How to Mix and Match Fonts to Add Depth to Any Design

Mixing fonts are one of the cornerstones of graphic design. Picking a great font is only the starting point of a successful project. Once you’ve selected that first great font, you need to select other fonts to accompany that font. Why may you ask? By selecting multiple fonts you add depth and variety to your design. Having consistency in your typography is important, but having only one font throughout an entire piece is boring. It is completely possible to be constant in your typography while still providing some visual variety to the viewers. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can mix and match your fonts to spice up your next graphic design project.

Start by looking at the primary font you’ve chosen for your project. Now, think about some of the rules of typography and font pairing. If you’re unfamiliar with the basic principles of typography checkout: An Introduction To Graphic Design: Typography Basics, An Introduction To Graphic Design: Typography Measurements & Guidelines and An Introduction To Graphic Design: Typeface Pairing. These articles will give you the foundation and confidence you need to start exploring font combinations.

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With the characteristics of your type in mind, think of other characteristics that would complement your primary type. For example, a sans serif font could be a nice complement to a slab serif heading. Play around with some of the different typeface combinations. Different font families work well together. Something like Brandon Grotesque and Minion Pro are a nice combination. The more combinations you try, the more comfortable you will become with this process. Remember, some common ways to pair fonts are: pairing them by style, pairing them font-family, pairing fonts that have opposite styles and pairing fonts by weight. This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to pair fonts. This is just to give you some ideas and a starting point if you’re completely new to font pairing.

Once you’ve selected the different typefaces or fonts you’ll be using, it’s time to incorporate some additional style elements. This is where you’ll start testing out different text sizes and colors for each piece of type that you’re going to work with. Try out different color schemes to see what looks best with your design. Is your primary text subtitle? Test out a bold color or larger font size for your subtext. It’s time to really get expressive. Don’t just keep everything in a straight line. Try out some different angles and directions for your text. Add in some visual interest by playing off of the elements that surround your text.

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The key to adding visual variety is really allowing your imagination to run wild. Many people find it helpful to perform some word association excises to get those creative juices flowing. You might also find it helpful to sketch out some of your ideas so that you have a rough visual of what you’re trying to create. So many designers make the mistake of suppressing their ideas because they seem strange or unfit. Don’t fall victim to this practice. Allow your imagination and creativity to flow freely. Remember, nothing is set in stone. If you don’t like a design you sketched or thought of, just don’t use it. It’s okay to have multiple versions of a design. There is no rule that says you have to get everything perfect the first time. Explore the current trends in graphic design and allow yourself to make mistakes. Some of the greatest inventions have come from mistakes.

Mixing and matching fonts doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s a creative process that allows you flex your creative muscles and implement some of the theory you learned while studying graphic design. As long as you follow the basic principles of graphic design, you should be able to create something amazing if you just give yourself a chance to think. If you’re really unsure of you pairing choices, ask someone for their opinion. Most people are happy to give you some feedback and constructive criticism on your work. Even if you’re happy with what you’ve created, some constructive feedback can help improve your design skills and set you up for future successes.

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