The first rule of pairing fonts is to use contrast wherever possible. When choosing different fonts, consider the style, size, weight and color. Design blogger Phillydesigner explains some of the different combinations of fonts that work well together; as a start, try matching heavy fonts with light fonts or cursive fonts with more modern fonts.
There are two types of fonts: serif fonts and sans-serif fonts. Serifs are the small lines that extend from the edges of letters. Popular serif fonts include Times New Roman and Georgia. Popular sans-serif fonts include Helvetica and Verdana.
Contrasting a serif font with a sans-serif font can work well when creating designs. Smashing Magazine suggests using a sans-serif font for your heading and serif font for your body text. Serif fonts can be easier to read in print while sans-serif fonts tend to work best on the Web. Here’s a great infographic outlining some of the differences between serif and sans-serif fonts from the folks at Web Designer Depot.
When picking colors for your fonts, make sure you’re choosing colors that contrast with your background, so that you text is clear and easy-to-read. As we outlined in our post on the top 5 tips for graphic design, a good rule of thumb is to select a light color for your font when your background is dark, and a dark color when your background is light.
In most cases, you should limit your font palette to a maximum of three fonts. Pick a font for your headings, subtitle and body or text. Douglas Bonneville has listed 19 combinations that work well with common fonts on his blog.
image by: typophille