Pairing fonts is similar to a wine and cheese pairing. There’s a method to the pairing, but at the end of the day, sometimes a pair just works. Sometimes the cheese just tastes good, so that’s why you eat it. Although if you’ve never been cheese shopping, it may be hard to choose cheddar over gouda, or know you’re in the provolone mood.
Welcome to the world of fonts. Font pairing is a skill, but it’s also an awareness. The more you study fonts, the more you’ll start to see which fonts work well together and which fonts don’t. You’ll also notice if the font is a misshapen piece in a design puzzle.
We tend to look straight at images before we even evaluate what our content is portrayed in. Looking for some font pairing advice? You’re in the right place.
Selecting the right fonts
Choosing a font isn’t black and white. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong font for any particular project. However, there are certain fonts that fit the information you’re portraying in a correct way.
Let me give you an example.
Imagine you’re designing a card expressing someone’s condolences for a recent death. What font comes to mind? Maybe a flowy script font that keeps a bit of formality but still seems personal to the receiver, like BlackJack. Now imagine this font with Comic Sans. The styles just do not work well together. One could be used on a wedding invitation and the other on a child’s birthday card.
Just like the example given above, the fonts have to fit in at the same place. I find this helpful, as we tend to think fonts are just a style. Yet, take that a step further and imagine that font at an event. What event would they be at? A specific font could also attend many different events. For example, a font equipped to attend a wedding maybe also work for a baby shower, engagement party, or any sort of formal announcement. Now imagine a font that could attend that event as well.
After this, I like to give the font a personality, which you may have already done if you’ve found one font of the pair. Maybe you want your font to be chic or modern, traditional or wise. Usually, this then morphs into categorizing a font as a loud font or a quiet font. We all have those friends, when in social situations are the center of attention and know how to play the crowd. This would be a loud font – it takes the spotlight, and is definitely a statement piece. Meaning, it would not sit well next to another statement piece. Quiet fonts, however, support the louder font and don’t overshadow them.
A perfect example of a load font, paired with a quiet one
Serif & Sans Serif
Another solid method to follow is pairing opposites. After all, opposites do attract. Serif fonts pair particularly well with sans serif fonts and vice versa. Serif fonts tend to be more traditional and contain more detail, while sans serif fonts tend to be more modern and straight lined. When put together, they work expectational well to balance each other out.
Font combination tool
Still not feeling very confident pairing your own fonts? We understand, it can be challenging, especially if you’re struggling to find the first font. Keep in mind, fonts are extremely personal and can portray a lot about a brand without even reading the content. We’ve got a solution. Try this font combination tool created by Bold Web Design. Choose a font from the list and find it’s perfect match. If only shopping for soul mates was as easy as this. Not sure of the first font? No problem! Test out different fonts and see how you feel about them. If you like it’s listed pair, then you’ve made your designing much easier. If not, don’t worry. Fonts can work in many different combinations.
There you have it, the science behind font pairing. When you think about it, all good things in life come in pairs. The pants you wear, the socks you put on, the spaghetti pasta and sauce you eat for dinner, your best friend, your life partner, or your fluffy companion. There are so many options out there, the possibilities are truly endless. If you don’t see a font you like right away, keep searching, there are millions of them out there. Now, I’ll leave you to it, I’m sure you’ve got a lot of font shopping to do.