Any rules or standards pertaining to superscripting TM, R and SM?

aluminum's picture

An interesting conversation popped up recently in our group about super-scripting the Trade, Service and Registered marks.

The context is specifically web, but we wanted to apply any tried and true typography rules to our decisions and then realized we didn't necessarily have any tried and true typography rules that apply to this handy.

Are there any?

More specifically, we're interested in the use of them in headlines. It occurred to me that I never see those marks in newspaper headlines. I'm assuming there's perhaps an AP style guide that references this issue but haven't had much luck via google finding that yet.

eliason's picture

There was a little conversation on related topics in this recent Design thread.

joeclark's picture

I assume you aren’t using anything but the actual ™, ℠, and ® glyphs. Don’t try to do anything special with them on the Web, save perhaps for headlines you know will be large.

I think it is generally accepted that, at display sizes in print, such glyphs should be manually shrunk to tiny size.

aluminum's picture

In HTML, we're aiming for the actual ™ and ® glyphs. I've found the ℠ glyph to be inconsistent across browsers and fonts, though.

As you can see the registered glyph differs from the TM glyph in that it's not super scripted by default. So we manually created some classes for each that end up optically adjust them to be relatively the same.

The complaint is, indeed, that people feel they are too large in display sizes (we've optically adjusted them to be roughly 50% the cap-height aligned to the cap-height which looks fine as body text, but does tend to be a bit large in display settings). I don't necessarily disagree but feel that the optimum solution is to not even use them in display sizes (as newspapers seem to agree on). I was hoping to perhaps find some established style rule that the press uses.

oldnick's picture

More specifically, we're interested in the use of them in headlines

Quite simply...don't. And minimize the use of same in body copy, as well. A footnote on the home page stating that "OurCompany" is a Registered Trademark of OurCompany, Unltd. or whatever will suffice.

aluminum's picture

"Quite simply...don't."

Agreed!

Anyone know of any semi-official style guide that we could use as a reference?

kentlew's picture

There is no legal requirement to use the ™ or ® symbols when referring to companies or products editorially, according to Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Ed., §8.162.

If you’re creating promotional material, then what OldNick said: place a general declaration of trademarks at the footer or on an About page.

In printed promotion, it is also common to use the mark with the first instance of a product name, but omit it thereafter.

JamesM's picture

Newspapers don't need to use the marks in regular headlines or articles. However they're a good idea in newspaper ads or promotional pieces. Or if the newspaper mentions a trademark that they own themselves. But when simply reporting the news, they aren't needed.

> In printed promotion, it is also common to use the
> mark with the first instance of a product name, but
> omit it thereafter.

Most corporations I've worked with use the mark on the first instance on each page, rather than just the first instance in the publication. But this isn't a legal requirement.

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