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Visual identity

Typography

Typography is a powerful tool that, when paired with our logo and colors, becomes an integral part of our brand identity.

Choosing the right typeface can set the tone for your design while reinforcing important brand attributes. Like many things in design, less is often more. And the consistent use of a few fonts adds visual strength to your work while making our overall brand more recognizable.

The fonts chosen for the U of I brand have an updated, clean look. They work well together in both print and digital applications and offer designers plenty of flexibility. And with the exception of Superfly, which costs just $16 for a desktop license, they are all free.

Only approved brand fonts are permitted in marketing and communications materials. To install these fonts, simply download them to your computer and follow the easy steps provided by Apple and Microsoft.

Montserrat

White Montserrat fonts on orange
White Montserrat headlines on blue and orange

Montserrat is our display font and best reserved for headlines and subheadings. While we recommend the heavier weights are recommended, pairing with a light weight can give your headline visual interest.

Source Sans Pro

White Source Sans Pro fonts on blue
Promotional mailer with photo and envelope

Source Sans Pro is the workhorse of our brand. Use heavier weights for headlines and other weights for body copy, captions, charts and graphs. It is a clean, highly legible font that works at all sizes.

Georgia

Georgia fonts in white on orange card
Two-color spread with photo and white text on orange background

Use Georgia in large blocks of copy and subheadings. You can use it at a range of sizes and weights because it is clean and legible. Georgia was created with both print and web in mind, giving it flexibility.

Open Sans Condensed

White Open Sans Condensed font on blue
Blue Open Sans Condensed nameplate example on white

Use Open Sans Condensed in headlines and areas where space is tight. Don’t use it for large sections of body copy. Because it is a narrow font, legibility is difficult in large sections of type. While Open Sans provides other weights, only use condensed.

Superfly

Blue and white Superfly fonts on orange
Orange Superfly font on white T-shirt

Use Superfly, our only script, to emphasize important words in a headline – or perhaps as a graphic element. Never use it in all caps or for multiple words. Superfly adds a friendly element, but use it sparingly to achieve maximum impact. Superfly is $16 for a desktop license.

Type Pairings

Blue Montserrat Bold, orange Montserrat Medium, and black Source Sans Pro Light fonts on white
Blue Montserrat Bold, orange Georgia Bold, and black Source Sans Pro Regular fonts on white
Blue Open Sans Condensed Bold, orange Source Sans Pro Black, and black Georgia fonts on white
Orange Superfly, blue Open Sans Condensed Bold, and black Source Sans Pro light fonts on white

Substitute Fonts

We understand that you may not be able use brand fonts everywhere. Sometimes Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and various digital applications require something different. For those instances, we’ve defined which fonts you can use in place of the brand fonts.

Brand FontsSubstitute
MontserratArial Black
Source Sans ProArial
GeorgiaGeorgia
Open Sans CondensedArial Narrow
SuperflyNot Available

Leading & Tracking

Using type thoughtfully is crucial to making our designs look professional. Follow these tips to make sure our typography is consistent.

  • Line spacing, called leading, is critical to setting a professional-looking type that’s easy to read. Set leading tight, but not too tight. With our typefaces, text generally looks best with the leading set slightly looser than the default.
  • Correct letter spacing, called tracking, also makes the type easier to read. Outside of headlines, always track text slightly tighter than the default setting, and use optical kerning when it’s available.
  • When working with type, always take the time to make these adjustments. These details make us look professional and greatly improve the readability of our type.

Type as a Graphic Element

Signage of orange and blue

Typography adds tone to our text, and it can add impact and personality to a layout when used as a big and bold graphic element.

In addition to their utility, we chose our brand fonts for their clean, modern lines, flexibility, and accessibility. Use them to their full advantage. Take them beyond the usual parameters. Try them large. Abstract. See what happens.

Web Fonts

Web font examples on white screens

The University of Illinois default web fonts—Source Sans Pro, Georgia, and Open Sans—provide consistent type styles across print and digital mediums. View the Web standards here.

Use Source Sans Pro as the primary font in electronic communications whenever possible. Only UIUC employees with NetIDs are allowed to download web font files. And the font files may be hosted only on websites with *.illinois.edu domains.

Athletics Typography

Two-toned lettering for “Illinois” and “Fighting Illini” with font and numbers

To create a consistent look for our athletes, athletic facilities, and athletics marketing, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics uses a custom typeface and numeral set. Custom wordmarks for “Illinois” and “Fighting Illini” have also been specially designed to enhance the overall brand.

Unless granted special permission, all of these assets are reserved for athletics use only. To request permission to use this custom typeface, please contact Athletics.

Special Use Font

Atkinson Hyperlegible is the Braille Institute’s recommended typeface for the visually impaired. Use this typeface when creating materials specifically for audiences with visual impairments. Download it for free from Google Fonts.

Putting it in Practice

Need help with font pairings? Here are some pieces to get you started.

Examples of fonts on various marketing materials