University Communicators Guide

Typography

Whether in campus signs, brochures, or emails, typography either helps unify and clarify our brand message, or make us look amateur and fractured.

Most of the time, one font will do, especially if it’s one with many different weights that work together like the Meta or Verlag families shown to the right.

Free fonts and display faces that can be downloaded from the Internet (think grungy or scripty) are generally poor quality and are best used in small doses and for unique projects.

Using unlicensed fonts for design projects is prohibited and can create legal risk for the University.

Signature Fonts

FF Meta and HF Verlag are the preferred typefaces of Chico State. They feature both serif and sans serif styles, and over a wide range of professional features and alternative glyphs, which make them extremely flexible for any project.

Examples of Meta fontExamples of Verlag font

If FF Meta or HF Verlag are unavailable to you, acceptable alternatives are Work Sans and Merriweather, which are open- source Google Fonts that can be licensed and downloaded for free at fonts.google.com(opens in new window).

System Fonts

Most of us are working on Windows or Mac computers and creating documents with Microsoft Office. There are a number of fonts that are already installed on your computer, called system fonts.

While they are generally optimized for ease of readability onscreen and in print, some are better than others. If you are limited to using system fonts, we recommend the following fonts.

Serif

Georgia
Garamound
Palatino
Cambria

Sans Serif

Calibri
Helvetica
Image example of Arial type
Image example of optima type

Fonts to Avoid

Some fonts may feel fun but should be used sparingly and never in official or professional communications that represent the University. There are many fonts that fall into the questionable category, however, using Comic Sans, Culz MT, or Papyrus fonts could be damaging to you or the University’s credibility.

Designer's Tip

Which Font to Use?

It’s helpful to consider the intended audience and the format (print, web, etc.) of your communications to determine which fonts will work best. Sans serif fonts generally convey a more casual feel, but are more legible in print and on screen. Serif fonts have a more formal or academic character, and are suited for pieces that require more subtle treatments.