pairing fonts

Font Pairing Guide: Best Practices & Online Tools

Font pairing is not an easy thing to do. Though it does depend on the level to which our eye is trained, there are some rules you can follow to be better at it. Also, tools! So, stop googling ‘How to pair fonts’, you’ve landed on the right page. 

Font pairing rule #1: Sans Serif + Serif = <3

Combining serif and sans serif fonts allows to create a contrast between the sentences – which we are aiming for. Serifs are fonts with a little stroke attached to the end of the letter, while sans serifs are the fonts without that stroke. Here’s the example.

Though you need to create a contrast, you don’t want to go over the top with it. Try to look for fonts that though are from different families, seem to be similar-looking. 

Font pairing rule #2: Don’t mix personalities

Every font has a mood to it, associations. The thing you want to do is to pick the ones that have the same connotation to them. Going for a quirky childish style? Make sure both the fonts you use channel that emotion – like Dallon and Cookies and MIlk fonts.

Font pairing rule #3: Contrast sizes

This is more of a hierarchy rule. With any text, the reader must be guided through it. An eye usually first catches to the bigger text, then smaller, and so on. So, make sure that different messages have different sizes – big enough for the eye to properly register it.

Font pairing rule #4: Contrast weights

Another way to establish a hierarchy of the text – apart from the sizes – is the weight. You can turn up that weight slider for the text that is more important, and make it smaller for the one that is secondary. This will also create the needed contrast that will be pleasing to the eye.

how to pair fonts

This example of our old post on Instagram shows perfectly the importance of using both the size and weight hierarchy.

Font pairing rule #5: Stick to 2-3 typefaces

Pages with more than 2-3 fonts tend to look disorganized and unprofessional. Designers all over the world will advise you to pick a pair of fonts that will become your brand fonts and use them throughout every element of your business. This will also be helpful to you because you won’t need to spend hours picking typefaces every time you write something.

Font pairing rule #6: Don’t shy away from online tools

In the design community, it is generally taboo to use automated tools, it is believed to be unprofessional. When, in reality, it is just a way to save yourself a load of time. Here are some of the font pairing tools that we use:

These tools were created by designers for people who’d like to not spend hours pairing fonts. You should try them!

Font pairing rule #7: Add your fonts to the brand book, or pair them right then and there!

If you’re a proud brand owner, the fonts you pick will become your brand asset that needs to stay consistent. We recommend adding them to your brand book: with Gingersauce it will take you a few clicks. Gingersauce is a tool for creating brand books, where you upload the assets you have, and the system automatically places everything on an awesome template that you choose.

create a brand book online

The font chapter in the Gingersauce wizard allows you to pick your fonts easily, or even upload them right away. Save time, create brand books within minutes.

Try Gingersauce

The author

Josh Bloch
Josh Bloch

Josh is a multidisciplinary designer with over 20 years of experience in industrial design, exhibitions, branding, 2d and 3d animation, graphics for print and digital, illustration, and UX/UI for mobile and desktop apps.

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