When it comes to typography, every detail counts in order for the overall design to make a statement. While there are endless options to choose from when selecting fonts for a design, not all fonts can be used interchangeably or be paired with one another. There are certain guidelines that designers should refer to when pairing fonts. Four conditions to keep in mind are: classification, variety, contrast, and hierarchy. Below, we’ve summed up some pointers to follow that will help you create a design piece with exceptional typography:
Knowing the distinction between commonly used fonts is very important. One primary distinction to be aware of is serifs vs. sans serifs. The end of serif fonts have small extension lines at the end of its strokes, while the ends of sans serif fonts do not. In general, serif fonts are more traditional and sans serif fonts are more modern.
Using various fonts in your design is always encouraged (and makes the process more fun), but there are certain precautions to take when doing so:
- More than three fonts ruins the party
- Don’t combine fonts that are similar in weight and style
- Combining serif and sans serif fonts is always a crowd pleaser
Creating contrast with fonts is key, especially if you’re trying to convey a specific message with your design piece. Adjust the size, weight (bold, italic, etc.), and color to allow your type to stand out and speak volumes, or appear quiet and subtle.
Typographic hierarchy gives you complete control over how an audience will interact with your design, as it molds the context and tone of your piece. Each level of text (ex: header, sub-header, body copy) should be clear and consistent throughout the piece. The range in font size should go from largest and boldest (header) to smallest and most subtle (body copy). Mixing serif and sans serif fonts, as well as incorporating contrast in size, weight, and color, are two cues that are used to establish typographic hierarchy.
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