Typographic elements

Typography impacts meaning and interpretation.

Typography in graphic design can strongly affect how people react to a document. Careful selection and consistent use of a chosen typeface can be just as important as the use of graphics, color and images in creating and solidifying a professional brand.

The skillful use of typography commands the attention of your desired audience, communicates a key idea and motivates them to take action. Typography is not just about legibility. It is a blending of art and science and can serve a functional purpose.

Primary Typefaces

We’ve chosen two modern, open-source (free) serif and sans-serif typeface families that have been adapted for the digital age (but are also suitable for print) — Roboto by Google, Inc. and Merriweather by Eben Sorkin of Sorkin Type, Co. Both typefaces were designed to be highly-readable on screens and contain a full set of weights, styles and variants.

For University-provided systems, the Roboto and Merriweather fonts can be installed using the Windows Software Center application (PC) or the Fresno State Self-Service application (Mac). You may also submit a general work order by visiting http://fresnostate.edu/help/.
Roboto font Roboto

Roboto is the standard typeface on Android and is featured in more than 17,000,000 websites. According to a recent Gartner, Inc. report, global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 432 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016 with Android securing a 64% market share.

Roboto has been refined extensively to work across the wider set of supported devices and platforms. It is slightly wider and rounder, giving it greater clarity and making it more optimistic. This makes Roboto a great typeface for digital production and high-density displays.

The fonts are currently available in eighteen different styles and features six weights: Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold, and Black.

Best for: body copy, headlines, subheads, lead paragraphs, pullquotes/blockquotes, callouts, captions, drop caps.

Merriweather font Merriweather

Merriweather was designed to be typeface that is pleasant to read on screens. It features a very large x height, slightly condensed letterforms, a mild diagonal stress, sturdy serifs and open forms.

Merriweather has a traditional and sophisticated feel despite the modern shapes it has adopted for screens. It is suitable for editorial design, news and other kinds of space sensitive typography.

Although print use was not a significant consideration in the design, it is actively developed and is improved upon periodically, so don't be afraid to use it!

Best for: headlines, subheads, lead paragraphs, pullquotes/blockquotes, body copy, callouts.

“Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form.”

Robert Bringhurst, Typographer/Author

Font Substitutes

Font substitution is the process of using one font in place of another when the intended font either isn’t available or doesn’t contain glyphs for the required characters. The following alternative fonts may be used when the primary University typefaces are not available for use in certain digital applications, devices or platforms.

  • Alternatives to Roboto

    Arial, Arial Black, Helvetica, Segoe UI, San Francisco

    Regular, Italic and Bold
  • Alternatives to Merriweather


    Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic