Design guidelines

How EMBL presents itself visually to the public

EMBL Typeface

EMBL’s brand typeface

EMBL has a range of typefaces that can be applied easily in different situations based on technology and common working practices.

IBM Plex Sans is EMBL’s primary corporate typeface. IBM Plex Sans is an open source typeface, screen optimised, available in 8 widths with italic styles and supports many languages including a wide variety of symbols. The overall typesetting is clear in hierarchy and adjusts to different channels and purposes.

IBM Plex download

IBM Plex Sans

IBM Plex Sans (.otf) is used:

  • for master brand and all other font application
  • for all online and offline applications where possible, besides display weights for sub-brands and highly inspirational products
Download IBM Plex Sans here

How to install IBM Plex

Make sure you are installing the desktop fonts (.otf not .ttf) and not web fonts (.woff and woff2). Zipped folders MUST be unzipped. Some Windows operating systems allow you to peek inside a zipped folder. This does not mean it is actually unzipped.

On your Mac:
Right-click on the font file > Open With > Font Book > Install Font

On your PC:
Right-click on the font file > select Install

Office typeface

In order to maximise compatibility, we use Franklin Gothic in our Microsoft Word and Excel templates. Franklin Gothic is automatically installed with Microsoft Office. For PowerPoint we have selected Arial, to avoid errors when editing presentations communally in Google Slides.

Franklin Gothic

Used in Microsoft Word and Excel templates:

  • Medium for headlines
  • Book for body text


Arial is used in the Microsoft Office PowerPoint template:

  • Bold for headlines
  • Regular for body text


Use Google Fonts to serve IBM Plex via the web:

Fallback fonts

IBM Plex Sans: ‘IBM Plex Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, other sans serif font
IBM Plex Mono: ‘IBM Plex Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, other sans serif font

Source Sans Pro