Typography and composition

In MSF communications, the most important thing is the message.

Our fonts and our style of composition should match the tone of our communications, which should be legible, powerful, clear, ordered and precise.

Main font

The main font we use is Atlas Grotesk.

The Atlas Grotesk font family has seven styles, each is available both plain text and italics.

Atlas Grotesk Thin
Atlas Grotesk Thin Italic
Atlas Grotesk Light
Atlas Grotesk Light Italic
Atlas Grotesk Regular
Atlas Grotesk Regular Italic
Atlas Grotesk Medium
Atlas Grotesk Medium Italic
Atlas Grotesk Bold
Atlas Grotesk Bold Italic
Atlas Grotesk Black
Atlas Grotesk Black Italic

The use of this font, along with its style of composition, graphically identifies MSF OCBA’s values.

The Atlas font will only be used for external communication materials: publications, MSF website, videos, pieces for social networks, etc.

MSF OCBA has an OpenType and webfont licence. The Atlas licence is limited and therefore the font is not available for download in this manual.
If you need it, please send an email to ana.fernandez@barcelona.msf.org and we will provide it to you whenever possible.

For all other materials, Word documents, Power Point and Prezi presentations, etc., we will use the Arial font, since it is installed on most computers.

  • The composition, readability and hierarchy criteria should be those described for Atlas Grotesk.

Arial Regular
Arial Regular Italic
Arial Bold
Arial Bold Italic



All texts should be left-justified, and with font size, line spacing and length that make the text easy to read:

  • Use line spacing that is 5-30 percent greater than the font size.

  • Adjust the line-breaks within paragraphs where necessary (an average of 10 words per line).

  • Manually alternate long and short lines in each paragraph, to achieve a balanced composition.

  • Do not change the overall letter spacing, but manually adjust it where necessary.


Text should be black on a white background for ease of reading.

  • Red can be used to highlight words or phrases. Longer sections of text should always be in black, never in red or another colour.

  • In text for web pages, videos or multimedia, black can be replaced by this dark grey:



Upper case and lower case

The hierarchy of upper and lower case within a piece of text should be clear and simple:

  • Use lower case and upper case text in a balanced way.
  • Maintain a consistent style.
  • Do not use upper case for long paragraphs.


The font we use is available in six styles: Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold and Black.

  • Combine typefaces in a balanced and consistent way.
  • Do not use more than two styles in the same paragraph.
  • Use italics only as detailed in the International English Style Guide.


  • Grids should be created to lay out the text.
  • Images should be well balanced with all text (headlines, introductions, pull quotes, paragraphs, notes, etc). Text and images should not overlap.
  • Paragraphs should be composed for ease of reading (with optimal line length, font size and line spacing).

Typography as an image

In those cases when it is considered appropriate to compose a word or short message using a special style, this text can be considered an illustration and any typeface can be used.

Any text that accompanies this type of text illustration should be created with Atlas Grotesk following the standard guidelines.