Typography

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TYPE WITH CHARACTER

We have our own distinctive typeface specifically developed for us. Because of its unique appearance, it is a mandatory part of our design and differentiates us from the competition. It is a blend of art and science, combining organic curves with a bold technical grid.

Because every letter is the same precise width, typing words creates a regular stack of letters which align and flow into each other. This effect is most noticeable when more than one line of text is used. Ensure that kerning is set to “metrics” in your layout program (e.g. Adobe InDesign) to keep the same letterspacing.

BEST PRACTICES

THE M-FONT

M IS OUR GLOBAL IDENTIFIER

All of the letters in the M-font are inspired by our logo. In fact, the letter M in our typeface is identical to the respective letter in our logo, and is a double-width character.  
  
This means that our whole brand identity is evoked by the typeface, so using it properly is extremely important. That includes never using the M-font too close to our logo

A UNIQUE CASE

Most typefaces contain both an uppercase and lowercase character for each letter. The M-font works differently – all letters can be used as uppercase and lowercase simultaneously. 

Consequently, you can use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase within a word for the best effect. Uppercase letters are more compact but more abrupt, whereas many of the lowercase letters have a more elegant shape, but need more space above or below.   

Whenever you are typing a title or headline in the M-font, try several different ways to see what works best, and ignore capitalization in your spell-check. Our typeface is available not just for the Latin alphabet, but also for Greek, Arabic, and Cyrillic. You can download it under Resources below. 

WHEN TO USE IT

The M-font is eye-catching and expressive; it should therefore only be used for large headlines, short statements, or single, large words. The best places to use it include covers and title headers. It is not suitable for use in small sizes or for a large number of words.

Our typeface is very distinctive. Single words might easily be mistaken for logos; our typeface should therefore never be used for stand-alone product names (on data sheets or information sheets, for example). It should likewise never be used for the names of organizational units in the corporate structure, such as businesses (Healthcare, Life Science, Electronics), business units/franchises, central functions (BT, Procurement), or departments (Branding Team).

LINE SPACING

There is no predefined line spacing. When translating into other languages, it may be necessary to adjust it (due to overlapping of ascenders and descenders). 

DON'TS

Use the M-font as it is by default. When picking a color, it has to be one of our vibrant, rich, or sensitive colors. Manipulations such as rotating, bending, distorting, or extreme changes to letterspacing are prohibited.  


VERDANA

FOR BODY TEXT

The reliable font that is already on your computer.

Verdana is our typeface of choice for normal body text. It was designed to be readable in small sizes on a computer display. Verdana is a sans serif typeface, has a large x-height, wide proportions, loose letterspacing, large counters, and emphasized distinctions between similarly shaped characters. Verdana is a system font, meaning that it is present on the vast majority of computers. It should not need to be purchased. It comprises four basic styles: regular, italic, bold, and bold italic. The bold weight is very bold, so we use it sparingly. Rather than using bold, see if a different size or color could work. 

Verdana Pro
While Verdana will be fine for most everyday applications, you may wish to purchase Verdana Pro if you are designing an application which requires greater typographic expression, such as an annual report or magazine. In these cases, the use of Verdana Pro Light and Semibold is recommended. 

Please be aware that there is no company licence available for Verdana Pro. 

WORKING WITH HEADLINES

Combine Verdana with the M-font in a practical way. This is a simple way of avoiding the problem of overly long and hard-to-read headlines.  


NOTO

NOTO FOR DIFFERENT LANGUAGES

If the M-typeface and/or Verdana are not available in other languages, as may be the case for languages in Asia and the Middle East, Noto is used, which was developed by Google for more than 800 languages. For headlines in the M-typeface, we use Noto Sans Black, and for Verdana we use either Noto Sans Regular or Bold. It can be downloaded for free from http://www.google.com/get/noto/.


BODY TEXT AND COLOR

THE COMBINATIONS

The combination of rich and sensitive colors for background and text creates the greatest contrast, enhancing visibility. 

However, you do not always have to choose a rich color for the background. You can also take the reverse approach, using a sensitive color as the background and a rich color for the text. 

Be mindful of color blindness (red-green deficiency is very widespread) and avoid red/green and magenta/green color combinations for text/background and logo/background. If you need help with picking the right color combination, use our color generator in our color section

Black and white 
Colored body text is not always ideal because on a colored background, it can occasionally make reading more difficult; simply write the text in white to enhance contrast. 

You can use black body text on white pages (and also on our sensitive and dynamic colors). Compensate this by using color accents – for example for chapter headings, subheadings, quotes, and/or individual words. 

Resources

Using Company Brand Assets

Any use of Company Brand Assets is subject to our Brand Hub Terms and Conditions.

Please be aware that Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (“Company”) is not allowed to use the trademark “Merck” in the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, Company’s name may only be used in the following format “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany” and in simple, non-stylized font and never close to any logo in the U.S. and Canada. 

If Company Brand Assets downloaded from the Brand Hub are to be used in or targeting the U.S./ Canada please make sure to comply with these requirements. As a registered Brand Hub user please visit the Brand Hub Logo and Company Name Section for more detailed information.

If you legitimately share Company Brand Assets with other users, you must make sure that the sharing recipient is aware of these restrictions, our Brand Hub Terms and Conditions as well as any applicable Design Basics and Appendix Guidelines. 

As the sharing recipient you must ensure with the person sharing the Company Brand Asset with you that you are complying with aforementioned restrictions as well as with any applicable Design Basics and Appendix Guidelines. You are furthermore bound by our Brand Hub Terms and Conditions.

For any questions please get in touch with our Brand Help Desk.

 

By downloading the file you accept and agree to the above.

  • COLORS

    Science is colorful and we are committed to a colorful future. This is also reflected in our brand.

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  • TONE OF VOICE

    What we say and how we say it matters. Our verbal identity complements our visual identity.

    Learn more
  • LOGOS

    Our logos are the heart of our brand. They should always be displayed as prominently as possible.

    Learn more

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