Skip to Main Content



Avenir is the primary font in UMBC publications and is exclusively used in the university’s campus way-finding and signage system. It is a geometric sans-serif typeface designed in 1988 by Adrian Frutiger. Avenir was released by Linotype GmbH, now a subsidiary of Monotype Corporation. The name Avenir is French for “future,” and takes inspiration from early geometric sans-serif typefaces Erbar (1922) designed by Jakob Erbar, and Futura (1927) designed by Paul Renner.

Avenir 45 book and 85 Bold

font examples

We understand that everyone may not have access to Avenir, so we recommend the following alternatives: Avenir Next or Roboto (free google font).

Additional text fonts

Recognizing that circumstances may arise where the use of Avenir as the sole body font for brochures and advertisements is too restrictive, additional families of text fonts have been identified for use on UMBC publications and digital communications.

Garamond Premier Pro

Garamond Premier Pro, a serif typeface, had its genesis in 1988, when Adobe senior type designer Robert Slimbach visited the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, to study the  collection of Claude Garamond’s metal punches and type designs. Garamond, a French punchcutter, produced a refined array of book types in the mid-1500s that combine an unprecedented degree of balance and elegance and stand as a pinnacle of beauty and practicality in typefounding.

Garamond Premier Pro is currently used as a serifed alternative to Avenir and in UMBC Magazine. Any of the Garamond font families can be used as a substitute if Garamond Premier Pro is not available on your machine.

Garamond Premier Pro Regular and Bold


Helvetica Neue Condensed

The classic Helvetica font family was redesigned in 1983, refining and adding to the original. This redesign included many new variants in weights, a new numbering system to identify the different weights, refining the characters so the have better readability, and improved punctuation.

Helvetica Neue Condensed is currently used in UMBC Magazine and can be used if a condensed sans-serif font is needed.

Helvetica Neue 57 condensed and 95 black



The four letters of the university acronym are set in Trajan, a contemporary electronic typeface modeled on the forms of ancient Roman incised lettering.

In order to preserve the distinctiveness of the UMBC wordmark within the university communications environment, designers should not use Trajan elsewhere, for example as a display face in a brochure. Its range of use—other than the official university wordmark—is narrow. Besides the typesetting of the university acronym, it is also used to typeset names and acronyms of major university centers on signs and stationery.

Note: This section does not specifically address the issue of which typeface to use in letters.