Brand guidelines

What our tone is

The British Council’s tone is confident. We are world leaders at what we do. We are professional, but we are also friendly, lively, upbeat, warm, approachable and enthusiastic.

We are independent, have interesting and valuable things to say and we say them in a straightforward, open, honest and professional way.

We are interested in people and the things they are interested in and aspire to communicate in a clear, simple, relevant and intelligent manner.


‘Who do you think we are? You’d have to ask around 600 million people. That’s roughly how many people’s lives the British Council touches every year, one in ten of the world’s population. For many, our relationship is built on teaching and learning English. For others, it’s about creating new ways of seeing and connecting with each other through the arts. For many more, it’s about leadership and learning in international education, and about working with individuals, institutions and societies to help build a more inclusive, open and prosperous world.’

‘The British Council is no longer a place to simply borrow books. Be prepared to be inspired and surprised’.

‘The British Council aims to connect people with the best learning opportunities and creative ideas from the UK. So whether you want to take an exam, improve your English, find out about studying in the UK or experience the best of its culture, this is the place to start.’

‘We can measure your progress throughout the course with regular tests of your written and spoken English in class and as homework. This helps you to see what you’re doing well and where you need to focus. By talking to your teacher, you’ll be able to improve your English in a way that suits you. We call this continuous assessment.’

These examples all have a number of things in common: they talk to you – they are confident, professional and authoritative, yet they are also lively, warm, friendly and enthusiastic – and they explain themselves simply and fluently, without being patronising. You are left with a sense of having had a dialogue with someone you like, or at least, someone who is trying to be helpful and give you the information you need.

They all hit the right tone. They each make a clear offer and speak with a level of authority that will give the reader confidence in us as an organisation.