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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.

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 only.

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.

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.

The following styles and variations for Avenir are used:

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

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

At its simplest, a headline can be set in Mercury Display Bold and offer enough character for a bold 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

The Conduit Bold type can be used in three ways; the standard solid fill, an outline version, or a combination of the two, the expressive ‘Alternate Outline’ variation where the letters alternate between solid and outline across the headline every so often. By varying the fill and outlined letters within the headline, emphasis and movement is added for a more expressive effect. With all Conduit styles, it’s best to set these 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 Conduit and Mercury in a way that adds emphasis and impact to portions of the headline. The pieces set in Mercury jump out first, while the Conduit portions sit back and support the structure. An optional outline box can be added around the Conduit 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.


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, the subhead should contrast that and be set in Conduit 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 as Mercury Display Bold with a subheading set in Conduit Bold, and the second with the heading alternating between filled and outlined text and a subheading set in Conduit 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.

Body copy should be set between 7–11 pts for print, and 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 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.

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.

Web Fonts: Headlines

Spectral

Spectral is designed for text-rich, on-screen environments and long-form reading. Spectral is available in Roman and italic versions of extra light, light, regular, medium, semi-bold, bold, and extra bold.

Available from Google Fonts at 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. Barlow Condensed is available in Roman and italic versions of thin, extra light, light, regular, medium, semi-bold, bold, extra bold, and black.

Available from Google Fonts at 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 harmonius across all languages.

Available from Google Fonts at Google Fonts.

The following styles and variations for Noto Sans are used:

  • 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.

Body copy should be set between 7–11 pts for print and 14–18 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.

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.

All Media: System Fonts

Georgia and Verdana

Verdana and Georgia are the preferred system fonts, and they 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. Verdana is a sans serif substitute for Avenir (print) and Noto Sans (web), and Georgia is a substitute for Mercury (print) and Spectral (web).

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