Each time I work on a new design project, or try to update an old one, finding fonts can be time consuming. Pairings, in particular, can suck up a lot of time. That’s why a lot of designers revert to their tried-and-true favorites.
If you’re looking for ways to freshen up your font choices, check out the websites below.
Find the Best Free Fonts
When I’m looking for free fonts, I want a reputable website that allows you to easily search and pair. Each of the websites below is both safe and easy to use.
Google fonts is a great universal source for over 17 trillion free fonts. You can search by both category (ex. serif, sans serif, handwriting) and font properties (ex. thickness, slant) as well as typing in the font name. A unique part of the tool is that it lists suggested font pairings on each font page, just below the main content.
If you find yourself using Google Fonts, you’ll appreciate the tips from 100 Best Google Fonts for Your WordPress Site (And How to Use Them). The article includes tips to help you select the best Google Fonts for your website.
DaFont, despite its sketchy name, is another safe source for free downloadable fonts. Many of them are free designs that look similar to popular fonts. You can browse by style or type in the name of the font. Personally, I usually sort by popularity which yeilds the most usable options.
As the tagline says, “It’s legit!” They do a pretty good job of maintaining the featured fonts on the homepage. These are often based on current design trends and offer great, open-source substitutes for pricier fonts. They also have some great tools like the “Font Identifier” where you can upload an image and it will suggest similar fonts.
Easy Font Combinations
If you’re looking for font combinations that go well together, try the following ideas.
Museo Sans with Squada One Regular
For clean, minimalist designs, this combination offers a slight twist. The weights are swapped with the subhead being stronger. This can really catch the reader’s eye if you leave enough white space around the design.
Roboto Slab with Futura Medium
Starting with a serif font always ads history to a design. We associate those little tails with the early days of printing. When you combine it with the pointed Futura font, the results are an intriguing visual tension.
Source Sans Variable with Autumn in November
If you like handwritten caligraphy then, you’ll love Autumn in November. It’s exactly what you picture for loopy handwriting. Paired with the thin Source Sans font, the result is a little less precious.
Download Source Sans Variable
Download Autumn in November
BluePrint Bold with Arial Black
Handwriting fonts can be tricky but Blueprint has a likable edge to it. It’s still very readable. Putting it with Arial Black makes it a good fit for industrial or manufacturing messages that want to break away from a dull corporate feel.
Just Another Hand with Lato Regular
Lato is a safe, balanced font to pair with script and handwriting fonts because it’s so readable. When you group it with Just Another Hand, the result is kind of cheeky.
Gotham Black with Sacramento Regular
Gotham Black remains a solid choice for a thick font. It’s easy to read even on distracting backgrounds. Paired with Sacramento, the combination takes on a quirky, boutique feel.
American Typewriter with Roboto Thin
I have a little bit of a love affair with American Typewriter. It’s a better version of “Courier.” Grouped with Roboto Thin, it’s a little less campy.
Galano Grotesque Bold with Thirsty Script
If you like that nifty-fifties diner feel, Thirsty Script with Galano Groteque brings neon-sign nostalgia into the present. It’s fun without being too wonky.
Phosphate Inline with Gil Sans Regular
Usually, I stay away from super stylized fonts. But, Phosphate is my current exception to the rule. It’s very intense and pops when you use it in small quantities. When I put it with a delicate sans serif font, like Gil Sans, it becomes elegant.
Milkshake Regular with Montserrat Black
Montserrat Black is quickly becoming my go-to block font for its versatility. It’s a sans serif with curves that work well with scripts and serifs alike. Putting it with Milkshake makes a quirky combination that draws the eye quickly.
Also, you can check out 11 Great Font Combinations Using Free Fonts to get more inspiration.
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Pairing fonts isn’t all that tricky — you just need to focus on contrast and balance. For example, a script can look great with a serif or sans-serif font, as long as they are proportional in weight. However, taking the time to mix and match fonts can slow down a design project. That’s why I’ve put together a list of some easy font combinations that use free fonts. Read More…