Choose the right typeface with 3 simple tips

With hundreds of fonts readily available by default and thousands easily downloadable online, how do you go about choosing the right font? When it comes to picking a typeface you can’t afford to be swayed by look alone, there’s a whole host of other considerations you should be making. Here’s 3 simple tips to help you make that decision:

01. The Basics – How to choose a font

Rather than picking any old font and saying this will do, you need to be thinking about the message you want your brand or design to portray. Before even looking at fonts to download, jot down or brainstorm some words that you feel communicate the qualities of your brand.

Just like colours, every font has it’s own personality. One font may be elegant while another may be clean and bold – it’s all about matching your words with a font that portrays the same message.

When looking at fonts try not to let personal preference get in the way. You may really like a font because it’s fun and unique but if it’s not appropriate based on the outcome of your brainstorming session, keep looking! The last thing you want is a disconnection between the message you want to show and the message you are showing.

02. Think usage and testing

Another consideration when choosing the right font is usage. Where will your font be used?

Not every font will immediately work for every situation. For example, a business card design will require a font that’s easily readable at a small size whereas that same font may not be as effective when used on screen within a webpage.

This will ultimately come down to testing. If you need a font that reads well at a smaller size on a mobile device, test 2 or 3 similar fonts and see which looks best. Realistically the fonts you’re browsing online may look very different in context. When testing make sure you use realistic text and not fake latin like lorum ipsum!


03. Pairing typefaces

Pairing two typefaces is incredibly common, but tricky. Before doing so decide what you want to achieve – do you want two similar typefaces that complement each other, or do you want contrasting typefaces so that one stands out more than the other?

The tricky part is finding the right balance. If you’re looking for two fonts that look similar choose the same style e.g. Serif, but make sure you can tell them apart! On the other hand if you want contrasting fonts trial and error is always key. You may want to pair a Serif font with Script font but you need to make sure that they don’t look so different that they clash.

Like I said, pairing typefaces is a process of experimentation. Don’t be surprised if the first couple of fonts that you pair wildly clash! It may take a while to find a pair that works while also portraying the right message.

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