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4 capitalization styles you need to know

Do you ever get irritated trying to remember the rules of capitalization… and wonder when it’s okay (if ever) to break them?

You know your design has to have a certain look, whether it’s professional, casual, or somewhere in between, but you’re not sure how to achieve that with capitalization.

Believe it or not, everything about your designs — the fonts, colors, and yes, even the capitalization styles — communicates something about your brand… so you NEED to know your capitalization styles and when best to use them.

Read on for 4 capitalization styles and when to deploy each of them.

1. Title case

Title case capitalization would have the first letter of every word capitalized, except for the articles (a, an, the, etc) within the phrase. It might look something like this:

  • This is Title Case Capitalization
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • You Need to Know Capitalization Styles

Title case capitalization is best for professional or very formal use. Is your audience a group of professionals who work somewhere with in very traditional corporate atmosphere, like a law firm or accounting firm? Then, title case is your best bet.

2. Sentence case capitalization

Sentence case capitalization means only the first letter of the first word is capitalized, just like in a sentence. It might look like this:

  • This is sentence case capitalization
  • The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe
  • You need to know capitalization styles

Pretty straightforward, right? Sentence case capitalization is best for a more casual use, but it can still be professional.

A note on this: if your phrase begins with a number, like “4 capitalization styles you need to know,” then the number is the first word of the sentence. Therefore, you wouldn’t capitalize the next word.

3. Upper case capitalization

Upper case capitalization means every letter of every word is capitalized. It would look like this:

  • THIS IS UPPER CASE CAPITALIZATION
  • THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE
  • YOU NEED TO KNOW CAPITALIZATION STYLES

It’s best for more creative, less formal uses.

⚠️Upper case warnings⚠️

  • only use for headings or titles, not an entire design
  • increase the space between letters, so it’s easier to read
  • beware of using acronyms and upper case capitalization, as it can cause confusion (ex: USA-BASED FIRMS)

4. Lower case capitalization

This means not a single letter is capitalized — not even the first letter of the first word. Examples include:

  • this is lower case capitalization
  • the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe
  • you need to know capitalization styles

This is best for very creative and very casual uses.

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