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Typography

To help ensure that all of our visual communications are consistent, the UCLA brand rests on a specific typography family. Like colors and imagery, fonts play an important role in the visual aspects of a brand. 

Fonts may be requested from the Brand Fonts section of images.ucla.edu. Availability is limited; please identify a representative project in the “comments” section of the request form.




  • Fonts

    UCLA employs one overarching typeface called Karbon for all printed materials. Karbon is a clean and modern sans serif that is ideal for use across the university. Using one typeface helps to ensure that all of our visual communications are consistent. By incorporating the different weights and treatments, we can achieve a wide range of effects while maintaining consistency across various communication and identity materials.

     

  • Karbon Display Faces

    In addition to the basic Karbon typeface, UCLA has commissioned three customized versions of Karbon for use in headline treatments. These versions are:

    • Karbon Thin Reveal: lowercase alphabet only, with “sliced” letters
    • Karbon Bold, Open Outlined: caps only
    • Karbon Bold, Outlined: caps only
    The custom fonts are meant to be used sparingly and carefully. See the “Headlines” section for examples. 
  • Safe Default Font

    If there is an instance when Karbon is unavailable for print materials, UCLA’s default font is Verdana. Verdana should never be used in conjunction with Karbon and should be used only when licenses for Karbon are not available. In order to maintain maximum visual consistency throughout the brand, do not use any other typefaces when using Verdana.

    Verdana fonts are trademarked by Microsoft, and are typically supplied with Office and other products. If Verdana is not installed on your computer, we suggest you contact your local Help Desk.
  • Standard Headlines

    Most university materials will use standard headline treatments. These headline treatments should be left-justified and set in a color that contrasts with its background. Headlines may sit directly over a photograph, if legibility is maintained, or within an overlay box.

    When you need a bold headline to impart immediacy and carry strong visual emphasis, use Karbon Bold, Caps. This treatment is appropriate for use across all sectors of the university.

    For straightforward and conversational applications, use Karbon Medium, Title Case. This treatment is best suited for graduate, professional, alumni and donor audiences. This style is also appropriate for subheads.

    When a more stylish and expressive application is needed, use Karbon Bold Italic, Widely Letterspaced Caps. This style is best suited for undergraduate materials or secondary information.

  • Display Headlines

    Because of the university’s vast influence and the countless number of messages it must deliver to a wide array of audiences, we have created a variety of options for setting headlines. Select the headline that works best for your needs.

    Karbon Thin Reveal is recommended for use in large, overarching brand headlines and undergraduate materials. The letterforms “reveal” themselves, alluding to breakthrough moments of inspiration and optimism. Headlines set in this typeface must be all lowercase.

    Karbon Bold, Open Outlined is another option. The letterforms are outlined and open-ended to express optimism and openness, while their bold weight speaks to power and strength. This type style should be reserved for headlines or subheads with a maximum of three words.

  • Combination Headlines

    The final headline style available is the combination headline. This option is ideal for a headline that is very long or contains multiple thoughts. The combination headline may contain multiple standard headline styles or a combination of a standard headline style and a display style.

  • Standard with Display

    This combination headline uses three different typefaces: Karbon Thin Reveal; Karbon Bold Italic, Widely Letterspaced Caps; and Karbon Bold, Open Outlined Caps. Because of its clean, restrained use of the display faces, it is suitable for a wide range of audiences. The display faces should be significantly larger in size than the standard cap style.

  • Standard with Standard

    This second option uses Karbon Bold, All Caps, and Karbon Bold Italic, Widely Letterspaced Caps. This style of headline should be used to break up a long headline. The Bold Italic face should be used to call out the most important phrase of the headline. This phrase should also be set in a significantly larger type size than the rest of the headline.

  • Multiple Display with Standard

    This combination headline uses Karbon Bold, Open Outlined Caps; Karbon Bold Italic, Widely Letterspaced Caps; and Karbon Thin Reveal. This type of headline should be used only for undergraduate materials. It is best suited for a short headline that can be broken up in an expressive way. Be mindful to set the most important words in the display faces. These words should also be significantly larger in size.

  • Headlines and Copy Over Photos

    It is fine to set headlines and copy over photos. When doing so, however, it is crucial to maintain legibility. Choose a color, weight, style and size of font that will complement the photo, but will also stand out from the photo. Also, be sure not to obstruct the subject of a photograph with type.

  • Body Copy and Hierarchy

    Maintaining a consistent brand through the use of typography goes beyond setting headlines. It is important that all pieces of typography are carefully considered.

    Body Copy

    Body copy should be set in Karbon Regular; however, it may vary by weight, depending on format. Though type size of body copy may vary, it should not be smaller than 10 points. 

    When setting body copy, keep the tracking and the leading nice and loose. The leading of body copy should always be between 3 and 5 points greater than the size of the type. This further communicates a sense of openness.

    When appropriate, set the first sentence of body copy in bold caps. This conveys confidence and invites the reader into the copy. Do not set the first sentence of body copy in bold caps when a subhead is present. This muddles the hierarchy.

    Hierarchy

    Whether you’re creating a flyer or laying out a detailed brochure, be sure to take advantage of type size, weight and case to help deliver your message in the clearest way. By using different sizes and weights, you can make a particularly content-heavy document easier for the reader to digest.

  • Things To Avoid

    • Do not set headlines longer than two or three words in Karbon Bold, Open Outlined Caps.
    • Do not use all styles at the same type size when employing multiple typefaces in a headline.
    • Do not create your own modifications to the Karbon font. Only use the display faces provided.
    • Do not obstruct the subject matter of a photograph with a headline.
    • Do not place a headline over a photo where the legibility of the headline is compromised.
    • Do not vary the size of a specific weight or style within a headline treatment.
    • Avoid setting body copy in anything other than Karbon Regular.
    • Do not use tight leading on body copy.
    • Do not set body copy in white or in a color unless there is adequate contrast to maintain legibility.
    • Do not justify body copy.
    • Do not set tracking below zero.
    • Do not center body copy.