How to Choose The Right Font Pairing for You
For some, fonts are foreign and mysterious when you go much beyond Time New Roman, Arial, or Comic Sans. Like a language all its own, font pairing can be overwhelming at first, with hundreds and thousands of options to choose from.
Choosing the Right Font Pairing for Your Brand
When choosing your font pairings, it may be helpful to think back to the basics of color theory. Recall how certain color schemes were Complementary, with two opposite colors, and some were Analogous, with three neighboring colors. You can apply a similar method to fonts.
Fonts come in a variety of thicknesses and designs, and pending on this, can create different moods. Fonts appropriate for a children's book cover, for example, are often very thick and uneven, tilting playfully or mimicking the texture of crayons. Fonts appropriate for a college degree, on the color hand, mimic elegant calligraphy and pen ink for a more serious approach. Combining opposing fonts can result in a complementary balance, so long as they both achieve the same desired mood. A serious, calligraphy-like bold font can be complemented by a neutral, plain thinner font.
Leading the Eye
“Leading the eye” is a term used in design in which the artist intentionally uses colors or shapes to lead the viewer's eye around the page. This is often seen in classical work, where an extended arm or bright contrast of lighting points the viewer where the artist wants their attention focused the most. Fun fact, this technique was used in this very post! By combining a variety of font sizes and thickness through bolding, viewers are led to each section in the order I arranged them. This same technique can be used with a combination of different fonts for a similar effect, creating a heading, subheading, body, and captions.
Context and Visual Ease
Keep in mind that your audience can be fickle. They do not want to struggle to read your content. If you have it difficult to read through your font design choice or size, then the majority of readers will simply move on from your product. Your text should always be clear and easy to read. This means altering your text depending on where it will be displayed. On a small product, for example, a small text in all capitals with even spacing increases readability than small text alone. Avoid fanciful fonts in this context. Even thickness and straight lines will be the most readable.
Where to Find Fonts and Suggested Pairings
Now you know about choosing font pairings, let's talk about where to find the fonts you want. I'm sharing two of my favorite font pairing resources (I'm not affiliated with either, just a fan). Or you can ask a professional designer to pair them for you.
One of my favorite free resources is Google Fonts. Yep, it's free! The best kind of resource ;) You can easily find a font in the style you want. Filter through script, display, handwritten, et cetera. Conveniently, Google Fonts also has pairing suggestions. Clicking through the options is easy. Plus you get to preview the pairings together in headline and paragraph format. Once you choose the fonts for your brand, download them to use on your computer or website. You can find Google Fonts here.
As an extension of Google Fonts, I love to experiment with pairings using Fontjoy. This is another free resource you can use to Diy your font pairings. The site lets you swap Google Fonts for Headings, Subheadings, and Paragraphs. I love the user experience. Choosing fonts can be done manually or automatically. Simple features like the "generate" and "lock" buttons make exploring the type even easier. You can check out Fontjoy here.
Hire a Designer
Still not sure about choosing your brand fonts? Hire a designer to do it for you. I suggest 3 to 4 font pairings to all my logo clients. I'm also happy to help you build a template for social media posts so your graphics are on brand, everytime. You can shop design packages here.