Typography is a powerful tool. When used effectively, the right fonts command attention, elicit emotions, and create a voice for our brand. Minion Pro and Myriad Pro have been chosen as the university’s primary font set to be used on all university marketing communications. They were selected because they are highly readable and at the same time are flexible enough to allow for creative expression. Our secondary font set, Adobe Garamond and Helvetica Neue, have the same attributes of our primary set but with a slightly different personality.
The two sets of fonts selected for Mason’s visual identity also complement the university logo. Condensed and variable weight versions of approved type families are allowed. There may be occasions when you need a different font for a particular project, such as a script for an invitation or display font for a poster. Take a look at the font sets below, and read on for additional guidance.
Primary Serif Typeface
Primary Sans Serif Typeface
Secondary Serif Typeface
Secondary Sans Serif Typeface
Criteria for Selecting a Typeface
A legible typeface combined with how you set it leads to readability. Style is important in design but means little if people struggle to read your communications. Be sure to put readability first in your marketing and communications pieces.
- Choose typefaces appropriate for your purpose.
- Set text as “right ragged” for readable word spacing and avoid the “rivers” associated with justified text.
- Set the leading (the space between lines of text) a minimum of one point size greater than type size.
Legibility refers to the design of the typeface—the width and height of each letter, whether it has serifs, the presence of novel type design elements, and so on. Legible typefaces are easy on your reader.
- Choose typefaces with conventional letter forms.
- Choose typefaces with generous spacing.
- Choose typefaces with a tall x-height.
Know what a typeface was designed for before you decide to love it. If you use a typeface for purposes other than intended you probably aren’t going to be happy with the result. Display fonts don’t make good subheads, and scripts make good invitations but don’t work for text in paragraph form.
Avoid Stereotypical or Thematic Correlations
Trends change quickly and diverse groups bring a different perspective to the table. Don’t pick overstylized “theme” fonts based on the concept or target audience of a communication.
- Don’t pick Papyrus because you are promoting an archaeology program.
- Don’t pick Chillin because your audience is high school students.
- Don’t pick Lithos because you are creating Greek Week promotionals.
- Don’t pick Wonton because you are designing a program for Madame Butterfly.