Published on November 8th, 2013 | by PrintPlace

Combining fonts – Graphic Design Friday

The combination of two fonts can give you a unique and attention-grabbing look, but make sure it is the type of look you want. Used poorly, a font combination can make your design look sloppy. The right combination though, will make your design pleasing to the eye and draw in more eyes as well.

In our newest video, our graphic designer, Sharon, has some tips about what to keep in mind when combining fonts. She will tell you how to make sure your combinations are positive ones.

You can read the transcript below, or watch the video. Here’s a hint though, the video includes examples to illustrate each of these points.

Combining Fonts - Graphic Design Tips

Video Transcription

Hey guys. Sharon here again for another graphic design tip from PrintPlace.com.

Last week we discussed establishing mood with typefaces. You can see that video by clicking here.

This week we’re building on mood and discussing possibly one of the hardest things to master in typography: combing fonts. Font combination is a bit like the wild west in that there’s no hard and fast rules. If it looks good, no one is going to argue. However you can use a few simple design principles to help guide your decisions: contrast and concord.

Contrast refers to aspects of multiple fonts that are different yet complement each other. Use fonts of different styles to create contrast.

  • Serif and sans serifs together are a standard combo.
  • Combine fonts with different moods. A classic typeface combined with a more modern one create a pleasing juxtaposition.
  • Weight of fonts also creates contrast. Place heavy headlines above a lighter body font to draw your reader’s attention.

The second principle, concord, refers to harmonious or similar elements between typefaces.

  • Similar moods tend to play well together. Two fun fonts like Blackjack and Cooper, when combined, express the same idea.
  • Use similar proportions such as x-height, ascender and descender lengths, or kerning to create concordance. Notice how these two fonts with tall x-heights work well side by side.

There’s one thing you’ll want to avoid at all costs…the third and fatal principle of typography: conflict.

Conflict occurs when two typefaces are so different that they simply cannot be placed together. Conflict can make your design unreadable and push your reader away.

That’s it for this week’s design tip. Remember to come back every Friday for a new tip on graphic design right here from PrintPlace.com.

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