Fonts are a key part of your visual brand. The fonts you use on your website, social media graphics, etc. make a statement about brand’s style and personality. So if you’re DIY-ing a font combination for your business, you want to be sure and pick a pair that 1) accurately reflects your style and 2) follows the principles of good design.

In this post I’ll simplify a few important design concepts and give you three pro tips to help you pick the perfect font combination for your brand.

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Contrast is key.

When it comes to combining fonts, contrast is the most important thing to keep in mind.The definition of contrast is: to compare in order to show unlikeness or differences; note the opposite natures, purposes, etc.

In general, you want to pick fonts that are either:

  • Very different (like pairing geometric Bebas Neue with light and friendly Merriweather)
  • Or in the same family (like pairing Helvetica with Helvetica Light)

Pro tip: Avoid pairing fonts that look similar but aren’t in the same family. It will look like it would feel to walk around with one shoe that’s a half size too small…something will just seem off.

Fonts should create hierarchy and balance.

If you’re new to the ideas of hierarchy and balance, think about how resumes are formatted. In most cases, different headings or sections use different fonts to help hiring managers quickly scan experience and qualifications, without having to read every single word on the page.

It’s important to pick fonts (and font sizes) you can use to create hierarchy and balance on your website, social media graphics, etc. so that people can easily consume your content.

Pro tip: Use hierarchy to help people know where to look when they’re reading website content by putting key information in headers.

Sometimes simplicity is best.

While many brands do opt to use a combination of fonts, there isn’t a rule that says you have to use more than one font.

In fact, I pretty much stick to using one font for my own brand — Open Sans. This keeps things simple, and simplicity works for my brand.

So, if you’re like me and want to keep things simple for your own brand (or if choosing a font combo is overwhelming/confusing), pick one font or font family that lends itself to readable body copy and eye catching header text. Fonts like Playfair Display, Merriweather and Open Sans work really well across the board for this.

Pro tip: Upload your own fonts to your website and Canva so the text on your site and social media graphics stays consistent and reflects your brand’s style. I’ll show you how to upload your own fonts to Squarespace in the video below. (But, more tutorials for uploading custom fonts for other platforms are linked to the button below!)

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Episode #048: Ashley Cox

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