan.
This is called the serial comma, also known as the Oxford comma.
Contractions shorten two words by adding an apostrophe like it’s or isn’t. Use contractions unless you’re writing something formal. You don’t have to use them all the time. Read it out loud to make sure it sounds natural and flows properly.
Use this format for dates:
September 15, 2010
If you’re using dates in a table, it’s fine to abbreviate the month (e.g., Sept. 15, 2008).
For decades, talk about the 1990s or ‘90s, never the 1990’s.
Communications that will remain strictly regional should use the local format.
Ellipses ( ... ) always have a space before and after.
Em Dash (—)
Em dashes may replace commas, semicolons, colons, and parentheses to indicate added emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt change of thought. An em dash has a space before and after it.
- Example: Our antivirus zaps spyware and adware — and it wins awards. Our solution is easy to manage so you can focus on what’s important — your business.
Write fractions out in full and hyphenate them, (e.g., three-quarters, one-and-a-half). Set decimal fractions as figures, (e.g., 3.14, 84.9).
When you’re presenting numbers in a graph, use numerals, (e.g., 1,2,3).
Headlines may be written as complete or incomplete sentences. Complete sentences should be written in Sentence case and include punctuation.
- Example: How does ransomware get to your data?
Incomplete sentences should be written in Title Case without punctuation.
- Example: Sophos Rapid Response
Use hyphens to make compound words, (e.g., full-disk encryption).
Sometimes you’ll need to use them to avoid confusion: A third world war is different from a third-world war. Full-disk encryption is different from full disk encryption.
If you’re not sure, look it up in the dictionary.
Avoid using italics. They make writing look cluttered.
Italic case is harder to read than normal copy and should be used sparingly.
Bold and italic at the same time is difficult to read and should not be used.
Italics should also be used when you’re talking about publications, TV/radio programs, films, shows, and ships:
- Huckleberry Finn
- Star Wars
- The New York Times
- USS Theodore Roosevelt
For amounts of money, use the symbol for the units of currency without a space:
- US$123.45 (U.S. dollars)
- CDN$123.45 (Canadian dollars)
- €1,234.56 (Euro)
If you need to explain what the unit price is, say in cents or in dollars.
The first time you mention someone, give their full name. Then call them by their first name. (e.g., Kris Hagerman is the CEO of Sophos. Kris says; Bruce Schneier is the world’s most prominent cryptographer. Bruce says ... ).
To write out numbers, use words for one to nine and use numbers for 10 and above. Don’t mix the two in the same sentence, (e.g., I’ll write again in four days. I’ll write again in 12 days. I’ll write again in 4 days and in 12 days).
If you’re talking about measurements or adding numbers to a graph or table, always use numbers:
- 5 cm, 70 mph, 6 hr 17 min, £4 billion
For large numbers, separate the digits with a comma:
If it’s a whole number, you don’t need to write .00 after it.
Use parentheses (like this), not brackets [like this]. If you’re putting a whole sentence into parentheses, put the period inside too. (This is a full sentence in parentheses, so it has its full stop inside.) If you’re only putting part of a sentence inside the parentheses, then you need to put the period outside.
In text, always write out “percent” in full (e.g.,: 16 percent growth). In a graph or chart “%” may be used.
Make domestic U.S. phone numbers easier to read by adding a hyphen between each block and starting with a “+”: +1-866-866-2802. For numbers in other countries, use a space instead of a hyphen and always include an international calling code. You’ll also need to insert the area code’s 0 in parentheses:
- +44 (0) 1235 559 933
Places take an initial capital: Boston, Paris, New York.
Use lowercase for compass bearings and don’t hyphenate them, (e.g., north, southeast, northwest). The only time you’d capitalize them is for well-established names for regions and areas like the South (of the U.S.), the Pacific Northwest, Southeast Asia, etc.
If you’re quoting direct speech, use double quotation marks introduced with a comma.
- Example: Kate Libby said, “This is good news for our customer.” She added, “It will also increase our sales.”
Punctuation goes inside the quotes.
If there’s a quote within a quote, use single quotation marks within double quotation marks.
- Example: Richard Gill said, “That’s what the report meant by ‘The clear and obvious choice’.”
It’s very rare to need to do this, but if you’re quoting someone in a headline then use single quotation marks.
- Example: New computer system ‘best ever’ – report
Use quotation marks to provide a gentle emphasis. Words in quotes will stand out as important when someone reads what you’ve written, but they won’t stand out at a glance like bold.
Sophos is always singular.
- Example: Sophos is trusted by 100 million users.
Never say Sophos are.
Than or then?
Than relates to comparison, while then relates to time, particularly sequential order, or step-by-step instructions.
- Attacks are more sophisticated than we’ve seen before. (Comparison)
- Insert the disc, then follow prompts. (Sequential time)
Their, they’re, or there?
Use their when you’re talking about something that belongs to them. Use they’re as a contraction of they are. Use there to mean a specific place.
- Example: They’re leaving all their packages over there.
We use a.m. and p.m., not AM/PM or am/pm. Do not include :00 for the top of the hour:
- 3 p.m. not 3:00 p.m.
- 3:30 p.m., etc.
- 12 noon or 12 midnight and
- 12 p.m. / 12 a.m. are both acceptable depending on the situation
Note: We default to the 12-hour clock, and to American date structure for worldwide copy. It is perfectly acceptable to use regional style (for example: 0930, 2230) for localized copy however.
Sophos owned trademarks should be referenced in the first instance, but not afterwards.
Don’t underline words to make them stand out.
URLs: In Print
You don’t need to preface a web address with http://. Only write out the network protocol if it’s something else like https:// or ftp://.
In body copy, it helps mark out the fact that it’s a URL if you preface it with www.
We also offer 24-hour technical support at www.sophos.com/support/.
For advertising and marketing communications, you can omit the ‘www.’ to save space.
- Example: Visit sophos.com today.
We also have a number of vanity URLs available for use with advertising and marketing materials, (e.g., sophos.com/endpoint, sophos.com/data, sophos.com/mobile, etc). To look up or request a vanity URL, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do not use initial capitals in web addresses (sophos.com not Sophos.com; facebook.com not Facebook.com).
It’s more personal to talk about us and we, rather than talking about Sophos.
Because we’re such a big company, make sure people know exactly who we are; is it your team, your business, or the whole company? If your context doesn’t make it clear, make sure to explain it to your reader.
But because we want to sound like a team of people, open and understanding, we frequently use we.
- We are changing the way people think about digital security worldwide.
Your or you’re?
Use your when you talk about something that belongs to your reader. Use you’re as a contraction of you are.
- Example: You’re about to make your first payment.
Never use exclamation marks.
Avoid using ampersands outside brand names, trademarks, formal titles, or in logotypes, (e.g., Ogilvy & Mather, Standard & Poor).
Use % when dealing with numerals. Use "percent" when the numbers are written out.
- Example: 5%. 10%. The stock is up five percent on the month.
32 bit, 64 bit
Verb, to influence
Effect - verb, to cause; noun, result
Among introduces more than two items, between introduces two items.
- Example: The funds were divided among Ford, Carter, and McCarthy.
One word. Do not use AV as an abbreviation.
Sophos appliances (but Sophos Email Appliance/Sophos Web Appliance)
- Example: The new back end is great.
- Example: The back-end processor is powerful.
- Example: PC-based
Not BlackBerries or Blackberry
Use in preference to block list.
A compliment, with an i, is a kind or flattering remark. If a friend says he likes your new shoes, he’s giving you a compliment.
- Example: The CEO complimented the staff on their efforts. He made complimentary remarks about their recent work.
A complement, with an e, is a full crew or a set, and when something complements something else, it means they go well together. You might talk about a picture frame that complements a photo or the crew complement needed to operate a ship.
- Example: Enjoy the complementary drinks.
- Sophos Clean complements Sophos Endpoint Protection.
Use zero day (no caps, hyphen if adjective); do not use 0-day.
Not data leakage
Distributed denial-of-service attack
No hyphen or caps
Write e.g. in lowercase and follow it with a comma. When giving an example, use e.g.
Use i.e. if you need to give further explanation (i.e., to explain a point you’ve made already in more depth).
One word, no hyphen
Write in lowercase and always follow it with a period
- Example: Serial, parallel, USB, IEEE 1394, etc.
Not everyday, unless as an adjective
- Example: Everyday occurrences happen every day.
Not Fake AV, not fake anti-virus
Use farther to talk about distance, and use further to talk about time or amount.
- Example: Paris is farther north than Barcelona. (Distance)
- This year, we’re further along in the development cycle. (Time)
Use less when you’re talking about things you can’t count individually; use fewer with objects you can count one-by-one.
- Example: There were fewer attacks this month.
- There was less activity in the first half of the year.
Not 4-color process
If preceding a noun
- Example: front-end interface
Use as two words
- Example: Call the help desk for further information.
Use it if you need to give further explanation (i.e., to explain a point you’ve made already in more depth). Write i.e. in lowercase and follow it with a comma. To give an example, use e.g. instead.
- Example: Sophos support knowledgebase
Adjective; not left hand
Verb (U.K./AU); noun and verb (U.S.)
Use abbreviation always. Don’t use Limited.
- Example: Sophos Ltd.
Mac OS X
Use mid-size business, not medium-sized business
Use “more than” to discuss numbers, never “over”
Hyphenate “next-gen” when followed by a noun
- Example: Sophos Partner
- Our partners (only when using Sophos before partner)
For Sophos; most other companies use plc or PLC - use their preference
Use as one word
- Example: A popup window opens
Noun in U.K.; noun and verb in U.S.
Verb in U.K.
Noun and adjective
Adjective; otherwise real time
- Example: A real-time transaction. He updated it in real time.
Adjective; not right hand
Not Sophos Anti-Virus or SAV
Adjective; when used after a verb, stand alone is two words
- Example: A standalone computer; they stand alone.
Not strap line
Use this phrase when referring to software. If referring to hardware use “technical specifications.”
Use this phrase when referring to hardware. If referring to software use “system requirements.”