With the vast selection of gorgeous fonts around at the moment, it can also feel supremely overwhelming trying to figure out how to get fonts that look good together. How the hell do people combine fonts that look so nice, but mine look like something Frankenstein’s monster shat out?!
It can be a bit of trial and error, but it’s quite easy to pick up, and I’m-a gunna show you how.
Now, breaking things down quickly – here’s a typography 101 class:
For supreme ease, fonts (technically known as typefaces, or typeface families) are largely broken down into four main categories; serif, sans-serif, script and display (or decorative)
(There are more, but unless you’re mad on learning or worried that the person who comes up with the pub quiz questions has a penchant for typography, this will probably do you well for now!)
Serif typefaces (y’know, what the majority of us call fonts – and I WILL use these terms interchangeably because I’M A HUMAN) basically have little fancy struts finishing the strokes of the characters, and often the lines vary in thickness depending on the angle. You’ll have seen this in fonts like Times New Roman or Georgia
You can spot a sans-serif like Arial, Helvetica or Verdana because the letter forms DON’T have the fancy little serifs on them. Nuff said about that.
Script typefaces look like someone, er, scripted ’em with their own fair hands. Think Vivaldi, Brush Script (vom) or Thirsty
This category contains a lot of fonts, but essentially these fonts are generally novelty or have unique features which, when used as a big fat title looks brilliant, but when used in the body of a paragraph, looks completely shit.
So, now that’s out of the way, let’s talk your personal flavour.
Fonts are probably one of the main elements alongside colour and layout that lend a flavour to your overall look. Imagine you’ve got a chic-yet-modern magazine-style website aimed at 20-something young professionals in the fashion and beauty industry. Now imagine you created the entire site using Comic Sans.
Not quite the right flavour, amiright?! Of course not, because what you have creeated there is “nine-year-old’s homework project. Circa 1995”.
Of course, that example is a bit extreme, but it helps to know that for that particular situation a one-font modern style serif or modern style sans-serif can work really well. Big fat slab-serifs or childish, rounded or hand drawn fonts might look a bit pants.
With any web design (or design in general) you want to go with cohesion – something that looks and feels appropriate to the content displayed, and something that is easy to transfer across different media, think website, social media, offline print work like business cards, for example.
My rule of thumb, when you start out, pick a max of three fonts; one easily-read typeface for body text, one great font to display titles
And without further ado, here are some of my personal hand-picked combo-ramas:
For those who like clean lines
For those who like a handmade, homemade, organic feel
For those who are BOLD AF
For those chic muthatruckers who want to channel their inner Vogue
For those bringing classy vintage back
Libre Baskerville (weight: bold and regular, style: italic)
Any font pairings you want to see? Hit me up with your style dilemma in the comments and let me know what you’re struggling with.