Welcome to the Tiny style guide. This guide was created for the Tiny team, but if you work for another organization (from partners to customers) we hope you find it useful too. You'll find a range of logo assets, our official color palette, guidelines for writing at Tiny, along with a clear statement of our mission.
One year before the merger of Ephox and TinyMCE in 2015, the then Ephox team celebrated the company's 15th anniversary. We held an all-hands company offsite in Hawaii. During this trip, we spent time discussing our values using the Big 5 framework. We translated this discussion into the following five values, which remain as true for us today as they did four years ago.
We are curious and open to change. The technology world changes rapidly and so must we. We are willing to explore new ideas, embrace diversity and be a little unconventional at times. We provide the latest technologies, styles, or flavors to our customers. We are also transparent and willing to share.
Our customers and users depend on our software and we take our responsibility seriously. Our attention to detail, expertise and efficiency help our users to fulfill their mission in life. With over 100 million users, a small joy we create or frustration that we solve is amplified to the point that we save a life with each new feature or bug fix.
We are famous for developing the world’s most popular “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) editors and this carries through to the way we do business. We are sincere: loyal to each other, our customers and our users. We are grateful to those who invest their time and money with us. We believe that “straight shooter” is a term of endearment and wish to embody humility and being down-to-earth.
Life is too short to put up with drama and we pride ourselves on being cool, calm and collected. We wish to make an impact for the better on millions of people and we will pursue this goal with passion and perseverance. We are secure in ourselves and hold firm to our goals despite setbacks or challenges.
We are friendly, adventurous and bold. We are optimistic about the future and ambitious in our plans to make it happen. We don’t mind a bit of fun! We want our products to be accessible and easy to use ... to generate enthusiasm and happiness.
We communicate our values through our writing. We surveyed our team in 2016, and our top 10 brand traits we wished to build are:
Everything we write, or say, is:
We do not take ourselves too seriously and sometimes play a little bit with Australian clichés and writing clichés (see below). It is always more important to be clear and understood than it is to be entertaining.
We have standardized on U.S. English.
The Microsoft Manual of Style is a great resource for technical writing. You can then seek inspiration from Microsoft’s documentation. For example, user help for Microsoft Word or the developer documentation for their Text Analytics API.
As IBM is an important partner it is also worth referring to the IBM Style Guide and examples from their online writing.
Use the active rather than passive voice. It’s clearer and more direct. For example:
Where possible, address the reader as "you". It makes our content more personal when we speak to them directly. For example:
When referring to the instructor, use "I". It creates a more personal connection between the instructor and reader:
Where appropriate, choose plain English over-complex language. Don’t use formal or long words when easy or short ones will do. Use ‘buy’ instead of ‘purchase’, ‘help’ instead of ‘assist’, ‘about’ instead of ‘approximately’.
No: “A good photographer keeps his gear neatly organized.”
Yes: “Good photographers keep their gear neatly organized.”
As stated, our style is direct and concise. This is also true for writing email copy. If you're ever stuck, the site Good Email Copy is an excellent resource.
Writing is hard, and we are here to help. Quotes about writing and editing also offer great potential.
We proudly maintain a research, development and engineering office in Australia. For the Aussies, Australian slang should be avoided, but a good cliché is acceptable to lighten the mood and celebrate the animals and lifestyle of our heritage. Clichés should be used rarely – no more than once per content item. Do not overdo it – we have great roots in Sweden (via Moxiecode) and the U.S. (10 years and counting!) and we value diversity with more than a dozen nations represented in our team.
Some example clichés:
Some examples in context:
Inspired by Envato, Frontify and others.
TinyMCE is an incredibly well-known brand in the developer ecosystem.
This said, it is important that a prospect learns that there is a team behind our products. Most people understand and value that there is a "company" behind the "project." Anybody willing to spend money with us will also want to know and learn about the organization.
There are also many opportunities to introduce both TinyMCE and Tiny. For example, we can send a newsletter from "firstname.lastname@example.org" with the subject "See what’s new in TinyMCE 5."
The word "editor" has it roots in Latin. Thousands of years ago it meant someone "who puts forth." By 1712, it came to mean a "person who prepares written matter for publication." Although some consider an "editor" a commodity, there is plenty to be proud of in offering a powerful editor that helps people publish content.
In general use today in the software world, the word "editor" refers to lots of different types of editors. For example, a programmer uses an editor to write code. The first page of Google has a mixture of results but does include three photo editors. For this reason, it is typically better to qualify the word editor with an adjective such as "WYSIWYG," "rich text," "visual," or "online."
"What You See Is What You Get" as it applies to software first appeared in the 1970s when engineers at Xerox PARC devised a point-and-click interface for creating documents. The phrase predates the technology where the comedian Flip Wilson’s alter ego Geraldine would say what-you-see-is-what-you-get to emphasize her authenticity.
Technically, our products are a "WYSIWYG HTML editor." This description is unnecessarily explicit in most circumstances. You should shorten it to "WYSIWYG editor" or even just "WYSIWYG." All of these are acceptable to use, with a preference for just "WYSIWYG."
Giving products a meaningful name is not an easy task. Even the New York Times thinks there’s a weird science to naming new products. Which is why we have five simple rules to help you remember our naming conventions:
Lastly, when naming solutions for TinyMCE, always prefix "Tiny" to the name. E.g. Tiny PowerPaste.
An important caveat: when writing about a product and the product is referenced multiple times in the content, only include "Tiny" in the first instance. After this, it is acceptable to use the product name only.
These logo can be used on pretty much every background. The version on the top row is intended to be placed on dark backgrounds, and the one on the lower row can be used on light ones.
When the colored version of the Tiny logo blends too much with the background, a monochromatic version can be used.