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Typography

A clear typographic system is critical to the effective communication of the SBA brand. Type treatments should reflect SBA as an approachable, friendly organization. The SBA recommends a font system that uses two open-source font families: Source Sans Pro and Merriweather, both of which are designed for legibility and can beautifully adapt to a variety of visual styles.

Typography

Primary typefaces

Source Sans Pro

Source Sans Pro is an open-source sans serif typeface created for legibility in UI design. With a variety of weights that read easily at all sizes, Source Sans Pro provides clear headers as well as highly-readable body text.

Inspired by twentieth-century American gothic typeface design, its slender but open letters offer a clean and friendly simplicity. Advanced hinting allows Source Sans Pro to render well on Windows systems which run Cleartype, and across browsers and devices. Moreover, it supports a variety of languages and alphabets, including Western and European language, Vietnamese, pinyin Romanization of Chinese, and Navajo.

Download Source Sans Pro
Source Sans Pro

Merriweather

Merriweather is an open-source serif typeface designed for on-screen reading. This font is ideal for text-dense design: the letterforms have a tall x-height but remain relatively small, making for excellent readability across screen sizes while not occupying extra horizontal space.

The combination of light, regular, and bold weights gives the font family stylistic range, while conveying a desirable mix of classic, yet modern simplicity. Merriweather communicates warmth and credibility at both large and smaller font sizes.

Download Merriweather
Merriweather

Alternative typefaces

Helvetica Neue

Helvetica Neue is a reworking of the typeface Helvetica with a more structurally unified set of heights and widths. The font has a synthesis of aesthetic and technical refinements that result in improved appearance, legibility and usefulness.

In certain instances that Source Sans Pro may be unavailable, Helvetica Neue may be used if you have it installed on your computer system. This typeface may also be used in special circumstances, approved by the SBA Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL).

Helvetica Neue

Georgia

Georgia is a typeface intended as a serif font that would appear elegant but legible printed small or on low-resolution screens. As a transitional serif design, Georgia shows a number of traditional features of 'rational' serif typefaces from around the early 19th century, such as alternating thick and thin strokes, ball terminals and a vertical axis.

If Merriweather is unavailable to use, Georgia (which is one of the most common system fonts available) may be used in its place. Use of Georgia over Merriweather must be approved by SBA OCPL.

Georgia

Font pairings and styles

To support a more contemporary web and print design aesthetics, please adhere to the following font pairings.

Heading 1 - Source San Pro Regular or Semibold

Heading 2 - Source San Pro Regular or Semibold

Heading 3 - Source San Pro Semibold

Heading 4 - Source San Pro Semibold

Lede paragraph - Merriweather Regular or Light Italic

Body copy - Souce sans pro regular

Readability and accessibility

Readable text allows users to efficiently read and take in textual information. Text that is not readable turns off readers or makes it challenging for them to stay focused. The following guidelines promote good readability and 508 accessibility compliance: