Best Practices Of Combining Typefaces

Douglas Bonneville has done an excellent job of distilling the nuances of font pairing into a concise and actionable guide.

The key takeaway is that creating great typeface combinations is an art, not a science. While there are no absolute rules, Bonneville outlines several best practices that can yield consistently suitable results. The most fundamental principle is to pair a sans-serif header typeface with a serif body typeface – a classic combination that is almost impossible to get wrong.

Bonneville also cautions against mixing typefaces from the same classification, as this can create unwanted tension and discord in the design. Instead, he recommends assigning distinct roles to each font, leveraging contrasts in font weights, and creating various typographic colors to reinforce the visual hierarchy.

Importantly, the author stresses the need to consider the inherent mood and personality of each typeface, warning against the pitfall of “mixing moods.” He advocates for pairing distinct typefaces with more neutral ones to achieve balance and readability.

Perhaps the most valuable insight is Bonneville’s recommendation to keep it simple and stick to just two typefaces. By using different fonts from the same typeface family and maintaining a clear visual hierarchy, designers can create complex, visually interesting layouts with minimal effort.

In conclusion, this article is a treasure trove of practical wisdom for anyone looking to elevate their typography game. Bonneville’s direct and honest tone, coupled with his deep understanding of the subject matter, make this a must-read for designers of all skill levels.