Our digital products use two font families.

Our default (base) font-size is 16px. The rest of our typography scale is based on measurements relative to this default.

Font weight

Font weight is the thickness of text. We use four different weights to differentiate headings from body text and emphasize body text.

We use the following design tokens to specify font-weight:

  • Regular: --regular: 400;
  • Semibold: --semibold: 600;
  • Bold: --bold: 700;
  • Extrabold: --extrabold: 800;

Bold can also be used to add emphasis in body text. See using bold for style.


When formatting headings, use the following sizes and weights:

  • H1, Muli 32px, 2rem, Bold
  • Alternate H1, Crimson 56px, 3.5rem, Regular
  • H2, Muli 28px, 1.75rem Bold
  • H3, Muli 24px, 1.5rem, Regular
  • H4, Muli 20px, 1.25rem, Regular
  • H5, Muli 18px, 1.125rem, may use Regular, Bold, or Bold underlined depending on context, but should be consistent across the product
  • H6, Muli 16px, 1rem, Semibold

Code examples below demonstrate how each of these and other typography elements display.

Body text

All body text is 16px or 1rem, regular weight.

Links within body text are teal-400 and underlined by default.

In some cases, links can be neutral-400 and have the underline removed, except on hover. This style is often used when many links are presented together, such as with list items where repeated underlines impede readability. Contact the Design System team with questions about when to use this style.


See our style guidelines for formatting lists. All list items should have a margin of 8px on the bottom.

Line height

Line height is based on the size of the font itself. Ideal line heights for standard text have a ratio of 1:1.5. For example, a type of 16px would have a line-height of 24px (16 x 1.5).

The exception is headings that are 24px or larger, which have a 1:1.25 ratio.

Line length

Line length is the number of characters on a single line, including spaces. Lines that are too long degrade eye tracking from line to line, making it difficult to gauge which line to read next. Lines that are too short make it difficult for a reader to maintain a steady reading rhythm.

While there is no perfect line length, aim for an average of 50-80 characters per line.

You can use the design token: --line-length: 60 characters

Visualization for suggested line lengths. 0 to 50 characters is too narrow. Just right is considered between 50 and 80 characters. Too wide would be 80 to 100 characters.

Code examples

See example pen by U-M Library Design System (@umlibrary-designsystem) on CodePen.