Designers aren’t the only ones who need to understand how to combine fonts to make an impact. As a marketer, you’ll need this skill as well. After all, you can’t bring on a designer each time you create a new blog post, article, or social media content. Instead, you’ll need to be able to create attractive, attention-grabbing content. The artful use of font combinations is part of this. Here are some tips for using different fonts to make more impactful content.
Use Fonts that Complement One Another
Think about visual balance. When you choose multiple fonts, they should complement one another to create balance.
Imagine you’ve created a landing page with a scripted heading. If you chose another scripted font, that would probably be overkill. On the other hand, if you chose a font that’s a bit more neutral, you’d balance out the ‘personality’ of the scripted font.
Draw the Eye with Visual Hierarchy
Take a look at a traditional newspaper or magazine. It’s easy to see how the designers and layout experts use images, font size, spacing, and page layout to get readers to follow the page in the desired order. One way they do this is to use different font types and weights, as well as spacing to communicate with readers what information is most important.
This same technique can be used with digital content as well as printed content. Simply determine what pieces of information you want your audience to notice first, and remember most. Then, make font choices accordingly.
Always Prioritize Function
Great fonts are very artistic and can be used as such. However, you should always consider function first and foremost. “For example, a very artsy, hand-drawn font can make a beautiful impact. It might be great for larger elements such as title lines and headings. It would not be a very good choice for longer blocks of text,” advices Kristin Savage, a contributing writer at GrabMyEssay and BestEssayEducation. If you use a detailed font with serifs for titles, use a font that is reader-friendly for text blocks. Likewise, you can use a themed font to create an aesthetic, but then balance that font with something else for readability.
Use Serifs and Sans Serifs Together
Readability is just one reason to combine these two font types together. The other is that they simply combine with one another to create a visually appealing combination. You can enhance this look by using different sizes in addition to the two font types.
Mix Fonts to Create Interesting Contrast
You can also mix fonts together in different types, sizes, and widths to create interesting visual contrast and to make certain textual elements more memorable. For example, you could combine a thick, chunky font with slender elongated one.
However, if you do this, you have to be careful that a more ‘dominant’ font doesn’t overtake the other one. So, if you elect to use a blocky or fat font, you might elect to combine that with a slender font that’s taller or in a contrasting color.
Combine Fonts that Have Something Similar in Common
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between contrasting and clashing. Two contrasting fonts are different from one another, yet it’s clear that they go together harmoniously. On the other hand, clashing fonts simply don’t go together at all, and seeing them is displeasing to the eye.
One way to be certain that two fonts contrast vs. clash is to try and find one or two similar elements between them. For example, maybe both fonts have a somewhat rounded design, or both fonts have a similar spacing between letters.
Avoid Fonts that Have Too Much in Common
Think of this as the flip side to the previous rule. If you combine fonts that are entirely too similar, it won’t make much of an impact at all. One font won’t stand out as being more dramatic. They’ll both be too functionally similar to make a difference.
“If two fonts are almost identical, your reader could misconstrue your choice. Instead of seeing a visual contrast, they may think that you accidentally switched fonts,” says Marie Branes, a communication manager at TheAdsy.
Use Fonts from the Same Family
You don’t have to use entirely different font families to make an impact. Within each font family, you have several options. You can use different sizes, bold, italics, different colors, and other options.
This is a great option if you don’t have any design experience, or have a lack of confidence in your ability to choose different fonts that work together. When you use fonts from the same family, you can be confident that they were designed to be cohesive.
Also, in many cases, branding can limit your choices here. Your company or client may have a digital asset library that contains the fonts and other visual elements that are considered to be on-brand. If you are unsure of how to combine fonts in a way that works with your brand, consider getting some help with writing, editing, and formatting resources like, Canva, Trust My Paper, WowGrade, Instagram Layout, and Studicus.
Less is More
If you try to combine too many fonts in one piece of content, that can be problematic. This is especially true with shorter pieces, and pieces that don’t require much visual complexity. For example, a blog post with a simple heading and two or three subheadings isn’t going to be improved with four different fonts.
So, how many fonts is too many? That really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. You have to take into consideration what you are trying to accomplish visually, the length of your content, and how you plan on formatting that content.
Finally, take your motives into consideration. Try to finish the sentence, ‘I’m using this font here because…’. If you can’t come up with a good reason, consider backing away from that choice.
Improve Font Combining with Practice
Fortunately, if you know how to highlight text, it’s fairly easy to change fonts. You can experiment with different combinations easily. Then, get feedback from others to see what seems to work best.
Interesting and visually impactful font combinations are a perfect pair with interesting and memorable content. Use the tips here to learn to create these combinations to enhance your marketing efforts.
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for SupremeDissertations, Diana also runs her own 3to5Marketing blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.