Picking the right font for your design

DATE:April 16, 2015

“Fonts are the sound of a message.”
– Studio Hausherr in AIGA interview

Beautiful quote, right? For designers, it can be a little overwhelming, too. There are millions and millions of fonts out there, how are you supposed to pick just one or two to be the “sound of your message” or the personality of your brand?

Picking the right font for your design

While there is no science to picking the perfect font, we have a few tips to help make your job easier:

Remember function

Think about where the font is going to be used. Is it for a print ad? A social media graphic? A billboard? All of these could require a different font. For example, a thin font may look good on a billboard, but in a brochure it could be too thin to read.

Know what you want to convey

Know and understand the type classifications. A lot of research has been done to categorize font types by how they look and what message they convey to readers. For example, Old Style fonts, like Garamond or Palatino, give your design a classic, traditional feeling, which can be good or bad depending on what message you want to send.

Pair fonts correctly

If you are using multiple fonts, make sure they go well together – we have all seen at least one design that looks like someone just threw up fonts all over the page. Allee Creative has a simple infographic to help get you started on pairing fonts.

Remember the law

Do your research on any font you download and make sure you have the right to use it for commercial use. Some designers only let you use their fonts for personal use or charge extra for commercial use.

Ignore tumblr

tumblr’s best known for its collection of quotes designed with a wide variety of fonts. While this may be fun on this social channel, most brands don’t want you to design like that. They are looking for something more legible and mature than a mess of fonts. So the lesson here is, limit the number of fonts you use.

Practice makes perfect. Like we shared in our post about becoming a better designer, sometimes you need to design just to design. Forget about work or perfection and just play with the tools and fonts. That is the best way to learn how to find the right font.

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