Unify the Institution’s Visual Identity

Consistent use of typography is a simple way to unify the institution’s visual identity. USC Upstate’s primary typefaces were chosen for clarity and flexibility in a wide range of situations.

Helvetica Neue is the institution’s primary sans-serif typeface and Caecilia LT is the primary serif typeface. Used together, they create a balanced look and feel for all messaging.

Headers, Subheads, and Body Copy — Helvetica Neue

Helvetica Neue is USC Upstate’s primary headline and body copy typeface and should be used for large display text, theme and narrative copy. A timeless sans-serif typeface, its clean, modern lines and elegant curves look best at larger sizes in our visual identity system.

The default weight to be used is Helvetica Neue Regular for the theme and narrative copy and Helvetica Neue Bold for headlines. When narrative copy becomes larger in scale, Helvetica Neue Light can be used to maintain the same visual hierarchy.

Although other weights and styles are available in the Helvetica Neue family, only the styles listed are acceptable for use within the USC Upstate visual identity system. No other weights should be used, unless approved by University Marketing and Communications.

Default Styles:

Helvetica Neue Typefaces Examples

Typeface Substitute

In the absence of Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Gotham or Arial should be used as the substitute.

Headers and Subheads — Caecilia LT

Caecilia LT is USC Upstate’s primary serif subhead and small text typeface because of its strength, versatility and clean, inviting structure. While it can function seamlessly at any size, it should primarily be used for subheads and small text.

The default styles to be used are Caecilia LT Std, Caecilia LT Roman and Caecilia LT Heavy. Subheads should be Caecilia LT Roman or Caecilia LT Heavy, while small text is Caecilia LT Std.

Other supporting styles of Caecilia LT may also be used, however, they should be reserved for emphasis or smaller applications.

Default Styles:

Caecilia Lt Typefaces

Typeface Substitute

In cases where Caecilia LT is not available, Georgia is recommended as the substitute.

Informal Headers and Subheads — Futura PT

Futura PT is a strong, modern, and simple sans-serif typeface with a variety of weights and widths. The typeface is professional yet informal and approachable.  Futura PT is best suited for informal communication such as, student recruitment, campus events, and other, more casual marketing efforts.

Default Styles:

Futura PT Typefaces

Decorative and Script Fonts

To ensure our brand maintains a consistent visual tone, decorative and script fonts should be used with discretion and never for large amounts of text. Script fonts should be restricted to special materials, including invitations and announcements, or special events or occasions. You are not required to use any specific decorative or script font, although it is recommended that you use fonts that are legible and of high-quality. When using script fonts, be sure to use them sparingly throughout your piece for emphasis. Below is an invitation example using a mix of brand fonts and a script font.

Invitation Example

Working with the Type

Type should be implemented as shown below. Suggested font substitutions should be used in cases where these fonts are not available.

Working With Type


Best Practices for Typography Usage:

The following best practices should be employed in almost every instance. Please email brand@uscupstate.edu with questions or for suggestions.

  • The font chosen should reflect the tone of the commmunication being created.
    • Formal communications, such as materials for academic ceremonies, official documents, and faculty-oriented events, must make use of the traditional typefaces, Helvetica Neue and Caecilia LT.
    • Informal communications, such as materials for student recruitment, campus events, and other, more casual marketing efforts, may make use of the full range of approved fonts, including Futura PT—provided all other guidelines outlined here are satisfied.
  • Text in body copy should not be underlined unless it is a link style. When it is a link style, the link color should be consistent and sufficiently differentiated from text copy color.
    • As a general rule, for smaller type, the leading should be larger; for larger type, the leading should be tighter.
    • When developing digital documents such as a PowerPoint presentation, do not rely upon licensed fonts being installed on your audience's computers. Instead, be sure to save files as PDFs to ensure your audience will be able to view the files accurately. Licensed fonts are not viewable for those without licenses to the fonts and presentations created on one computer using licensed fonts may not look the same when opened on a different computer that has different fonts installed.
  • Type should never be altered by adding outlines, drop shadows or effects. When a heavier weight is desired for various communications, it is important to switch to a heavier version of the font rather than selecting the bold option from the toolbar. This sometimes alters the font and is not recommended.