Styles - Typography

Our fonts and typographic styles, and how to apply them.

Font

Frutiger

Frutiger has been the NHS brand font since 1999. We use the web font for consistency between online and offline materials.

NHS Digital has a licence for the Frutiger webfont that any services on the nhs.uk domain can use. The web font is hosted on nhs.uk and referenced in the NHS.UK frontend.

If you have a service that is on another domain, you will have to buy your own Frutiger webfont licence.

If you’re not sure whether you should be using Frutiger, you can email the service manual team at service-manual@nhs.net.

Fallback font

Default to Arial when Frutiger isn't available.

font-family: “Frutiger W01”, Arial, sans-serif;

Headings

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<h1 class="nhsuk-heading-xl">nhsuk-heading-xl</h1>
<h2 class="nhsuk-heading-l">nhsuk-heading-l</h2>
<h3 class="nhsuk-heading-m">nhsuk-heading-m</h3>
<h4 class="nhsuk-heading-s">nhsuk-heading-s</h4>
<h5 class="nhsuk-heading-xs">nhsuk-heading-xs</h5>

Paragraphs

Body

The default paragraph font size is 19px on large screens and 16px on small screens.

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<p class="nhsuk-body">nhsuk-body</p>

You can also add classes to create a lead paragraph or smaller body copy to convey hierarchy in your page.

Lead paragraph

A lead paragraph is an introductory paragraph that you can use at the top of a page to summarise the content. Lead paragraphs use 24px type on desktop and should only be used once per page if needed.

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<p class="nhsuk-body-l">nhsuk-body-l</p>

Body small

You can use the nhsuk-body-s class sparingly to make your paragraph font size smaller: 16px on larger screens and 14px on smaller screens.

The majority of your body copy should use the standard 19px paragraph size.

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<p class="nhsuk-body-s">nhsuk-body-s</p>

Font override classes

You might need to set the font size or font weight of an element outside of the predefined heading and paragraph classes. For this you can use the font override classes in your HTML or reference the typography mixins in your own components.

Font size

The full NHS.UK typography scale goes from 14px up to 64px on large screens. You can add these font size override classes to any other typographic class or element and they will change the font size.

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<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-64">nhsuk-u-font-size-64</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-48">nhsuk-u-font-size-48</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-32">nhsuk-u-font-size-32</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-24">nhsuk-u-font-size-24</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-22">nhsuk-u-font-size-22</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-19">nhsuk-u-font-size-19</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-16">nhsuk-u-font-size-16</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-size-14">nhsuk-u-font-size-14</p>

Font weight

As with the font size, you can add a font weight override class to any other typographic class or element to change the font weight to regular or bold weight.

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<p class="nhsuk-u-font-weight-regular">nhsuk-u-font-weight-regular</p>
<p class="nhsuk-u-font-weight-bold">nhsuk-u-font-weight-bold</p>

Links are blue and underlined by default with a styled focus state for people who use keyboards or other devices to navigate through a page.

If your link is at the end of a sentence or paragraph, make sure that the linked text does not include the full stop.

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<a href="#" class="nhsuk-link">Link</a>

If it's not helpful to distinguish between visited and unvisited states, for example when linking to pages with frequently-changing content, such as the dashboard for an admin interface, use the nhsuk-link--no-visited-state modifier class.

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<a href="#" class="nhsuk-link nhsuk-link--no-visited-state">Link nhsuk-link--no-visited-state</a>

Lists

Use lists to make blocks of text easier to read, and to break information into manageable chunks.

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<ul class="nhsuk-list">
  <li><a href="#">Money, work and benefits</a></li>
  <li><a href="#">Care after a hospital stay</a></li>
  <li><a href="#">Support and benefits for carers</a></li>
</ul>

Bulleted lists

Introduce bulleted lists with a lead-in line ending in a colon. Start each item with a lowercase letter, and do not use a full stop at the end.

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<p>You can buy:</p>
<ul class="nhsuk-list nhsuk-list--bullet">
  <li>apples</li>
  <li>orange</li>
  <li>pears</li>
</ul>

Numbered lists

Use numbered lists instead of bulleted lists when the order of the items is relevant.

You do not need to use a lead-in line for numbered lists. Items in a numbered list should end in a full stop because each should be a complete sentence.

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<ol class="nhsuk-list nhsuk-list--number">
  <li>The quick brown.</li>
  <li>Fox jumps over.</li>
  <li>The lazy dog.</li>
</ol>

Section break

You can use the nhsuk-section-break classes on an <hr> element to create a thematic break between sections of content. nhsuk-section-break has class-based modifiers for different size margins.

By default nhsuk-section-break is only visible by its margin. You can add the nhsuk-section-break--visible class to make it visible with a separator line.

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<hr class="nhsuk-section-break nhsuk-section-break--xl nhsuk-section-break--visible">
<hr class="nhsuk-section-break nhsuk-section-break--l nhsuk-section-break--visible">
<hr class="nhsuk-section-break nhsuk-section-break--m nhsuk-section-break--visible">
<hr class="nhsuk-section-break nhsuk-section-break--visible">

Research

We've tested our typography with lots of users including, for example, people with dyslexia and colour blindness.

Help improve this page

The manual is a community effort. Anyone can help improve and grow it.

To help make sure the Typography guidance is useful, relevant and up to date, you can:

Need help?

If you’ve got a question about the NHS digital service manual or want to feedback, get in touch.

Updated: October 2020