How to easily pair fonts like a pro

How to Easily Pair Fonts Like a Pro

Choosing the best fonts for your brand is no easy task but having an understanding of the different types of fonts and what works and what doesn’t when it comes to pairing fonts makes this task easier. I recommend choosing no more than 2-3 fonts. Any more than this can have your brand looking messy and unprofessional. So to pair fonts like a pro for your brand pick two fonts, three at the most. You may hear some designers refer to fonts as typography. Technically they are different things but to keep things simple let’s just call them fonts. 

Types of Fonts

Before we can dive into pairing fonts you need to have an understanding of the different categories of fonts. Having an understanding of the different font categories will help you to pair fonts much more easily.  There are five main categories of fonts. They are serif, sans serif, slab serif, script and display.

Serif

Serif is a more traditional and formal font. It has small lines on the edges of the letters. Serif fonts are best suited for printed body text, titles and logos. Serif fonts include:

Times New Roman

Lora

Playfair Display

Sans Serif

Sans Serif is a more modern and clean font. It doesn’t have any of the small lines on the edges of letters like serif fonts do. Sans serif is best for website body text, titles and logos. San Serif fonts include:

Arial

Open Sans

Roboto

Slab Serif

Slab Serif is a more bold and contemporary font. It has small lines off the edges of letters like serif fonts do, but they are thicker and more block-like. Sans serif is best for titles and logos. Slab Serif fonts include:

Josefin Slab

Arvo

Sanchez

Script

Script is a more stylish and creative font. It looks like handwriting or is cursive. Script is best for titles and logos. Script fonts include:

Dancing Script

Great Vibes

Tangerine

Display

Display is a more unique and expressive font. It is used for impact and artistic expression. Display is best for titles and decorative purposes. Display fonts include:

Faster One

Butcherman

Bungee Shade

font Pairing

When pairing fonts you can either pair fonts from the same font family or from different font families. Use the following tips to help you pair fonts like a pro:

  • Combine a serif or slab serif font with a sans serif font.
  • Contrast looks good.
  • Use one font family with different font weights.
  • Choose fonts that complement the other fonts personality.
  • Pair narrow fonts with rounded fonts.
  • Avoid combining fonts that are too similar.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Opposites usually attract.
  • Pair heavier fonts with thinner fonts.
  • Make sure you can read each of the fonts.
  • Don't mix different moods.
  • Pair simple fonts with fancier fonts.

Pair Fonts that Look Good

Below is a few examples of font pairing that look good. All of the fonts used are available for free from Google Fonts.

Lora

With Source Sans Pro for body text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Libre Baskerville

With Open Sans for body text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Nunito Sans

With EB Garamond for body text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Great Vibes

With Lato for body text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Lobster

With Roboto for body text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

POPPINS

With Merriweather for body text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. 

Do you want to get more ideas for pairing fonts? Then check out Canva’s Font Combinations tool.  You pick one font and then they present you with different font combinations that go with that font. You may also want to check out this post for tools to help you create an amazing colour scheme for your brand.

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