Why font combinations?
Are you a fan of fonts? If not, you should be. The right fonts can make your design stand out. Fonts are important because they have a huge impact on the readability of your creation. Even if you’re not a designer, just by choosing great font combinations you can make a simple text more interesting or create a layout just based on fonts.
Where do you use these fonts?
The question of usage is always the first to ask yourself. A font combination can be perfect for your logo but if you use it for something different like the product packaging it doesn’t fit. Be clear about what you want to design before you start looking for fonts. You will want to consider the effect you want to reach as well as readability and practicability. A handwriting or script font is hard to read in long texts e.g. in body copy but it can work if you use it to emphasize a quote. If you want to put white text on a black background you should consider a bold font because thin fonts almost disappear on a very dark background.
What is your message?
Apart from its practicability, a font should also align with the message you want to transport through your design and your overall brand message. Fonts have characteristics that make each font special. These tiny details can communicate your message and trigger emotions. Sans-serif fonts have a modern and light look. Script fonts transport elegance and serif fonts have a classic and traditional feel.
How to find the right font combinations?
Don’t be afraid just by the huge amount of fonts you see. Combining font is easy, even for non-designers, if they apply certain rules to their choices.
Stick to two, maximum three fonts. Depending on what you are creating you might need a font for headlines and one for body copy. You can add one to set accents but you should leave it at that. Too many fonts will confuse the viewer.
Contrast is the most important thing when combining fonts. Two fonts which are too similar won’t work, as they won’t have any effect on the viewer. You can create contrast by using a different style e.g. serif and sans-serif, by using a different weight like thin and bold of the same font family or different sizes 12pt and 24pt of the same font.
Complementary font combinations add a mood or feel to your design. As I said above, all fonts have special characteristics. Look for the characteristics that can transport the mood you want to reach. Example: Looking for a minimalist and elegant feel > mix a handwriting and a thin sans-serif font.
Creating hierarchy is a good way to combine fonts. You can even do this by staying within one font family and just picking different styles to set accents and lead the eye of the viewer. Put your headlines in bold or black, body copy in book or regular and emphasize necessary elements in italic. With this, you can point out what is really important and make long text more readable by breaking it up into sections. Classic fonts often have many different styles. Read more >> 10 Classic fonts you should know
Above all this should be fun. So just try around a bit. Sometimes the best combinations are found by accident and even through trial and error you will learn a lot.
4 awesome Google font combinations
Google fonts offer about 800 typefaces which are free to use and accessible for everybody. You can use them on your website as well as on your desktop computer if you’re creating something for print. If you are looking for free fonts you might also want to check out this post: 5 Places to find free fonts
So, font aficionados, what are your go-to font combinations and where do you use them? Tell us in the comments. Be sure to share this post with other font fans you know!