Typography

Metro’s use of typography is fundamental to maintaining a clear brand identity for the agency. The typefaces we have chosen to use across our communications are the result of focused research and thoughtful deliberation. When used correctly and consistently, these typefaces reinforce Metro’s image as reliable, efficient, accessible and professional.

Brand Typefaces: FF Scala Sans Pro and FF Scala Pro

FF Scala Sans Pro and FF Scala Pro are separate typefaces that share a common form principle. Working together, they provide a complete range of characters from serif to sans-serif and light to black, offering tremendous visual variety. They reflect Metro’s humanity, honesty and integrity. And we think they help our warm personality shine through, too.

Typical uses for FF Scala Sans Pro and FF Scala Pro:

  • Advertising
  • Fleet graphics
  • Graphics inserted into Microsoft® Office files
  • Identification signs
  • Marketing communications
  • Static graphics for web and mobile
  • Video and motion graphics
Typography, Scala Sans
Typography, Scala

Information Design: FF DIN Pro

The lean, geometric lines and uncomplicated design of FF DIN Pro make it the perfect typeface to convey information when a high degree of legibility is needed.

Typical uses for FF DIN Pro:

  • Diagrams
  • Fleet decals
  • Maps
  • Tactile Braille signs
  • Timetables
  • Wayfinding signs
FF Din Font Family

Web and Mobile: Open Sans

Open Sans may be used for HTML content in websites and mobile apps that require a high degree of legibility and functionality.
Typography, Open Sans

Microsoft® Office: Calibri

In instances when the primary communications fonts are not available in Microsoft® Office applications, use Calibri for editable text.

Typography, Calibri

Foreign Languages

To meet the requirements of the Federal Transit Administration’s civil rights program pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Metro translates many of its communications into nine different languages. The choice of these languages from among the more than 200 spoken in Los Angeles was made as the result of a thorough demographic analysis. Use the table to determine the font that should be used for a particular language.
Image depicts foreign languages font table
Note: English words not translated within a foreign language should be typeset in FF Scala Sans Pro.
Visit the downloads page to access fonts.

Typography 101

We love typography and are highly detailed about the way we use it. Follow these guidelines for ideas to embrace and things to avoid.

Copy Setting

Typogragpy - Justified Text

All text should be flush left/rag right. Text should never be justified.

Typography - Good Rag

A good rag goes in and out from line to line in small increments, while a poor rag creates distracting shapes of white space in the margin.

Typography - Don't Justify Text

Do not justify text. Justify text often creates large spaces between words which decreases readability.

Typography - Line Breaks

When using proper names, don’t break up the name across different lines of text, whenever possible (i.e. Metro station names, city names, etc.).

Typography - Greater Than

Use the “greater than” sign for listing primary points.

Typography - Hanging Greater Than

Hang the “greater than” sign, bullets and asterisks from text.

Typography - Bullet Points

Use bullet points for listing secondary points.

Typography - Double Spaces

Find and replace all double spaces with a single space after periods.

Typography - Internet Address

Web addresses do not need to include “www”.

Typography - Differentiate Web Address

Differentiate website addresses from body copy using italic or roman styles.

Typography - Phone Numbers

Use periods in phone numbers.

Typography - Street Abbreviations

In street abbreviations, don’t use periods and aim to use only two letters.

Typography - AM, PM

When “am” and “pm” are used, they should be written without periods.

Typography - Hour Representation

To represent a time on the hour, no zeros are necessary.

Typography - Time Range

When denoting a time range, if the start and stop times are both “am” or “pm,” indicate it only once, after the stop time.

Typography - Exclamation Points

Exclamation points are used for important emphasis. Please limit
use to no more than once per piece.

Typography - Widows

Avoid and fix widows, which are single words or the end of a hyphenated word at the bottom of a paragraph or column.

Typography - Fix Orphans

Avoid or fix orphans, which are single words or a very short line at the top of a column or page.

Designer Typesetting

Typography - Substitute En Dash

It’s acceptable to substitute an en dash for an em dash in FF Scala families to avoid excessive length.

Typography - Time Range

Kerning should be adjusted on either side of the en dash.

Typography - Kerning

In a time range, use an en dash between start and stop times. Kerning should be adjusted on either side of the en dash and between the time and “am” or “pm.” No full spaces should be used within a time range.

Typography - Metro Kerning

This is how Metro should be kerned in FF Scala Sans Pro.

Typography - Small Caps

For headlines and subheads, we prefer to use Small Caps in place of All Caps. To create Small Caps, select lowercase text and then choose the Small Caps setting.

Typography - Don't Use Initial Caps

When type is already set in Small Caps, do not use initial caps.

Typography - Font Leading

For body typesetting in FF Scala Sans Pro, use 10pt type on 13pt leading.

Typography - Parenthesis

For parentheses, slashes and the “greater than” sign, move up the baseline by 1pt.

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