Fonts and typography
Typography and our selected font families are fundamental elements of our brand and help weave our stories together. Our goal is to create a seamless experience for our audiences by aligning all communication in a unified visual voice.
Do not use any additional fonts; they interfere with the clear articulation of the ASU brand.
We are bold and bright, in headlines, quotes and other text elements. ASU says and does bold, clear things in the world and our fonts behave in the same way.
Using fonts and typography to communicate the ASU brand
Neue Haas Grotesk: Primary print font
Neue Haas Grotesk through Adobe Fonts replaces Akzidenz Grotesk for print, video and all Adobe software uses starting this year. It may be used in all media, including items for sale. All ASU staff and students who have the Adobe Creative Cloud may use the font in software that is connected to Adobe Fonts for all creative and communications applications, delivering on our goal of inclusion and collaboration within and across units.
Where to use Neue Haas Grotesk:
- Adobe InDesign – single and multi-page documents.
- Adobe Illustrator – graphics and multiple artboard documents.
- Adobe Photoshop – type on top of photos or other creative.
- Adobe Premiere – video.
- Adobe After Effects – animation and video.
- Adobe Express – social media and other uses (note: Express is Adobe’s Canva-like software).
- Any other Adobe software that loads from the Adobe Fonts library.
Neue Haas Grotesk has the same essential look and feel and will not look different from our previous materials to our audiences. It has the same boldness and strength as the previous font and is now available to all Adobe users through Adobe Fonts.
- All new team members may start using Neue Haas Grotesk immediately. Akzidenz Grotesk Std licenses will be phased out by July 1, 2023, and will be removed from computers by ET and local technology staff. Certain brand elements, including the official logo, endorsed unit logos and permanent signage will continue to be built with Akzidenz Grotesk. All other materials will be made with Neue Haas Grotesk.
Review setup steps for the new font.
How to work with headlines. (See Guidelines for writing headlines.)
Although there are no specific requirements for the sizing of fonts used in headlines or mastheads, use judgment when considering what size font to use. Remember, being big and bold represents the attributes of the brand.
In Neue Haas Grotesk, there is an option to use the “Display” set of the font. For example, “Neue Haas Grotesk Display Pro 75 Bold” is a great option for headlines, which can include any use of the font over 24pt in size.
All expressions of headlines should be in title or sentence case.
Using all caps is not part of ASU's core brand execution. In particular, all caps should not be used in full sentences, titles or headlines.
In very limited cases, they may be used to differentiate between smaller headline treatments in documents with complex structures. They should indicate meaning or clarify direction, not act as a style move.
Left-aligned body type in headlines and paragraphs is the easiest for readers, but is not mandated. Copy alignment that is significantly different from left aligned (centered, justified, right aligned) can distract the reader from the content of a project. Left alignment is suggested based on readability studies in user-centered design. Alignment is a variable that will be determined by your project requirements.
Font color in headlines
In most instances, black on white background or white on dark colors or photos should be used as the primary color choices for headlines. ASU Gold and ASU Maroon are the only other colors that should be used in headlines. These colors are considered part of the primary color palette and their usage should be strictly adhered to.
What not to do with headline formatting
The following items are examples of things we do NOT do with our brand fonts.
Typesetting can improve the legibility of text. Optimum legibility should be a priority.
Tracking and kerning
- Tracking refers to the total spacing of a block of copy.
- Overall, tight tracking for headlines is recommended as part of our brand and is intended to be tight to help convey strength.
- Kerning refers to the space between individual letterforms.
- Beyond tracking, attention to spacing between letterforms needs to be taken into consideration. The rule of thumb for the spacing of letterforms should be tight but not touching.
The optical settings now available in all Adobe Creative Cloud software are recommended for use in headlines.
Drop shadows are NOT preferred as part of the brand expression. However, in some instances where legibility is an issue, a very subtle shadow or outer glow effect can be used, depending on the background. Examples of this can be a photograph containing uneven color values or textures.
Leading is the space between lines of text and is measured from baseline to baseline of each sentence. This is a variable that will largely depend on your project requirements.
- Leading should be between 2–3pt above the font size as a general rule.
- Example: 10pt Neue Haas Grotesk Roman type is most readable with 12, 13, or 15pts leading.
- Things to consider:
- The looser the leading, the harder the copy can be to read. The same holds true for tight leading.
- Tighter leading has the unintended consequence of adding tension to a large body of copy.
- Is the body copy intended to be more decorative? Loose leading is less of a consideration.
For reference to readable leading examples, refer to the usage examples in the Lookbooks page or contact the Brand Strategy and Management design team.