MSU BRAND TOOLKIT
Two typefaces have been chosen for the Michigan State University brand: Californian (serif) and Gotham (sans serif). Used in conjunction, they evoke the heroic, bold, and progressive stories of Michigan State University. Refer to section four (4) of MSU Brand Standards for samples of the versatility of these fonts.
PLEASE NOTE: Communications and Brand Strategy manages access to the Californian and Gotham fonts to maximize their use for high-level external communications. To obtain fonts for use on Michigan State University work, contact Communications and Brand Strategy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 355-7505.
Californian is a bold and classical typeface, one that not only harkens back to the educational legacy of the ancient Spartans but also makes the type look like it has been etched into stone for posterity. Californian gives the brand’s tone an epic, heroic quality.
Gotham also demonstrates boldness, but of a different sort. The typeface evokes Michigan State University’s hardworking values, its precision and high functionality, and its forward-thinking optimism. Gotham marks Michigan State University as an institution on the move.
When creating branding pieces in HTML text, substituting Georgia (serif) for Californian (serif) and Helvetica (sans serif) for Gotham (sans serif) is recommended. The exception to this rule is if the headline is set as a JPEG, in which case the headline can be Californian and Gotham. Georgia and Helvetica also may be substituted in print materials when Californian and Gotham are not available.
Designers have the option of setting headlines in either Californian Bold or Gotham Ultra according to their aesthetic judgment. Each headline should be set in all caps, regardless of which font is used.
In addition, headlines can be set in a combination of both fonts, particularly if they are displayed over several lines of text. However, if a designer chooses to combine the fonts in a headline, the designer must ensure consistency across the entire headline by choosing only one font as the primary font and the other as the contrasting accent font. Refer to section five (5) of MSU Brand Standards for multiple examples of headlines that are angled, flat, within photography, and outside photography.
While the designer does have creative latitude when it comes to subheads, we recommend that most subheadlines be set in Gotham. This is simply because, in the hierarchy of the design, the subheadline in Gotham is typically clearer and better able to stand out.
Body copy may be set in either Californian or Gotham. For serif type, designers should set body copy in Californian Text Roman. For sans serif type, designers may use Gotham Book or Gotham Narrow Book.
Lists and bullets
On occasion, type will be set within a Spartan shield to communicate smaller facts and figures about Michigan State University or to make calls to action. Designers have the option of setting the copy within a shield in either Californian or Gotham. However, for the sake of overall legibility, we recommend using Gotham.