Typography

Helvetica Neue specimen

Typography is an essential part of our personality. It helps unify our materials and promotes familiarity with our messaging.

Our typeface is Helvetica Neue, (pronounced “noy-a” or “new”). It is a classic sans serif face: simple, modern, and elegant. The openness and geometry of its form make it highly legible. It works equally well for display type and body copy. Helvetica Neue is recommended for use as the featured typeface in all University of Colorado communications.

Substitutes

When Helvetica Neue is not available, Helvetica is a suitable substitute. Arial may be used with Helvetica Neue or Helvetica are not available, such as in shared documents or web and electronic communications, when you cannot rely on the typeface to be installed on audience computers.

Tips

  • Use typefaces and font sizes consistently to indicate role
  • Use Helvetica Neue as the default for all text, and only deviate with purpose. Too many fonts can make the design seem busy and even interfere with the user’s perception of the visual hierarchy. Don’t let a typeface distract from the design; in general, think about how can you make the typography powerful by playing with weight and dimensions instead of different typefaces.
  • Turn off auto-hypenation
  • Right-size your text column width, also referred to as measure, for optimal legibility: too narrow (fewer than 5 words per line) or too wide (more than 15 words per line) can negatively impact legibility. 9-15 words per line (or 50-75 characters per line) is recommended. Err on the side of longer measures when justifying text
  • Prefer left-aligned text in most cases; use centered, right-aligned, and wrap-arounds sparingly
Helvetica Neue type examples

▸ Typeface License FAQ

Resources