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This guest post is brought to you by the fabulous Deborah Morgan of Bold Web Design
When it comes to pairs, we’ve got you covered. The best things come in twos, and fonts are no exceptions. Sit down, buck up, and enjoy the ride because you’re about to get the ultimate instruction guide to pairing fonts. In fact, we’re not like most font pairing articles – we’re a cool font pairing article filled with examples, tips, tricks, and handy tools to reach success.
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Step 1. Know Your Brand
So, you have to pick a font. I feel for you. If you feel completely lost, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The task may seem daunting, so we’ll take it in steps.
The very first step is knowing your brand; what sets you apart from other companies like yours. Think about what makes your company special. Sometimes this could just be a small quality or concept.
For example, Wendy’s is a fast food restaurant but they provide an experience which completely sets them apart from their competition. This experience brings about qualities of fun, togetherness, and innovation.
This is shown through their bright colors and designs. Apply this to your company. What sets you apart from others in your industry? Now, how is that portrayed or not portrayed in your design?
Step 2. Understanding The History of Fonts
As humans, we try to evolve from generation to generation by becoming healthier, smarter, and just generally better. I’m sure your business plays a part in this evolving whether it’s introducing a project, making efforts to improve your community, or providing research in a field.
The same is true with fonts. They’ve evolved from the movable type, adding different weights of fonts, and introducing italics. When thinking of traditional fonts, I’m sure you think of the serif fonts. That’s because these were invented first. Sans serif fonts are a much more modern contribution to the design world.
That doesn’t mean serif fonts are outdated! In fact, serif and sans serif fonts pair extremely well together because they balance each other out. Serif fonts can be used to show classiness or trustworthiness, without making content feel like we’re going back in time. Paired with a sans serif font and the right design, a serif font can also be contemporary and high class.
Step 3. The Use of Colors in Fonts
Finding a great font can elevate your content, but don’t stop there. Fonts are part of a larger design that influences those that it targets. Color can increase the effectiveness of your message, because it evokes a certain mood on your reader. We associate colors with feelings whether we think about it or not.
Did you know green reduces fatigue on the eyes? That’s why road signs, typically seen on highways, are green!
Faster than words, our brains are able to process images and colors. Knowing this, you can improve the readability of your content by creating contrast in color.
Headlines should catch the reader’s attention and guide the reader to continue reading. Using color can aid in capturing this attention as well as separating content. Not only can color bestow a feeling in readers but it can also create an experience that wasn’t there in black in white. The moral of the story: don’t stray away from color. Experiment with it.
Step 4. More To a Font Than You Think!
Take it a bit further, and you can drastically change the look of a font based on other characteristics. In fact, everyone does this all the time. We change font sizes based on the information we want people to read first.
It only makes sense to make headers contain the most important information! However, don’t overdo it. Have you ever seen a website that looks incredibly crammed? It might be because too much of the information was too big.
Select a few snippets of your content that is deemed headline-worthy, and then take a step back. Do you feel overwhelmed when you look at the page? That’s a good sign your sizing might be off.
Similar to sizing, all fonts come in different shapes and sizes. Some fonts are wider, while others lean on the more narrow size. Generally, the wider fonts are more geometric and take up more space, not just on a line but within each letter.
I’m sure you’re not going to look up the specs of each font, but what’s worth checking out is the weight of a font. This gears how thick or thin each character line is. A heavyweight is equivalent to a bold font, but a lot of times there isn’t just a regular, bold, and italicized font.
Think of weights on a scale. Just the thickness of a font can completely change the look. A bit bolder adds a bit more personality, and light weights are more modern and airy. Just like the saying, opposites attract!
Step 4. What’s Wrong With That Pair?
Pairing fonts is a balancing act, and when its unbalanced everything plummets. If pairing fonts were compared to personality types, the pairs contain an extrovert and an introvert.
Yes, two introverts could pair well together – there are always exceptions to the rule.
However, two spotlight extroverts just won’t mesh well. A great tip? Be cautious of extremely loud fonts, as they need to be supported by a much more subdued partner.
Step 5. All That Knowledge, Now What?
After all that, I’m sure you want to see this in practice. The best font pairings are effortless!
In fact, I’m sure you see them all the time, as they’re extremely popular pairings. Take a look at the examples below. Note how sans serif fonts are paired with serif fonts and vice versa.
As mentioned above, pairing fonts are all about balance. It’s just like dating! We’re attracted to opposites because you compliment each other differences. Imagine dating someone exactly like yourself – the balance is not there.
The same can be applied to fonts. A sans serif pairs will work with a serif because the detailed and traditional font compliments the modern and straightforward font.
Now that you’ve completed the font pairing guide, how do you feel? In the world of font pairing, remember, the options are endless. Pair mates don’t exist. Fonts are intricate and versatile – they can be paired in many different combinations and still look just as good.
A creative jack of all trades, Kelsey Woodbridge from Bold Web Design brings tasteful wit to each article she writes. With experience in the world of design, she understands the struggles of choosing fine details, like fonts, that put the cherry on top.