Style guide

The Luna style guide covers spelling, grammar, and style conventions for user experiences. If you’re writing any marketing content, make sure you refer to the specific brand guidelines.


Abbreviations and acronyms

Unless it’s well known, always write the full version first, then include the abbreviation or acronym in brackets after.

Don’t use full stops in abbreviations. It’s ‘BBC’, not ‘B.B.C’.

activate

Use ‘turn on’ instead.

Addresses

Write the full address including the postcode. Separate each part of the address with a comma.

Do
33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT
Don't
33 Holborn London EC1N 2HT

affect and effect

‘Affect’ means to influence or to produce a change in something. ‘Effect’ means the result of a change.

Do
The severe weather is affecting our delivery service
Do
The severe weather has had a substantial effect to our delivery service

Ampersands (&)

Don’t use an ampersand to replace ‘and’ in sentences.

Do
Manage your orders past and present
Don't
Manage your orders past & present

Use an ampersand in navigation menus to combine similar items into one group.

Do
Homeware & electrical
Don't
Homeware and electrical

Use an ampersand if it’s part of a company or brand’s name.

Do
Marks & Spencer
Don't
Marks and Spencer

Apostrophes (')

Use an apostrophe to show possession.

Do
Frank's book
anybody's guess
Don't
Franks book
anybodys guess

Only use an apostrophe with ‘its’ when you’re abbreviating ‘it is’.

Do
Your order is on its way
It's nearly delivered
Don't
Your order is on it's way
Its nearly delivered

Brackets

Don’t use brackets for any important information as users might assume they don’t need to read it.

British English

Always use British English spelling over American English.

Do
  • realise
  • authorisation
  • analyse
  • flavour
Don't
  • realize
  • authorization
  • analyze
  • flavor

Bullet points

Use bullet points to make text more concise and easier to read. Bullet points must:

  • have an introductory sentence that ends in a colon
  • have a lowercase letter at the start of each bullet
  • not have any punctuation at the end of each bullet
  • not have more than one sentence per bullet

Capitalisation

Use sentence case capitalisation. That means you only capitalise the first letter of the first word in a sentence.

Do
Create new order
Enter your password
Don't
Create New Order
Enter Your Password

Capitalise the first letter of people, places, and organisations.

Do
  • Mike
  • London
  • Sainsbury's
Don't
  • mike
  • london
  • sainsbury's

All of these things should also have a capital letter.

Do
  • Chief Executive
  • Queen
Don't
  • chief executive
  • queen
Do
  • BBC
  • USA
Don't
  • Bbc
  • usa
Do
February, Monday
Don't
february, monday
Do
  • Mother's Day
  • Easter
Don't
  • mother's day
  • easter

Unless it’s an abbreviation or acronym, don’t capitalise an entire word.

Do
Get free delivery on your first order
Don't
Get FREE delivery on your first order

check out and checkout

‘Check out’ is the action of a user paying for their shopping. ‘Checkout’ is the place where a user pays for their shopping.

Do
You can only check out once you’ve logged in
You can add any discount codes when you check out
We’ve updated our stores so you can check out faster
Do
Once you’ve logged in, we’ll take you to the checkout
You can add any discount codes at the checkout
We’ve opened new checkouts in all of our stores

Christmas

Not ‘Xmas’.

colleagues

Not 'staff'.

Colons (:)

Use a colon to introduce a bulleted list.

Do
Your password needs to contain the following:
  • 1 uppercase letter
  • 1 lowercase letter
  • 1 number
Don't
Your password needs to contain the following
  • 1 uppercase letter
  • 1 lowercase letter
  • 1 number

Use a colon to introduce financial values when a user is checking out.

Do
Subtotal: £49.99
Don't
Subtotal £49.99

Don’t use a colon within a sentence.

Do
You can collect loyalty points from Sainsbury’s and Argos.
Don't
You can collect loyalty points from: Sainsbury’s and Argos.

Don’t use colons to introduce radio buttons, checkboxes, or form fields.

Do
Don't

Commas (,)

Use a comma before the word ‘and’ if you’re listing three or more things.

Do
You can edit, copy, and delete your orders.
Don't
You can edit, copy and delete your orders.

coronavirus (COVID-19)

‘Coronavirus’ is the name of the virus and it’s always lowercase. ‘COVID-19’ is the name of the illness and it’s always upper case.


Dates

There's not one ideal date format for every situation. You should find the one that works best for the circumstance. Below is some guidance around the most common formats and when and how to use them.

By default, write dates as 2 March or 27 October 2020. Don’t include ‘th’ or any commas.

Do
  • 25 April
  • 6 June 2020
Don't
  • 25th April
  • 6th June 2020

Only include the year if it’s relevant for the user. Include the day if that information is likely to be useful. If you do, the year can be left out of the date, especially if it's the current year.

Do
Tuesday 27 October
Don't
Tuesday 27 October 2021

Numerical dates are not preferred as they can be confusing. If space is an issue, you can use a 3-letter abbreviation for the months. Don’t use a full stop after the month.

Do
  • 6 Feb
  • 15 Oct
Don't
  • 06/02/2020
  • 15 Oct.

If you are using a numerical date, use the format DD/MM/YYYY.

Do
04/09/2020
Don't
04/09/20

For date ranges, use ‘to’ instead of a hyphen as it’s easier for screen reader users to understand. If your date range is in the same month, still include the month both times.

Do
  • 10 April to 14 April
  • Monday to Friday
  • September 2019 to July 2020
Don't
  • 10 - 14 April
  • Monday - Friday
  • September 2019 - July 2020

deactivate

Use 'turn off' instead.

Direct Debit

Not 'direct debit'.


eg

Use ‘for example’, ‘such as’, ‘like’, or ‘including’ instead.

Ellipsis (...)

Don’t use ellipsis. Depending on the context, use a full stop, a question mark, or leave the end of your sentence with no punctuation, like in a header for example.

Do
Enter your postcode to check we deliver in your area.
Already a customer?
Reset your password
Don't
Enter your postcode to check we deliver in your area...
Already a customer...
Reset your password...

email

Not ‘e-mail’.

Email addresses

Write the email address in full, in lowercase, and with an active link.

Don't
Luna.Team@Sainsburys.co.uk

e-receipt

Not 'ereceipt'.

etc

Avoid using ‘etc’ at the end of lists. It’s better to write out a complete list to be clear with the user.

every day and everyday

‘Every day’ simply means ‘each day’. ‘Everyday’ means something that is ordinary or typical.

Do
We’re adding new products every day
Millions of people shop with us every day
Do
Take a break from the everyday
We understand that COVID-19 is affecting everyday life

Exclamation marks (!)

Don’t overuse exclamation marks. If you do use an exclamation mark, only use it in positive messages and once per page.

Do
You’ve saved £10 off your order!
Don't
Sorry! That password doesn’t look right!

FAQs

Not ‘FAQ’s’ or ‘faqs’.

Files

Use upper case without a full stop when referring to a file extension type. Add a lowercase ‘s’ without an apostrophe if there are multiple files of that type.

Do
  • GIF
  • PDF
  • JPGs
Don't
  • Gif
  • pdf
  • JPG'S

Use lowercase if you’re referring to a specific file.

Do
order1234.pdf
Don't
Order1234.PDF

Full stops (.)

Use a full stop in body text, descriptions, or subtitles. If the sentence includes a comma, always use a full stop at the end.

Do
If you have a discount code, you can add it when you check out.
Add items to your favourites so they’re easy to find next time.
Don't
If you have a discount code, you can add it when you check out
Add items to your favourites so they’re easy to find next time

Don’t use a full stop in buttons, headings, titles, or navigation menus.

Do
Your Account
Don't
Your Account.

government

Always lowercase.


Hyphens (-)

Use a hyphen when two or more words are describing something.

Do
We’ve introduced a new range of non-stick pans
It’s even suitable for people on a gluten-free diet
Start your no-risk free trial
Don't
We’ve introduced a new range of non stick pans
It’s even suitable for people on a gluten free diet
Start your no risk free trial

For date and time ranges, use ‘to’ instead of a hyphen as it’s easier for screen reader users to understand.

Do
  • Monday to Friday
  • 4 April to 7 April
  • 10.30am to 11.30am
Don't
  • Monday - Friday
  • 4 - 7 April
  • 10.30am - 11.30am

ie

Use ‘meaning’, ‘that is’, or rewrite the sentence to avoid using ‘ie’.


last name

Not 'surname'.

less and fewer

‘Less’ means ‘not as much’ and is used when something can’t be counted, like ‘milk’. ‘Fewer’ means ‘not as many’ and is used when something can be counted, like ‘biscuits’.

Do
You’ve used less fuel compared to last month
Do
We have fewer people handling calls right now

license and licence

‘License’ means to give permission. ‘Licence’ is a document that says a person is qualified or allowed to do something.

Do
The DVLA must license you to drive a car
Do
Apply for a provisional driving licence with the DVLA

Use descriptive phrases for your link text instead of generic phrases like ‘click here’ or ‘find out more’.

Don't

Click here to download our new delivery tracking app

log in and login

‘Log in’ is the action of a user accessing their account. ‘Login’ is the place where a user accesses their account, or the information they use to access their account.

Do
Log in with your email and password
You can log in to view all your recent orders
Try our new secure way to log in
Do
Your login is your username and password
You can change your login details here
Get started at our login page

modify

Use ‘edit’ or ‘change’ instead.

Money

Don’t use a space between the currency symbol and the number.

Do
£35.99
Don't
£ 35.99

When a user is checking out, include a decimal point and the pence even if the amount is a round number.

Do
£50.00
Don't
£50

In normal sentences, don’t include a decimal point or the pence if the amount is a round number.

Do
Get £10 off your first shop
Don't
Get £10.00 off your first shop

Write out the entire number for all amounts under £1 million.

Do
  • £3,000
  • £750,000
Don't
  • £3k
  • £0.75million

never mind

Not 'nevermind'.

Numbers

Use numerals for all numbers, especially if the number is above 9.

Do
Your have 5 new notifications
We’ve reduced prices on more than 30 items
Don't
You have five new notifications
We’ve reduced prices on more than thirty items

In certain circumstances, spelling the number out will make more sense than using numerals.

Do
It’s a one-off deal
One or two of them
Don't
It’s a 1 off deal
1 or 2 of them

Use a comma for numbers above 999. Avoid shortening numbers.

Do
  • 7,000
  • 23,756
Don't
  • 7k
  • 23756

OK

Not ‘Ok’ or ‘okay’.

online

Not ‘on-line’.


Percentages

Always use the percentage symbol with a number.

Do
6%
Don't
6 per cent

Phone numbers

For geographic landline numbers, separate the area code from the local numbers with a space, and then separate the local numbers into two segments.

Depending on the location, the area code could be 3, 4, or 5 digits. For example, 020 for London, 0161 for Manchester, or 01792 for Swansea.

Do
  • 020 1234 5678
  • 0161 123 4567
  • 01792 123 456
Don't
  • 020-1234-5678
  • 01611234567
  • (01792) 123456

For mobile numbers, separate the numbers into two segments with 5 numbers at the start and 5 numbers at the end.

Do
07123 456789
Don't
07123456789

pick up and pickup

‘Pick up’ is the action of going and getting something. ‘Pickup’ can be the name of a service, or a flatbed truck.

Do
You can pick up your shopping at our collection point
Do
Use our free pickup service to collect your shopping

PIN

Not ‘PIN number’ or ‘pin’.

postcode

Not ‘post-code’.

purchase

Use ‘buy’ or ‘pay’ instead.


Sainsbury's

Always use an apostrophe.

seasons

Spring, summer, autumn, and winter are all lowercase unless they start a sentence.

Semicolons (;)

Don’t use semicolons. Use a comma or break up your message into separate sentences instead.

set up and setup

‘Set up’ is the action of setting something up. ‘Setup’ is a word that describes something physical.

Do
Your account is not set up for notifications
Set up your new handset
Do
Follow the setup instructions to get started
Review your desk setup regularly

Slashes (/)

Don’t use slashes. Use ‘or’ instead.

sorry

Say ‘sorry’ if something inconveniences the user, then explain how to fix the problem.

Do
Sorry, we’re having trouble showing your order details right now. Try refreshing the page.
Don't
Oops, something went wrong

stores

Not ‘shops’.

subsequent

Use ‘future’, ‘later’, or ‘upcoming’ instead.


T&Cs

Not ‘Ts and Cs’.

Time

Use the 12-hour clock, followed by ‘am’ or ‘pm’ without any spaces.

Do
  • 7.30pm
  • 5pm
Don't
  • 19:30
  • 17:00

For time ranges, use ‘to’ instead of a hyphen as it’s easier for screen readers to understand. If your time ranges are both in the morning or afternoon, still include am/pm after both times.

Do
  • 7.30pm to 8.30pm
  • 10am to 11am
Don't
  • 7:30 - 8:30pm
  • 10-11am

Use ‘midday’ instead of ‘12pm’ or ‘noon’.

Do
We’ll deliver your order at midday.
Don't
We’ll deliver your order at 12 noon.

Use ‘11.59pm’ instead of ‘midnight’. Midnight is the first minute of the day, not the last.

Do
Register for priority delivery by 11.59pm on Tuesday 14 June.
Don't
Register for priority delivery by midnight on Tuesday 14 June.

touchscreen

Not ‘touch-screen’.

transaction

Use ‘order’ instead.


user

Use ‘people’, ‘customers’, or ‘you’ instead.

Do
Customers love our price promise
Don't
Users love our price promise

web page

Not ‘webpage’ or ‘web-page’.

website

Not ‘web site’.

Websites

Don’t write ‘http://’ or ‘www’ in the web address.

If the web address has an extension, capitalise the first letter of each word in the extension.

wi-fi

Not ‘Wi-Fi’ or ‘Wi-fi’.


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