To this day, various typefaces keep being developed and designers now have an abundance of choices. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to find which one to use and you can easily get distracted in the mountain of choices. In order to avoid getting distracted, you need to understand the main principle of fonts pairing. In this article, we are going to discuss more about the basic principle of pairing multiple typefaces. When you understand the basic principle, you will be able to combine fonts easily and quickly.
Concordance means that all of the typefaces in your design are similar. Usually, a single typeface is used in multiple fonts on a page. This one is the simplest way to pair fonts because all you need to do is one great typeface and tweak it in a couple different styles. You can start by choosing a superfamily. Superfamily contains four categories such as
Serif, Sans-Serif, Script, and Decorative. For example, Lucida includes versions in various other styles such as Gothing, Handwriting, Sans Serif, Calligraphy, as well as Typewriter. It will be easy to combine them as they have similar characteristics since they are from the same family. They will work well together and easily so you don’t need as much time to create the pairings.
The next one is creating contrasting pairs. This one can be more difficult, but when done appropriately, you will have an original and unique type. The important thing to remember is that you should find typefaces that are different, but still have enough similarities so that they can work together well. Even if the fonts are completely different, they should at least have two of these attributes.
- X-height and glyph width
- Shape of character
- Direction of axis
These are just some parts of how typefaces can relate to each other because in reality, there are tons more how they can relate to each other. You may need some time to learn how to pair fonts and design well.
While it is important to use typefaces that have some degree of similarities, sometimes it can get too far that they don’t have enough difference. This is what we see as conflict and you want to avoid it in your design. Here are some of the things you can do to avoid conflict :
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- Pay attention to the font’s category so that you are aware whether the typeface is different enough or not.
- Maintain a hierarchy of your copy so that each section is different.
- Adding color also helps different sections and create hierarchy.
There are no single rules on how you should pair multiple typefaces. However, you can use the principle above as the general thumb of rule. The key is that you want the typeface that you choose either concordance or contrasting, but not conflicting. Now that you understand the basic principle of how to pair multiple fonts in one design, you should go to font websites such as Pollux of Geminorum for more typeface inspiration!