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Written by: Carolina Marquez

February 8, 2015

How to pair fonts like a design professional

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Today we’ll bring you five tips to help you use  and combine your fonts.

As a designer and typography enthusiast, I see typographical disasters everywhere.  Perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit but sometimes it’s not that difficult to go for something simple and clean; instead beginner and novice users often choose the hard path and complicate the designs including the font choices.   As previously covered in the minimalist design tips article,  you want to apply the principle of “Less is More”.

This rule can be applied to all types of rich content including when you create presentations, infographics and posts.

It’s very easy to get mixed up in font choices these days.  In the past you often had access to a limited number of fonts in programs such as Word or Powerpoint but in the recent years with advent of Google fonts library (among others)  which has an ever growing library of over 550 fonts, and easy to use content creation programs such as Visme which gives you 100+ fonts to choose from it’s easy to make the wrong choices when selecting the right combination of font styles.

Let’s look at five easy to follow tips; consider them the next time you create your next piece of content:


Combining Serif fonts


The first tip is about using Serif as part of a font combination.  San Serif fonts such as Arial or Verdana are clean fonts with no edges, while Serif fonts (such as Garamond or Time New Roman) letters contain edges (or teeth).

You know the saying opposites attract?  It can be applied here;  just don’t over due it.  For example use it in a slogan or header; but not in body of content.

Serif


Similar Fonts


Following on the last tip,  what you want to avoid doing is to combine two similar fonts.  The reason is when two fonts closely resemble each other yet are slightly different,  your eye has a difficult time adjusting to each font style when positioned close to each other.

similar


Contrast


Another option is contrast. Opposites attract, and in case of fonts, they can too. Using two completely different fonts across the strength spectrum can provide a unique style that will improve your design as well as allow you to emphasize one word/phrase over another.

Contrast


Thickness


And something similar happens with thicknesses.  Different fonts have varying levels of thickness.  And most fonts are available in regular and bold.

That’s why sometimes it is better to choose a font with family options, because you will have a wider range of possibilities.  For example in example below I’m emphasizing certain words by using the same font in bold over regular.

Thickness


Number of Fonts


Another recommendation is to use two fonts.  You will create a close bond with each and maintain a balance across your content.

But if absolutely necessary you can use a third font style such as the example below:

Number

What are your thoughts? Any other font pairing tips you’d like to share?

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About the Author

Caro is a internet marketer, blogger and a design enthusiast. She joined the Visme.co team on 2014, and she's been working with the tool ever since! She likes to share tips and tricks to make design and marketing easy and reachable for anyone!

7 responses to “How to pair fonts like a design professional”

  1. Rodney Ruff says:

    Generally, I agree with the statements you make, although I generally tend not to mix serif and sans serif (the correct spelling of the term) fonts because I was taught originally that you shouldn’t do so. I will also use a different, thicker font for emphasis instead of bolded text, usually for things like making the numbers in a numbered list. (I do birthday cards for friends in the style of a customized Top Ten list in Microsoft Publisher.)

    I agree with you that contrast is important and that you shouldn’t overdo (not “overdue”) it. I’m more concerned with the content of my message, than I am with showing off the fancy fonts installed on my computer.

    • Payman Taei Payman Taei says:

      Hi Rodney. Good feedback. I agree with your statements. Certainly the messaging is the reason why the visual is created; and in case of the tips provided they are to help to bring out and allow user to more easily focus on the messaging. thank you.

  2. hadas shnabel says:

    just perfect and very usefull.
    thank you 🙂

  3. Berta says:

    Hi,

    Nice post, thanks for sharing!

  4. Andrew Lowe says:

    I asssume as designers this would all be second nature to us anyway, but takes me back to the early days when image setters were just starting to come of age and the Apple Mac revolution really started to take hold (in the days when a CPU alone cost £15,000 with a massive-for-the-day 500Mb hard disk and 72Mb of ram!) – all of a sudden fonts were just there for the taking compared to the days of typesetters when it took 20 mins just to swap over from the max of 4 or 8 you could use at a time – heard a printer who was so pleased with the first job they’d ‘designed’ in-house because they’d managed to use every font on their new computer!

  5. […] You see, not all fonts are created equal; some are too stylish to fit most of your design needs and reserved for unique circumstances.  We covered a few tips on how to pair fonts like a pro, […]

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