• Examples, Good & Bad

  • Let's look at some type families to see how they pair up, or don't.

A Good Match

In this first case, I was given Mrs Eaves as the typeface for body text. It’s a challenging face to work with, since it has a tiny x-height. This requires that we choose a weight for Franklin that doesn’t over-power Mrs Eaves.

Font pairing practice good match

I’d characterize this pairing as a bold or a strong one. Franklin is a powerful typeface. Mrs Eaves is delicate. As you can see at the bottom-right, Franklin Gothic Heavy is just that — too heavy. So what we can learn here is that font pairing is not only about choosing a second face that doesn’t clash. It’s also about creating an effect. In this case, the pairing works, but there’s a clear contrast in effect.

A Poor Match

Again, I was given Mrs Eaves for body text. ITC’s Avant Garde is a poor match.

Font pairing practice poor match

This is why:

  • Their general appearance just clashes.
  • Avant Garde is a geometric sans. Mrs Eaves has a calligraphic style. The sans could be termed computer-generated, while the serif is reminiscent of a pen work.
  • Avant Garde has a single storey g and a. Mrs Eaves has two storey g and a.
  • Avant Garde has a huge x-height. Eaves has a tiny x-height.

That is all. Got it?