Choosing the Right Fonts to Form Great Combinations

There are times where designers will need to pick and use several fonts that complement with each other. This is definitely one of the most challenging task since there are no specific rules or font combinations chart for us to follow. Robin Williams classified 3 main types of font combinations, Concord, Contrast and Conflict.


It is referring to the use of fonts from only one family. The example below uses variations of Helvetica to emphasize the differences between the heading and body texts. There is less fun in creating such designs but is also the safest approach to maintain an elegant and consistent look.


It is about selecting fonts from different families, such as using a Sans Serif along with a Serif font or Oldstyle with Modern font. This is an interesting job where you can mix and match the various selections to form what you think is good and pleasing to the eyes. Below is an example of mix between Helvetica and Garamond.


This is opposite of Contrast where the selection of fonts come from two similar families. The fonts have too many similarities that combining them will look more like an error, especially when placed in a single line. The example below shows the combination of Times New Roman and Garamond.

There are a lot more type families for us to play around with our combinations of course. Douglas Bonneville has suggested 19 best combinations made with the most popular fonts below.

Source: 19 Top Fonts in 19 Top Combinations

So what makes a good font combination? As mentioned right at the beginning of the article, there are no specific rules on matching the fonts. If a typography work has the ability to lead a reader’s eye with use of contrast and controlling the order on how the information is to be read, that is a fantastic mixture.

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16 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Trucos Guerras Tribales says:

    Great Blog!

  2. Good morning, I’m writing like your post and I have some questions to you. Where did you find informations for your blog post? In dailypapers, maybe in journal or lexicon, or just randomly on the Net? Please reply :).

  3. rosyid says:

    i love uuu!!!! i am not in design major, but this is really helpfull!!

  4. budiman says:

    thanks for this cool tips.

  5. I wanted to let everyone on this post know that the PDF book version of the research is out now:

    The Big Book of Font Combinations

  6. Someone I work with visits your blog quite often and recommended it to me to read too. The writing style is great and the content is relevant. Thanks for the insight you provide the readers!

  7. directadmin says:

    thanks for the tips.

  8. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

  9. jeprie says:

    Thanks. This is an awesome, i’ve been looking for this. I’m really suck with typography. If you have time, I hope you can also wrote about what makes a succesfull typograhy art.


  10. Beth McLain says:

    This article is spot on. Thanks for this info.

  11. FAQPAL says:

    I am constantly playing with the fonts on my site, too many to choose from.

  12. Blaz says:

    Useful article! Thanks!

  13. Thanks for the reference Johnson!

    I developed a little app after I wrote the 19 Font
    Combinations article. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you might enjoy flicking a few font combinations around:

  14. Nice article bro. I like it. Will really help me with new site’s design. Thanks much.

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