One of the essential design practices involves pairing the right fonts together to enhance readability and visual impact. Whether you are a professional designer creating a website or a non-designer looking to write a resume, choosing the right fonts to match each other will have an impact on your message and the readers’ interest.
When you find the perfect font combination, it can be the best feeling in the world. However, the process of getting there is not always so easy, and often, it can be frustrating going through so many combinations that do not seem to work. Fortunately, some design guidelines can aid you in this process, so you can save time and avoid going through countless trials and errors.
Combine Serif and Sans Serif
Serif fonts contain decorative stems at the end of a letter’s stroke, while sans serif fonts do not have such embellishments. If you are unsure of where to start, pair a serif and sans serif font together because the two create contrast. The differences in the structure and anatomy of the two fonts will create more visual appeal as opposed to the impact of two fonts that look similar to each other.
Think of Contrast
Contrast allows you to capture the attention of readers since you are differentiating the designs of each piece of information. Aside from combining serif and sans serif fonts, there are also other techniques, such as color, style, and weight, that you can utilize to achieve contrast. However, while you want to distinguish fonts through contrast, you also have to be careful not to cause conflict or too much visual disharmony.
The goal of contrast is to find fonts that can complement each other while still being distinguishable. You do not want the two to be too different that it almost seems like they are “competing” for attention, but you also do not want them to be too similar since it will not create the impact that you want.
Create Visual Hierarchy
Creating visual hierarchy is essential to establish differences in your textual elements. Readers should be able to see which part of your work is the heading, sub-heading, and body based on the size, style, and weight of the fonts you choose. Start by determining what information is the most important, the part you want readers to see first–this will be the heading, and will usually have the largest font size and weight. Organizing your font designs accordingly will help readers understand how to navigate through your text.
Do Not Overdo It
The number of fonts you pair together will depend on the nature of the work you are doing. For example, magazines and other publications tend to stick to two or three fonts so that the company can establish a brand design. While other projects that call for intricacy may require more fonts, it is always a good rule of thumb not to overdo it. Putting together different fonts can be exciting from a design perspective, but you do not want to use too many fonts as it will confuse readers and prevent you from achieving a proper structure.
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