Typography

In today’s digital landscape – more than ever – people are aware of typography, it is key that we maintain a consistent use of type throughout our brand.

You might think our family of typefaces is pretty basic, but it's how we use them that creates impact. We use a range of contrasting weights to denote hierarchy, from our loud and proud headlines in Helvetica Now Display Extra Black, to the gossamer Helvetica Now Text Light in our body copy.

We love how flexible the Helvetica Now family is but, in order to ensure consistency across campaigns, we've provided detailed guidance on what to use and when.

Our typefaces

Primary Typeface: Helvetica Now

Our primary typeface is Helvetica Now. Clean, legible and optimised to work at any size in digital and print contexts, Helvetica Now expresses both contemporary and classical qualities.

Helvetica Now is available in a range of cuts and weights. The guidance below is intended to guide you through achieving consistency across our communications, but may not apply to every scenario. For specific guidance, please contact Marketing and Communications.

Helvetica Now Display Extra Black

Helvetica Now Display Extra Black

Helvetica Now Display Bold

Helvetica Now Display Bold

Helvetica Now Text Light

Helvetica Now Text Light

System font: Arial

When Helvetica Now is not available – for example in Word, PowerPoint and in some online environments such as emails – Arial should be used as a replacement. No other typefaces should be used, and care should be taken to change default fonts to Arial where possible.

Arial Bold

Arial Bold

Arial Regular

Arial Regular

What to use and when

The guidance below is designed to help creatives use typography to enhance our communications. Staff briefing creatives may wish to be aware of this guidance, but are not encouraged to follow it themselves. It's important we leave design to the designers, as any attempt to replicate key brand components without sufficient skill or resource can be damaging to the brand.

Headline messaging

We use headlines for big, confident, emotive statements, typically in campaign materials and seperated from other body copy. All headlines should be set in Helvetica Now Display Extra Black with tight leading and tracking, and use colour and layer ordering to highlight a key word or two at end of the statement. Headlines should always align to our tonal principles, be short, direct, and resonate with our target audience.

Check our guidance on colour to ensure you are using the right colour combinations for the audience.

How headlines should be formatted
How headlines with with overlaying images
TypefaceHelvetica Now Display Extra Black
AlignmentLeft
CaseUppercase
LeadingAround 75% of the type size
Tracking-20px with manual kerning as required
Minimum size50pt
✅ You should always⛔️ You should never
Ensure headlines are around five words or fewerSet leading too loose to too tight
Follow the guidance on typesettingSet tracking too loose or too tight
Use appropriate campaign colour to highlight key, emotive words at the end of the headlineUse Helvetica Now Extra Black in lowercase or outside of headlines
Use layering, when paired with an image, to create depth and impactUse the headline style for document or page titles
Size and position headlines with confidenceAttempt to recreate the headline style in Arial Black or any other typeface

Document and page titles

Document, section and page titles should be set with confidence in Helvetica Now Display Bold, picking out an accent colour from the page, or in white against an image with sufficient contrast. Leading and tracking should remain tight, but watch out for clashing ascenders and descenders in the text. Care should be taken to maintain title size across any single document or document section, ie consider a standard size for all section titles, all page titles etc.

Our document titles can often be quite dry, so we should strive, where appropriate, to bring life to the pages within with emotive and inspiring page titles.

how to use a page title in publications
how to use a page title in publications
TypefaceHelvetica Now Display Bold, or Helvetica Now Text Bold if smaller than 50pt. If unavailable, use Arial Bold
AlignmentLeft
CaseSentence case
LeadingAround 80% of the type size, taking care to avoid clashing ascenders and descenders
Tracking-20px with manual kerning as required
Minimum size30pt
✅ You should always⛔️ You should never
Set titles large and with confidenceVary type size in the same document or document section
Consider using accent coloursConfuse titles and headlines
Set titles in a neutral colour when overlaying an imagePlace titles in boxes or shapes
Keep titles short and to the point 

Headline or title?

If you are unsure what's a headline and what's a document title, use the checklist below and treat the text accordingly:

HeadlinesShort, emotive and inspiring statements
Often a call to action
Generally five words or fewer
Always aligned to our tonal principles
Document titlesHighly descriptive, rational and literal
A signpost to further information

Standfirsts

Standfirsts are introductory pieces of text that help establish or summarise subsequent content. They should be concise and engaging, rarely more than 40 words in length, and in accessible language.

Our standfirsts should be visually distinct from the page title and body copy through use of size, weight and, where appropriate, colour.

Care should be taken to maintain type size across any single document or document section, varying size only to indicate hierarchy.

how to use a stand first in publications
how to use a stand first in publications
TypefaceHelvetica Now Text Bold / Helvetica Now Text Light. If unavailable, use Arial Bold / Regular
AlignmentLeft
CaseSentence case
LeadingAround 100% of the type size, taking care to avoid clashing ascenders and descenders
Tracking-20px with optical kerning
Minimum size14pt
✅ You should always⛔️ You should never
Ensure there is clear hierarchy with respect to titles and body copySet the standfirst against images unless there is sufficient contrast
Use clear, accessible language to convey key pointsUse more than 40 words
Use engaging language to encourage the audience to read onVary type size in the same document or document section

Body copy

Body copy refers to the text forming the main content of a piece of communication. We use this to tell stories about the University.

Body copy comprises both paragraphs of text and signposts such as paragraph headings. Care should be taken to ensure typographic hierarchy is clear, and is useful to the reader in scanning a large amount of text.

Where possible, paragraph headings should be used to introduce clearly defined concepts within a thread of text, and regular paragraph breaks should be used to make this text easy to digest.

how to use a paragraph title in publications
how to use a paragraph title in publications
TypefaceBody copy: Helvetica Now Text Light. If unavailable, use Arial Regular.
Paragraph headings: Helvetica Now Text Bold. If unavailable, use Arial Bold.
AlignmentLeft
CaseSentence case
LeadingAround 120% of the type size
Tracking-20px with optical kerning
Minimum size8pt
✅ You should always⛔️ You should never
Set body copy in Dark GreyFully justify text
Consider using an accent colour for paragraph titlesSet body copy in any colour other than Dark Grey
Use paragraph titles to break up long threads of textVary type size in the same document or document section
Use tracking to counter widows, orphans, rivers and ragsHypenate words at the end of a line
Use multiple columns to keep line length shortHave a line length of over 70 characters unless critical to the design

Related guidance

Get in touch

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team:

ContactEmail
Studio team, Marketing and Communications studio@herts.ac.uk
Jak Kimsey, Studio Manager (he/him)j.kimsey1@herts.ac.uk
Marketing and Communications Business Supportmarketinguh@herts.ac.uk