Examples of linework

Dynamic Line Work

Lines are a great way to establish visual hierarchy, to guide navigation within a layout, to emphasize a word or phrase, or to set page borders and organize content. They can also convey process and place, helping reinforce the concept of growing and moving forward.

Using Lines Under the UC Davis Brand

Graphic linework can be used both functionally and as a decorative element. Functionally, we use it to divide headlines and content.

Linework should always be a secondary element that supports the copy or image we want to highlight; it should never take over the layout. The lines can be used horizontally, vertically, diagonally and for stair-stepping. They can be used to underline, add visual interest, divide content, provide movement across a layout, connect type and elements, and frame images.

  • Use .5pt-3pt. lines for letter-size (8.5 x 11 inch) print pieces. This rule of thumb can be scaled up proportionally for larger pieces. Ultimately, weight is variable, depending on the size and scale of the piece.
  • Lines can be used in any color from the UC Davis color palette, as long there is sufficient contrast to the background for the lines to be visible.
  • Always use the Butt Cap and the Miter Join settings. Alignment can vary based on the situation, but the only stroke types allowed are solid.


Example of linework in text
Example of connecting lines to unify a narrative
Example of connecting lines to unify a narrative
Example of connecting lines in a layout
Connecting lines

Connecting lines add dynamic energy to layouts, emphasize the connection between selected ideas and provide unique details that help unify branded communications.

Example of lines used to frame an image
Example of lines used to frame text



Framing Lines

Framing lines around images are a visual metaphor for growth: the left hand framing line reaches up from below the image and the right hand line extends out beyond the top of the image. The framing lines around the text give it emphasis.

Example of underline that cuts off type
Example of underlines in text
Example of underline in text



When underlining text, use these examples for the intended visual result. Note that underlines are cut off by descenders. Also be aware of the relative thickness of the underlines to the text, as well as the distance below baseline where they should be placed.