Style guide

General Principles

When writing biographies, it is important you adhere to:
• Third person
• Plain English
• Impartiality
• Be conscious of timeliness – avoid writing in the ‘now’ e.g. “Artist X currently lives in…” It should read “In 2007 Artist X was living in…”
• Be aware of your audience
• Include all references and sources in the source and reference metadata fields

• Jargon
• Extraneous prose
• Long descriptions of artworks, they speak for themselves
• Potentially defamatory judgement (e.g. “boring”, “not very good”) will not be published.
• Discriminatory, racist or sexist comments will not be published
• Generally speaking, avoid critical judgements (good or bad)
• Unless highly relevant/interesting, avoid details on auction prices/sales (catalogue details can be listed as references)
• Additional editorial from outside sources e.g. extracts from reviews (references to reviews etc. can be included in metadata fields as Further Reading)
• Unless pertinent and brief, avoid inclusion of additional academic text from outside sources
• If outside sources are to be quoted, include all reference details for verification and indexing purposes

Here are some specific things:

Artworks are italicized.
Capitalisation is according to artist preference
Example: Karla Dickens worked on the mural titled Say KNOw to Drugs – For the Next Generation.

Exhibitions are placed in single quotation marks.

Books and Publications
Books and publications are italicised whereas journal articles are placed in single quotation marks.

Indigenous peoples
Capitalise Indigenous, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

Foreign words
Foreign words are italicised.

Spell out words to be abbreviated at first use, followed by the abbreviation in brackets.
Example: Contemporary Arts Society (CAS).

Our standard date format is 1 January 2009.
Date ranges should be shown as: 1952–59, not 1952–1959.

Decades are rarely possessive
Correct: Gladwell began working in the 1990s.
Incorrect: Gladwell began working in the 1990’s.

Use digits for money, measurements, addresses and dates. Write out numbers from one – nine, use digits for all numbers 10 and above. Write out numbers that start a sentence.

Compass points
Use lower case for compass points unless used in the name of a place or official geographic division. Do not use capitals for non-official geographic divisions.
Example: Dempster lived in a community north of Broken Hill.

Use double quotation marks for all direct quotes.
For long quotations (more than approximately 2 lines), introduce the quotation, separate it from the body of your text, remove quotation marks and italicize the text.
Always cite your quotations.

Common punctuation problems – Commas
Remember to close your commas.
Correct: Brett Whiteley lived in Sydney, New South Wales, for thirty years.
Incorrect: Brett Whiteley lived in Sydney, New South Wales for thirty years.

This style guide is a brief overview of issues commonly found on Design & Art Australia Online. If you think other basic style guidelines should be added to the Design & Art Australia Online guide, please contact the administrator (