When selecting fonts, you subliminally engage in a series of trade-offs. For instance, medium-weighted fonts are more readable, though lack the strength of their bold counterparts. Moreover, capital letters are more powerful than lowercase, yet not as legible as mixed case.
Similarly, kerning and spacing have a profound impact in eliciting certain messages. Tight spacing is thought to indicate strictness, reliability and punctuality. Though, sufficient spacing between letters is required to ensure that readers enjoy a fluid reading experience.
In short, what’s important is that the fonts you use in your designs reflect your purpose and intended message. Rounded and playful fonts (we’re not looking at you, Comic Sans) may be appropriate when marketing products for children but are a no-go for professional businesses.
How to create font pairings that entice readers
Compiling a selection of fonts with the intention of combining them within the same design or wider branding guidelines is no easy feat. Thankfully, there’s a number of guidelines that designers can refer to in order to facilitate this process.
1. Ensure your fonts deliver consistent messages
What’s key is to select typefaces with similar personalities, which also elicit complementary messages. For instance, attempting to combine a loose script font and heavily-weighted rounded font will not only appear aesthetically disjointed, but also deliver conflicting messages about your company’s ethos.
That’s not to say that designers should restrict themselves to only using one font type in any one design. Far from it. Using sans-serif fonts for headlines and serif typefaces for body text is particularly common for websites that deliver long content pieces. The contrast in style between these fonts helps to stimulate and maintain the reader’s interest. Serif fonts (like those regularly used in novels) tend to be easy to read and the injection of modern elegance from sans-serifs helps to create a stylish font palette that is free from conflict.