Best Practices for Combining Typefaces and Fonts

Best Practices for Combining Typefaces and Fonts

When you make your purchase decision for a new computer or smartphone, there are many things to consider. You want to make sure that the device is going to be easy to use and that it will have all the necessary features that you need. One of the things that you have to decide at the same time is the typeface and font that the device is going to use. Now, the typeface and font are not one in the same. You can have a beautiful, well-designed typeface on a plain piece of text, but the converse is also true. There are many considerations that you have to make before you settle on a typeface and font combination that will work for you.

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The Importance Of Good Typography

When we think about the evolution of technology, typography often comes to mind. The way that letters are arranged on a page, the varying sizes and styles of the letters, how certain fonts fit on a device’s screen, or even the way that a word is spelt have all influenced the technology that we use today. Designing a solid typography plan is an essential step in any graphic or web design project. You don’t want to rush the process and end up using a font that doesn’t suit your brand or website.

An excellent place to start your journey is with one of the most well-known typefaces, Adobe Garamond. This typeface was first designed in the 15th century and features a modern yet elegant look. Its two dozen or so weights are built on a geometric framework that gives each face its unique character. One weight of the font, called the Book Antiqua, for example, is perfect for headlines while another, the Book Modern, is ideal for body copy on a website.

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Computers And Fonts

When it comes to creating a typography plan for a project, you have to bear in mind the capabilities of your device. This means having a peek at the screen pixel dimensions of your chosen device and ensuring that your typeface and font choice will suit it. You can test different fonts on your computer by clicking the “View” button in a word processing application and entering a couple of letters. If you notice, all the fonts look slightly different and some are thicker or thinner than others. This is because each font has a specific “pixel size” that it was designed to work at. You can also change the typeface itself and see how it looks in different fonts. In most cases, however, the best option is to use the same font throughout a project.

Choosing The Right Typeface

When choosing a typeface, you have to bear in mind the style and feel of your text. Are you going for something modern and slick, like Helvetica, or a more elegant option, like Arial? There are many other typefaces that fit into all different categories. Ultimately, you have to choose one that feels right for your project.


Another important factor to consider when choosing a typeface is variety. If you have a wide variety of text that you need to format, then you need a typeface that can do it all. Many typefaces are designed to work with various fonts and styles, so they can provide the best result no matter what you throw at them. For example, Lato is a font agnostic typeface that will look great with any font and will give your text a consistent look from start to finish. This makes it a perfect option for those who need to work with different styles and fonts quickly.

The Role Of Colour

Colour is also important when choosing a typeface. Are you going for a bold option or something more subtle? There are many different coloured fonts that you can choose from, so you can incorporate this into your decision-making process. If you decide on a bright orange font for your site or branding, then make sure to work this into your design plan. It will add that extra touch of personality that you were looking for.

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The Evolution Of Typography

When making your choice for a new typeface, you have to bear in mind all of the factors discussed above. If you are looking for a new way to spruce up your text with an elegant, yet timeless look, then check out these popular typefaces. Keep in mind that the best option is to use the same font throughout a project.

Choosing the right typeface for your project can be tricky. If you want a quick-and-easy option that can be used for multiple projects, then check out these popular typefaces. Make sure to take all the factors discussed above into consideration so that you can make the right decision and end up using a typeface that is going to be perfect for your project.

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Rules in Combining Typefaces and Fonts

Once you give the elements in art and design shape and form, you are free to explore different techniques, styles, and how you will go about combining typeface fonts. However, combining typeface fonts is both an art and a science, and you must understand the basics of typographic design to be able to work around and beyond the set typeface rules.

Over the years, many designers have found new ways of combining typeface points, and you should understand the tried and tested techniques to create a unique typographic structure.

In this article, we will explore some of the best typographic designs, and we also offer suggestions on the typefaces that can be paired together for excellent results in website design.

  • Understand the Brand and What It Communicates

Before you choose a typeface, you need to know what message you are putting across and the target audience. This will play a massive part in your content creation and presentation.

Ideally, you should choose fonts that complement your existing branding, to lower the chances of confusing the audience.

After this, you should trust your instincts when it comes to combining typeface fonts. Below are the best practices you should know and apply when it comes to combining typeface fonts.

  • Complementary Results

Most typefaces have been found to evoke different emotional responses from the content consumers, and this makes it necessary to only combine different fonts if they work well together. The goal when combining typefaces is to ensure that the mood of your typeface suits the mood of your design.

You should look out for the details that complement each other to create a harmonious design. For example, if you are working with a thin and elegant personality, you should pair it with something bolder.

This way, you can bring balance to the design. With that said, getting the proper combinations involves trial and error, but with time and persistence, you will pull it off.

  • Combining Sans Serifs and Serifs

In typography design circles, combining serif and sans serif fonts is one of the classic examples when it comes to combining typeface fonts for both print and web projects. It does not take much time to master, and it makes for excellent readability. However, you should not pair fonts with strong personalities.

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While they appear similar, serif and sans serif typefaces have major distinctions, which is in the finish. The serif typefaces have slight projections that finish off stroke, for example, Garamond and Times New Roman fonts. Sans serif fonts, on the other hand, have plain and simple lines, for example, Arial and Helvetica.

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More so, take Trade Gothic and Bell Gothic, for example, Trade Gothic is an elegant and dynamic font, while Bell Gothic gives off a strong presence. Combining these two fonts will not work well, and it will result in poor readability.

  • Create Contrast

Serifs and San Serifs work well together since they can create a visual contrast. With that said, there are several ways that you can create contrast by using size, weight, colour, style, and spacing. For example, leaner, cleaner, and thinner letters will look good when paired up with curvy and rounded letters.

  • Establish a Visual Hierarchy

One of the most important things to remember when combining typeface fonts in design is to create a hierarchy, and this extends to the body copy leave alone the imagery and page layouts. Arranging the text in this way allows the user to read the most important parts of your page.

To achieve proper visual hierarchy, go through the information first and mark out the parts that are most essential to your envisioned overall design. The rule of thumb is that the most important text elements need to be in larger and weightier fonts. Traditional magazines and newspapers are the perfect examples of how you should create a visual hierarchy with your content and web page design.

  • Limit the Number of Fonts

For every design, you should limit it to 2-3 fonts per design. This increases legibility and readability. However, there are times when your design needs elaborate font combinations. With that said, you must ensure that the overall design does not come off as cluttered and messy.

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The best way to refine your font choices is to ensure that every font plays a role in your design. If you cannot find a purpose for a font, leave it out of your typography.

  • Consider the Context

The text that goes into the body copy depends on the project you are working on, but the bottom line is that it should be displayed in the appropriate font size to enhance readability and legibility. This is because font styles play an important part in setting the tone of the overall project.

You must align the traits of your typefaces with that of the message. However, it is perfectly okay to go with something neutral, while at times you can go with something that pops.

  • Assign Distinct Roles

When it comes to combining typeface fonts, you need to assign a distinct role to each typeface. You could assign a bold typeface for the headlines, a conservative font for the copy, and back to neutral for the body copy.

Ideally, they should be combined to form a cohesive design. The goal behind assigning distinct roles to the fonts is to define a typographic hierarchy that will draw the reader’s attention to the most important elements of your design.

  • Use Different Point Sizes

Other than creating a typographic and visual hierarchy, you need to create distinction and contrast. This is possible by varying the point sizes, and it will go a long way into improving the reading experience.

You can adjust the body copy’s size to create your preferred contrast, which will also enhances typographical hierarchy.


There are endless ways of combining typeface fonts, and the fact that there are no established rules, the process can be time-consuming. The above  practices of combining typeface fonts, will steer you in the right direction. However, be sure to experiment with different typefaces that will suit your design.

Contact us today for professional web design services in Singapore and consultation about the best typefaces for your website. We look forward to seeing your business reign supreme in your niche.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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