Let’s talk about fonts today, specifically how to pick fonts! I’ve taken classes on fonts, I’ve designed fonts, and I use fonts everyday. I know I mostly write about hand lettering and calligraphy all. the. time. however, fonts hold a special place in my heart too! There’s room for all! If you need a refresher on the difference between hand lettering, fonts, and calligraphy then check out this past blog post.
I would in no way say I’m an expert in how to pick fonts and pairing them together, but I do a lot of work where I pick fonts that go together or I pick fonts to go with my hand lettering and calligraphy work.
I figured going more into depth on how I pick fonts would probably be helpful for me & others. Today’s post will mostly focus on headline graphics.
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Fonts can be categorized a few different ways and to make things easier I chunk them into 4 categories. You can check out a more in depth explanation here if you’re interested since I’m going to keep it simple.
- Serif: Basically this font category means the letter has a “serif” which is a line or stroke that is attached to the letters main stroke. Times Roman is considered a serif font.
- San Serif: These fonts literally have no serif on them hence “sans” serif is their category name. A popular one that probably most know of would be Helvetica
- Script: The script typeface category includes a range of styles that usually have varied strokes to mimic handwriting.
- Display/Decorative: In my opinion decorative typefaces pretty much encompass the rest of the fonts and have some type of added element or style to them.
Now onto the fun part, pairing fonts together. This can be pretty subjective and it really depends on what the end use of the fonts are. Like you wouldn’t use a decorative style to layout a paragraph of text. But I will give a few pointers and examples that will hopefully help you get started. And maybe even inspire you to try out mixing and matching your own fonts!
A Few Things to Consider
- Stick to 2 fonts, 3 max!
- Consider the end application
- Think about legibility
- Play around with all caps and lowercase letters
- Be consistent with your brand
- Use pairings that evoke the emotion you want
The examples I’m sharing below are made for more headline graphics versus publication layout. But they can be adapted in lots of ways. Also if you want to see even more pairings and some of the fonts I work with for projects you can get the full pdf by signing up for email below!
I hope you get inspired by these! One last thing to note is where I get my fonts, there are actually a ton of places to find fonts online. So if you like one in particular you can google it to find it or look on websites like Creative Market or Font Squirrel to find something similar in style.
I will definitely create and share more font pairing ideas if these are helpful to you all!