Core

Typography

The EF Circular font family bridges the gap between academics and adventure: at once modern and industrial, romantic and authentic. EF Circular is a unifying element at the core of the EF product spectrum.

Introducing EF Circular

Circular is a geometric Sans Serif font family, currently with 8 cuts. It is Laurenz Brunner’s second official release after the critically acclaimed and immensely popular LL Akkurat (2004). Circular is a new take on a classic genre, first explored by Paul Renner’s Futura (1927-28). In the process of developing the font, the purely geometric approach gave way to more complex formal conception, resulting in a geometric Sans Serif marrying purity with warmth.

Striking a balance between functionality, conceptual rigour, skilled workmanship and measured idiosyncrasy, EF Circular is a friendly sans serif text font with unmistakable character yet universal appeal.

EF Circular Font
Our EF Font

Font Attributes

There are a number of reasons why Circular was chosen for the G.U.D. 4 identity font family. For such a simple typeface, it has been incredibly labored over and crafted in ways that make it a perfect fit for EF.

[a]

The simple and strong boldness of the letter forms brings a machine made, utilitarian feel to all designs.

[b]

Embodied in the typeface name, EF Circular celebrates roundness which brings an approachable angle.

[c]

There are crafted consistences to all terminals of the typeface’s family, which brings uniformity.

[d]

Geometric, optical considerations within each letter have been taken into account, ensuring great readability.

[e]

Along with being approachable, EF Circular enjoys the flexibility of being serious and professional when required.

[f]

Typographic anatomies between characters are consistent, such as the shoulder of the ‘n’ and the ear of the ‘r’.

Usage in Digital

The typeface really comes to life on desktop, as there is much more room to play with on the canvas. Similar rules apply to print, though — the balance of weights must be considered to communicate the information effectively.

Digital textstyles in EF UI Design Kit

Defined textstyles for different uses can be found in the EF UI Design Kit. The sizing for the digital textstyles follow the 8px grid, also used across EFs digital design to create visual balance.

EF UI Design Kit
Our EF Design system

Usage in Print

Thanks to the diverse range of weights that EF Circular boasts, we are able to design layouts in print that feel academic and adventurous when necessary. Combinations of weights are effective in driving the eye to the right content.

A text-heavy spread example, showing multiple weight usage.

An image-based example, showing limited text usage.

A focus on multiple weights working together.

Weight usage in Print

EF Circular has 5 weights, with two cuts of each (Roman and Italic). It’s tempting to use the weights in different combinations, but as designers we must resist this urge and be pragmatic and reductive with our font weight choices.

Having constraints in design makes for better, more thoughtful creative output. Using specific weights for certain-sized areas of content is one of those constraints.

EF Circular Black: for large headlines only.

EF Circular Bold: for headlines only.

EF Circular Medium: for mid-sized headlines.

EF Circular Book: for headlines and body copy.

EF Circular Light: for body copy only.

Italics should be used with function, e.g., when stating titles or using other languages in the middle of texts.

Other examples of where italics can be used are:

  • Using a new term for the first time in an editorial piece
  • For measures of quantity or mathematical constants
  • The name of a vehicle or vessel (excluding brand names)
  • Sounds reproduced as words For emphasis on particular words

Circular for Academics & Adventure

The EF Circular family has 5 diverse weights. Other font families have never ending cuts — into condensed and extended, italicized and leaning. The restrictions we have with EF Circular enable us to be more creative. We must find solutions within the boundaries of the EF Circular family.

For Academics

The typeface, through its heritage, has academic roots embodied within the letter forms themselves. They are geometric, and based on science. They are precise, formal and professional.

    
For Adventure

Bolder weights bring out the adventurous tendencies of the typeface — this personality shines through and helps communicate the possibilities of global travel with EF.

    

Conditions for use

The 10 cuts you’ll find in the EF Circular Extended Family package are: Light, Light Italic, Book, Book Italic, Medium, Medium Italic, Bold, Bold Italic, Black, Black Italic in the following language support: Latin Extended & Cyrillic – Formats: OpenType Pro, Web Fonts Pro.

Misuse

Misuse includes modification of font software, like producing new weights or language support. If you can’t find what you need in the above package, ask us before you fudge it and think no one will notice.

Overuse and misuse on one EF product penalises all products. The penalty is twice cost of just doing it the right way. E.g., if granting permission for your modification would cost €500, doing it without permission now costs €1000. For egregious misuse, the font can even be taken away from EF completely. Please don’t let this happen.

Printers & freelancers

We can give EF Circular to a printer in order for them to make corrections on our stuff only (see: print-content-management license for printers). But the printer themselves cannot use it for things outside of EF. If there is a question of how much the printer must use the font, it is better for the printer to buy a Third-Party EF Circular license, which we can offer them at a discounted rate. We can also offer this license for purchase to our outside contractors who need to use the font for an EF-related project.

The discounted licenses can be bought directly from Lineto’s Corporate License Platform, FontPool.

It’s better to ask for permission than forgiveness!

If you want to do something that’s not outlined here, ask us. There are strict rules we have to adhere to in order to stay within the terms of our agreement, but if we are open about further needs, we can work together to solve them.

Before we can play the officially-licensed-font game, we have to learn the rules. Here’s the fine print, distilled into some quick but important points:

EF Circular CAN be used for:
  • Taglines & slogans
  • Printed & digital Out of Home campaigns (OOH)
  • Dynamic online rendering on all EF Group websites (very high exposure <20m. monthly page views)
  • Online publication of non-editable documents with embedded fonts (e.g., PDFs)
  • Commercial merchandising
  • Embedding in <30 apps for mobile devices
  • Social media/streaming video use (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Vimeo etc.)
  • Online banners/web ads/video ads
  • Displays in non-public areas (internal electronic signage & internal information boards)
  • Print-content-management license for printers
  • Digital advertisement displays (POS)
  • TV/cinema/ streaming TV
EF Circular CANNOT be used for:
  • The main “EF Education First“ logo
  • eBooks
  • Embedding in installable software (other than apps for mobile)
  • Embedding in hardware (e.g., displays, screens, dashboards)
  • Third party use outside of EF Group (except printers)
Download EF Circular
EF Circular Font
Our EF Font