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Typography

Mercury Display

Mercury Display is a modern serif typeface based on classic serif typefaces like Times, but paired with contemporary details. The oblique serifs, or edges, are unique and eye-catching, giving the new style distinction. Contemporary yet classic, this typeface was designed for headlines and subheadings and should only be used for these as the details are lost at smaller scales.

Available for purchase from Hoefler & Co.

Conduit

Conduit was designed to grab your attention. At first glance, it’s a modern sans serif that feels mechanical and strong. Upon further inspection, however, it is fairly narrow and square, and it has a warmer, inviting quality, which lies in the details of the subtle rounded tips and corners. This font is highly legible and should be used for headlines and subheadings only.

Available for purchase from MyFonts.

The following styles and variations for Conduit are used:

  • Conduit Bold
  • Conduit Bold Outline

Mercury Text

Mercury Text is a modern serif typeface based on geometric proportions, making it a nice contrast to the headline typefaces. It has sharp corners and tightly coiled curves and is flexible, complete with a full range of weights and italics, making it an ideal choice for body copy and longer documents that may need subtleties in hierarchy.

Available for purchase from Hoefler & Co.

The following styles and variations for Mercury Text are used:

  • Mercury Text Roman
  • Mercury Text Semibold
  • Mercury Text Bold
  • Mercury Text Italic
  • Mercury Text Semibold Italic
  • Mercury Bold Italic

Avenir

Avenir is a modern sans-serif typeface that adds a bit of organic humanism to a design. It’s flexible, with a full range of weights and italics, another good choice for body copy and longer documents that need subtleties in hierarchy.

Available for purchase from MyFonts.

The following styles and variations for Avenir are used:

  • Avenir Light
  • Avenir Book
  • Avenir Roman
  • Avenir Medium
  • Avenir Heavy
  • Avenir Black

Capitolium 2

Capitolium 2 is a stately serif based on classical Roman proportions. With a high stroke contrast and subtle details, it is best used for large headlines and display copy.

Available for free with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Pill Gothic 300mg

Pill Gothic is industrious and assertive, with unconventional details that differentiate it from other geometric sans serifs. Though various widths are available, the condensed 300mg width is preferred. This font should be used for headlines and subheadings only.

Available for free with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

The following styles and variations for Pill Gothic are used:

  • Pill Gothic 300mg Bold
  • Pill Gothic 300mg Bold Outline

Capitolium News 2

Capitolium News 2 is a sturdier variant of Capitolium 2, with a tall x-height and compact proportions that make it well suited for small headlines and body copy.

Available for free with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

The following styles and variations for Capitolium News 2 are used:

  • Capitolium News 2 Regular
  • Capitolium News 2 Semibold
  • Capitolium News 2 Bold
  • Capitolium News 2 Italic
  • Capitolium News 2 Semibold Italic
  • Capitolium News 2 Bold Italic

Aktiv Grotesk

Aktiv Grotesk is a compact, geometric sans serif designed to speak with authority and neutrality. This family offers a variety of weights and widths, making it a versatile choice for body copy requiring a well-defined hierarchy.

Available for free with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

The following styles and variations for Aktiv Grotesk are used:

  • Aktiv Grotesk Thin
  • Aktiv Grotesk Light
  • Aktiv Grotesk Regular
  • Aktiv Grotesk Medium
  • Aktiv Grotesk Bold
  • Aktiv Grotesk X-bold

There are a variety of headline styles to use that offer flexibility and bring interest to a design. Having the options to use several headline styles gives communication pieces more flexibility and pacing options so that the design doesn’t feel too repetitive from page to page. The format, available space and layout pacing will often determine what treatments work best within the design.

1 / Single Typeface – Mercury Display Bold or Capitolium 2 Bold

At its simplest, a headline can be set in Mercury Display Bold, or Capitolium 2 Bold, and offer enough character for a headline to stand out and feel designed. It’s best to set these in title case and use minimal tracking (30 pt max).

2 / Single Typeface – Conduit Bold or Pill Gothic 300mg Bold

Conduit Bold or Pill Gothic 300mg Bold can be used in two ways; the standard solid fill, or an outline version. It’s best to set these styles in all caps and use plenty of tracking to space out the letters (125–250 pt, depending on the type size and available space).

3 / Mixed Type

This headline style mixes type in a way that adds emphasis and impact to portions of the headline. The pieces set in Mercury or Capitolium 2 jump out first, while the Conduit or Pill Gothic portions sit back and support the structure. An optional outline box can be added around the secondary type to add weight and visual interest to the headline, making this headline style a more graphic and expressive variation that works well for large communication moments where high impact is desired.

This example shows four headline styles: Mercury Display Bold, Conduit Bold solid fill, Conduit Bold outline, and Mercury Display Bold with Conduit Bold in boxes.

Here are some examples of setting up headlines with additional copy. Style contrast will offer the most distinction between headline and subhead. The style of subhead will be dictated by the chosen headline style. If the headline is set in Mercury Display Bold or Capitolium 2 Bold, the subhead should contrast that and be set in Conduit Bold or Pill Gothic 300mg Bold.

Size contrast is also important to explore. The size of headline in relation to the subhead and body copy should have a clear hierarchy. Larger headlines set with smaller sub heads and even smaller body copy work best. Headlines should always be set in the bold weight.

This example showcases two headline styles, the first with the heading set in Mercury Display Bold with a subheading set in Conduit Bold, and the second set in Conduit Bold with a subheading set in Mercury Display Bold title case.

Setting type is a subtle art and it’s important to have some guidelines in place to ensure legibility and continuity of the communication products. Here are some general rules to keep in mind when laying out type for headlines or body copy.

Headlines are always set larger than the body copy and in the bold weight, which provides the most contrast from body copy. Subheads should be closer to the paragraph that follows than the paragraph above.

Body copy should be set between 10–11 pts for print.

Things to avoid when setting headlines

  1. Do not create your own modifications to the font. Use only the faces provided.
  2. Do not track out the title-case headline style past 30 pts.
  3. Do not place the headline over a photo in such a way that the legibility is compromised.
  4. Do not vary the size of a specific weight or style within a headline treatment.
  5. Do not use web fonts in print designs.

Things to avoid when setting body copy

  1. Do not track out the body copy more than 15 pts. It will become spotty and difficult to read.
  2. Do not set body copy in all bold, it will become too dense to read at small sizes.
  3. Do not place the copy over a photo in such a way that the legibility is compromised.
  4. Do not set body copy in a weight other than light, regular, or medium for call-outs.
  5. Use either an indent or a separating space to indicate a new paragraph, not both.
  6. Do not use web fonts in print designs.

Web Fonts: Headlines

Spectral

Spectral is a serif designed for text-rich, on-screen environments and long-form reading.

Available for free from Google Fonts.

The following styles and variations for Spectral are used:

  • Spectral Regular
  • Spectral Regular Italic
  • Spectral Bold
  • Spectral Bold Italic

Barlow Condensed

Barlow Condensed, a slightly rounded, low-contrast grotesk type family, is space efficient and clear. This font is perfect for headlines, as it shares qualities with highway signs and public signage. Any head style in Barlow Condensed should always use the semi-bold weight in all caps.

Available for free from Google Fonts.

The following styles and variations for Barlow Condensed are used:

  • Barlow Condensed Semibold
  • Barlow Condensed Semibold Italic

Web Fonts: Body Copy

Noto Sans

Noto Sans is flexible and legible at many sizes. It contains a full extended character set and is intended to be visually harmonious across all languages.

Available for free from Google Fonts.

The following styles and variations for Noto Sans are used:

  • Noto Sans Regular
  • Noto Sans Regular Italic
  • Noto Sans Bold
  • Noto Sans Bold Italic

Web Fonts: Best Practices

Setting type is a subtle art, and it’s important to have some guidelines in place to ensure legibility and continuity of the communication products. Here are some general rules to keep in mind when laying out type for headlines or body copy.

Headlines are always set larger than the body copy and in the bold weight, which provides the most contrast from body copy. Subheads should be closer to the paragraph that follows than the paragraph above.

Body copy should be set between 12–16 px for web.

Things to avoid when setting headlines

  1. Do not create your own modifications to the font. Use only the faces provided.
  2. Do not track out the Spectral title-case headline style past 30 pts.
  3. Do not place the headline over a photo in such a way that the legibility is compromised.
  4. Do not vary the size of a specific weight or style within a headline treatment.
  5. Do not use colors that are not WCAG 2.0 level AA compliant for contrast.
  6. Do not use print fonts in web designs.

Things to avoid when setting body copy

  1. Do not set body copy in all bold; it will become too dense to read at small sizes.
  2. Do not set body copy in a weight lighter than regular (400).
  3. Do not place the copy over a photo in such a way that legibility is compromised.
  4. Do not use colors that are not WCAG 2.0 level AA compliant for contrast.
  5. Do not use print fonts in web designs.

All Media: System Fonts

System fonts should only be used if no other identity fonts are available for print or web. An example of their use is in HTML emails, where font options are limited, or in general communications such as letters and email signatures.

Corbel, Arial, and Roboto are sans-serif substitutes for Avenir (print), Aktiv Grotesk (print), and Noto Sans (web).

Constantia, Georgia, and Liberation Serif (sometimes named Tinos) are substitutes for Mercury (print), Capitolium 2 (print), and Spectral (web).

Please visit communications.emory.edu for further information on obtaining the identity fonts.

The following font families are used:

  • Constantia
  • Georgia
  • Liberation Serif (Tinos)
  • Corbel
  • Arial
  • Roboto