Learn Type Connection’s methods for finding the right typeface pairing.
rely on family
You can utilize various weights from a single type family, extended family, or superfamily, because families
were designed—many times by the same designer—to share a set of consistent traits. Bold, italic, extended,
and condensed fonts introduce typographic color, while character alternates
and ligatures can make familiar relationships
seek the similar
Pairing typefaces that look alike can create visual consistency that will not distract readers from
the writing itself. Use one face’s features as
making guide, and look for similar x-heights, cap heights, and ascenders/descenders, as well as correlating aperture size, axis tilt, terminal shape,
and stroke consistency/
geometry. Comparable lowercase a, g, e (and sometimes t,
f, q) can also suggest a solid pair.
embrace the other
Pairing typefaces that contrast in weight, scale,
width, and/or spacing can eliminate monotony and visually divide the text—making it easier
to understand hierarchy. Too much contrast can
cause friction, so opt for just a few points of difference. Many successful pairs feature a serif typeface with a sans
serif typeface. Assign distinct roles—headline, body copy, caption—to each to help readers deduce order
explore the past
Focusing on the context of a typeface’s creation
can provide a better understanding of its nuances.
You can create compatible matches by choosing typefaces designed for the same tool (pen, brush), output medium (metal, wood, screen), historic era,
or concept. Old
style serif typefaces go well with humanist sans despite being years apart, because
both were inspired by the broad nib pen.