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About

These guidelines have been created by the Barbican Studio, which is the in-house design team at the Barbican Centre, London. The Studio creates most of the visual material for the Centre. It is based in the Marketing Department and consists of four permanent designers.

The current structure of the design team was created in 2011 and coincides with a major rebranding project undertaken by North. The philosophy of the team is based on the visual guidelines North created at the time. These set out a flexible system influenced by the Centre’s vision of ‘arts without boundaries’ and includes strong visual elements that allow freedom and diversity.

For further information contact [email protected]

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Type family

We use a specific family of Futura called Futura SB plus an additional font called Futura SH.

We use Futura SH for bold type over 14pt in size.

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https://guidelines.barbican.org.uk/brand/assets/fonts/family
Updated Sep 18
Assets
2.1.2
Three weights

The Barbican likes to be bold and strong in its communications, however with Futura we can also be quieter, more restrained and classical.

Use a weight that best suits the message.

The version of Futura that we use belongs to the Scangraphic font library.

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https://guidelines.barbican.org.uk/brand/assets/fonts/weights
Updated Sep 18
Assets
2.1.2
Three type sizes

Keeping things consistent and simple makes communication quicker and easier. When the audience is familiar with the hierarchy of information, it takes them just an instant to find what they’re interested in.

Our system only utilises up to three sizes:

Size one for headlines or titles Size two for descriptor/subheading Size three for additional information

Our wordmark is not a typesize.

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https://guidelines.barbican.org.uk/brand/assets/fonts/sizes
Updated Sep 18
Assets
2.1.2
Using Futura

Expression and play are what we’re about. But don’t forget to apply basic fundamental typographic principles.

Allow the content to lead the typography, but remember that Barbican text is only ever ranged left.

We are not an uppercase brand.

We use other treatments to highlight or emphasise titles and information.

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https://guidelines.barbican.org.uk/brand/assets/fonts/usage
Updated Sep 18
Assets
2.1.2
Type setting

We always track Futura SB by -20 and Futura SH by +10.

The leading of our type is usually 0.5 more than the point size of the font. For example are standard body text size is 9/9.5pt which means that the type is 9pt and the leading is 9.5pt.

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https://guidelines.barbican.org.uk/brand/assets/fonts/setting
Updated Sep 18
Assets
2.1.2