How to Master Font Pairings: For Script, Serif, Sans Fonts & More
Finding the right font pairing is an essential part of crafting every design. When creating contrast, improving readability, and showcasing attention to detail, well-paired typography goes a long way to creating visual harmony.
How do you find the ideal font pairs that go well together? What are the key features of good font combinations? Let’s find out.
In this font guide, we explore some of the best combinations for different styles of fonts from serif to script and more. We will also show you examples of great font pairings, including popular Google Font combinations, along with tips on how to pick the right font pairs for different designs.
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Let’s dive right in.
Best Sans-Serif Font Pairings
Sans-serif is an all-rounder in the world of fonts. Whether it’s a title for a poster, subheadings on a magazine, or tiny paragraph text of a book, sans serif fonts fit perfectly anywhere.
Sans fonts basically go well together with any other type of font. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with any font pairing when using a sans-serif font.
Take an Open Sans font pairing, for example. Open Sans has a very generic and simple design but when combined with another more eccentric serif font, like the Noto Serif, it’s a match made in heaven.
Helvetica is a much more professional choice for sans-serif font combinations. While it pairs perfectly with most fonts, an ideal Helvetica font pairing would be with a simple serif or slab serif font.
Of course, there are lots of different styles of sans fonts out there. And, as you can see in this example, they can be paired with script, handwriting, and a wide range of other font styles.
Best Serif Font Pairings
Serif fonts are the go-to choice for more formal designs. They exude professionalism, tradition, and elegance. As a result, serif fonts are often used in classy, high-end, and luxury designs. For formal design projects, the best choice for a serif font pairing is to use a sans-serif font.
For example, Georgia pairs well with News Gothic, especially for crafting designs for business projects. Georgia is one of the most iconic serif fonts out there and it’s often used for academic, corporate, and high-end brand designs.
However, serif fonts can also be paired with script and signature fonts to create a more elegant look. This style of serif font pairings can be found on business cards, greeting cards, and even website headers.
Best Script Font Pairings
Script fonts are associated with elegance, charm, and beauty. They are commonly used in fashion, lifestyle, and feminine designs.
The beautiful cursive and calligraphy style of script fonts are quite unmatched when it comes to creating typography that evokes emotions and joy. This explains why it’s one of the most popular fonts used for wedding invitations and greeting cards.
The perfect match for a script font is a sans-serif font. A sans font with a more casual letter design is often the best choice to pair with a script font. Pacifico and Raleway font is a good example of a script font combination. But it’s not always the case.
For more formal, luxury, or high-end designs, a clean serif font fits perfectly with most script fonts.
Best Handwriting Font Pairings
Handwriting fonts have a close relationship with script fonts. However, they have very different use cases.
Handwriting fonts allow you to add a more playful, fun, and casual look to your typography designs. They help add a personality and a handcrafted look to your designs as well.
Oddly enough, the best type of font to pair with a handwriting font is another handwriting or script font, preferably with a different style.
For example, the popular Delius handwriting font pairs quite well with the Rochester font, which features a calligraphy-style handwritten letter design.
For more daring and bold design projects, you’ll find that a chunky brush font or an all-caps serif font is the ideal choice to combine with a handwriting font. Cursive and signature fonts are also good options for handwriting font pairs.
Best Condensed Font Pairings
The tall and narrow design of condensed fonts makes them the best choice for designing big and attention-grabbing titles. It’s especially the popular choice for crafting titles for posters, product labels, and social media posts.
Condensed fonts often have limitations. They usually only include all-caps letters, which makes them suitable for title designs only. But it also gives you the freedom to use various other types of fonts to pair with it. Everything from a simple sans-serif font to a brush script font will look great when combined with a condensed sans or serif font.
It’s also worth remembering that the most creative font combinations come from wild experiments. Like pairing a condensed all-caps font with a handwriting script font.
Best Expanded Font Pairings
Unlike most other types of fonts, expanded fonts can’t be used in most designs. Graphic designers only look for expanded fonts when dealing with specific projects, like designing a newspaper or magazine cover. Or sometimes a brand identity.
The uniqueness of the expanded font and its wide letters makes it difficult to pair expanded fonts with other fonts as well. However, you can create contrast between the text by choosing a font with an opposite style, like a monospaced sans font.
Some expanded fonts, however, are much easier to pair with others. This is a great example of a font duo that shows how it works.
Best Monospaced Font Pairings
Technical documents, manuals, and other official forms of designs will almost always use a monospaced font. These fonts give a very balanced and clear-cut look to typography that you normally can’t achieve with other styles of fonts.
A great thing about monospaced fonts is that they come in various styles and they are much easier to pair together even with the same type of fonts. Like Space Mono and Oxygen Mono font combination.
Or, you can choose an entire monospaced font family that has different styles of typefaces. Needless to say, other styles of fonts pair well with monospaced fonts too.
Best Brush Font Pairings
Brush fonts have a way of creating fearless, adventurous, and bold looks for your typography designs. They make posters, flyers, and banners look extra attractive as well.
Creative script and cursive fonts are the best choice for pairing with a brush font. Together, they will create a distinctive look for your more daring title designs.
The choice will often depend on the style of brush font you’re using. Especially when you want to create a strong contrast between the headings and subheadings, a clean sans serif font will also do the job.
Best Signature Font Pairings
Signature fonts are known for their stylish letter designs with swirly handwritten strokes and swashes. You’ll see them often in personal branding designs, business cards, and specific types of packaging designs.
Due to their formal look, signature fonts look better when combined with a serif font, especially oblique fonts, like the Sacramento signature font and the Lora serif font from Google Fonts.
The elegance of this font combination is also suitable for various other designs such as wedding invitations and advertising materials.
Best Decorative Font Pairings
Decorative fonts come in various styles and often with their own unique designs. This makes it difficult to find the right combination font and the designer is usually responsible for making the perfect pick.
For example, Limelight is a decorative font from Google Fonts that features an Art Deco-inspired letter design. It pairs well with sans-serif fonts as long as it also has a similar design style.
When pairing decorative fonts, be careful not to create too much contrast. Otherwise, you will risk breaking the theme of the design.
As difficult as they may be to work with, decorative fonts come in handy when working with branding designs, logo designs, and crafting unique titles for websites and posters.
As you explore and experiment with these font pairings, keep in mind that these are merely suggestions. Use your imagination and creativity to find unique font combinations for your own designs. You can explore our many font collections for inspiration as well.