In graphic design and creating websites or graphics for others, the typography is one of
the most effective design elements. It may seem like such a simple process, but there
are many things to consider when choosing which fonts go well together, including the
style, color, bold or italic, sizes, and how many different ones to use. Your selection of
fonts can make or break the entire design.
Don’t Use Too Many
Quantity definitely matters when you’re combining fonts. The design you’re working on
will determine how many different fonts is appropriate. But you don’t want 20 fonts on
one page, so start there. Many graphic designers set a personal limit of only 2-3
different fonts, but more might be necessary for certain projects. For example,
infographics often require more sizes, colors and styles of fonts because it creates more
dimension. But for a traditional website, 3-5 should be the absolute maximum.
Look at the Scale and Proportion
When combining fonts, remember to keep the proportion and scale in mind. Not every
font goes by the same scale, and some look almost identical to others. SO if you’re
trying to make them appear considerably different and make the scale different to add
interest, using Verdana and Georgia isn’t going to help. These fonts look very similar,
almost too similar. In this case, either pick one or the other, or choose different
combinations. For most designs, they either need to be very different or very similar, but
stay away from those in between these two classifications.
Match Style and Color
The style and color of your font choices should also look good together. For th colors,
don’t choose too many different ones and along the same saturation and hue level.
Don’t choose a bright yellow and a muted lavender color; they clash way too much. If
you want a light lavender, go with another light color; even a light yellow would look
Make it Readable
The reason why too many different sizes, styles and colors is frowned upon, is because
it makes it difficult to read. The same can be said for fonts based on the site’s design
and background. If the background is a dark color, don’t choose a medium or dark color
of font. If your font sizes are too big or too small, they’re difficult to read. When choosing
fonts, try to act like you’re visiting that site for the first time. Experiment until you find the
Trust Your Instincts
The last piece of advice when choosing and combining fonts, is to trust your instinct. If
you think fonts just don’t go together, don’t try to push it. It’s okay to be creative and
think outside the box, but remember the design isn’t just about look; it needs to be
functional and not give the users a migraine just trying to read the text. The more you
utilize typography in websites, the easier combining multiple fonts becomes.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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