By Douglas Bonneville on December 3, 2009
One of our most popular font articles is about how to create good font combinations. But don’t take our word for it! We’ve collected a cadre of excellent articles to help you make even better typeface pairs. Take a look at our font combinations article and the free PDF after you peruse this list.
(10/12/2010 – Updated)
(8/29/2010 – Font Combinations book released)
(7/23/2010 – Updated)
(5/26/2010 – Updated list again)
(3/16/2010 – The list has been updated with more resources)
Remember, a typeface is a whole set of fonts with all its variations. For example, Helvetica Bold 12pt is a font from the Helvetica typeface. Therefore, we combine fonts, not typefaces since you have to pick a particular font from each typeface you want to combine.
- 19 top fonts in 19 top combinations
Complete with graphics and a PDF chart to get you going!
- Choosing Type Combinations
Nice article with a lot of graphics. “Listen to your eyes” is great advice.
- Matching fonts
A longer, patient read. “It is worth noting that professional designers rarely use something besides the simple, traditional typefaces.”
- Best Ways to Mix and Match Fonts
Very short with 3 good tips, one of which is: “Use Classics and Keep a List”.
- Typefaces: that work together
Huge mult-page list of typeface names sorted alphabetically. No graphics, but if you know what font you want to start with, you will likely find a great match or at least a great point of departure. This post shows its age, but it’s really timeless information.
- Selecting and Combining Typefaces (PDF)
5 page article with some nice graphics. One good tip: “try mixing serif and sans serif faces that relate to each other”.
- 8 Bits On Combining Typefaces
Easy-reader with eight simple points. A great reminder is “you will almost never go wrong with combining practically any sans serif type with an opposite in style serif typeface”.
- Combine typefaces
This article is focused on combining fonts in the context of logo design. You have to click to see the graphics (why?) but it’s worth it because the examples are very clear and demonstrate what the author is talking about.
- 4 Rules for Combining Typefaces
Excellent article with equally excellent graphics. Killer tip: “If you are combining different typefaces, especially in text copy, they should have similar proportions.”
- Typeface Combinations (PDF)
Scan of a print article with some nice principles and examples – a quick one-pager worth checking out.
- Typeface Combinations
Nice article with table and graphics, focused on how typeface classifications can play an important role in making good font combination choices.
- Mixing Typefaces (PDF)
Ah, the PDF that started it all, from 1992! An Italian designer posted this table that sorts font choices by a kind of “risk factor”. Very well done and based on solid principles. Remember though: rules are made to be broken!
- How To Mix Fonts: Typeface Cheat Sheet
This article is one of the better articles you can find that reference (with graphics) the PDF from #11, but provides a few additional insights and context. Read the PDF at #11 and then read this article.
- What is the Best Way to Choose or Mix and Match Fonts?
A simple, easy read combining and condensing many of the principles you’ve read already, if you read the 12 articles in the list up to this point. A nice tip is: “With too many different fonts you run into problems with not having enough contrast”. Contrast is key.
- Type palettes
Short, older article but with a few high-quality graphic examples.
BTW: The Big Book of Font Combinations wants you to stop by and check out its samples. So many fonts, so little time…
And don’t forget to check out our very own “19 top fonts in 19 top combinations” article, complete with graphics and a PDF chart to get you going!
Even more font pairing resources
These have been added since the original article was posted. I’ll keep adding more here
- 7 New Typeface Combinations for Book Design (10/12/2010)
- 10 Typeface Pairs for Cash-Poor Designers (7/23/2010)
Morgan Gilpatrick took the time to work with the obvious for her students: she created some very functional examples of font pairs from the typefaces her students, as purchasers of Adobe CS products are going to work with whether they like it or not. Yes, designers should purchase new typefaces, but when it comes to eating and completing an assignment on time vs. spending money on a handful fonts, it’s easy to figure out what the student will do. Very nicely done graphics focusing on x-heights.
- Combining Type with Helvetica (5/26/2010)
A long article full of top-shelf visuals. Highly recommended.
- 4 Techniques for Combining Fonts (3/16/2010)
Simply fantastic article on the art and science of combining fonts from my favorite foundry (because of Gotham). From the article: “Is there a way to know what fonts will work together? Building a palette is an intuitive process, but expanding a typographic duet to three, four, or even five voices can be daunting. Here are four tips for navigating the typographic ocean, all built around H&FJ‘s Highly Scientific First Principle of Combining Fonts: keep one thing consistent, and let one thing vary.”
Happy font combining!
14 Top Typeface and Font Combinations Resources