My Top 5 Font Combos of the Moment
This week, I’m gonna get typographical with you. I’m calling out my top 5 font combos of the moment.
I say of the moment because I believe that your taste in fonts, like fashion, should change every few years to stay in touch with the rest of the design community and keeping it pushing forward is important. It is what gives each “moment” in history a feeling, a stamp in time. That being said, I also feel that just because something is a trend doesn’t make it good. I mean, remember perms and shoulder pads on women? On the other hand, there will always be the classic fonts, the tried and true ones. There are the “Helveticas” and even the “Futuras”. There are also times when pushing the envelope outside the trends and norm is important. Essentially, it’s all about knowing what is appropriate when and where.
During the last couple of years I’ve seen an explosion in the use of slab serifed fonts. Now, while I do love this style of font (heck, we use one here on Aesthetic Crit, although we are working through a redesign here soon), I do feel it’s somewhat over used and maybe in some ways used inappropriately for a slab serif’s tone. It is in almost every food brand and even banks (Wells Fargo) have gotten into the trend. Anyhow, I tried to stay away from a lot of slab serifed font combos in this post because right now I feel it’s important that we, as designers, keep slab serifs in our arsenal but start to pull out some other weapons as well.
For this moment in history, and in the little corner of my little world, I present to you font combos that I personally believe are great for May 2013.
1. Montserrat & Open Sans (book)
Monsterrat! I am koo-koo for coco puffs for this font lately. I have yet to use it in a professional design, but I am on the verge of changing my entire life to Montserrat. It has the whimsy of a slab serif without the extra fat. It’s friendly while still being buttoned up and put together. It makes an excellent header font.
A nice short and round counterpart is Open Sans. I’d only use it in the lighter weights, though, when pairing with Montserrat. Since Montserrat is on the heavier side, it’s a nice relief to have a light-on-the-eyes font to read in body copy.
2. Bree and Georgia
Typekit states that Bree Web is influenced by handwriting and that it gives the text a spirited and lively appearance. I have to agree that it certainly is lively and has an amazing upbeat quality to it. So, what do I like with such a powerful personality as Bree? I actually really love Georgia. Thats right, it’s not a fancy web font, but it works in this instance. In fact, Georgia is a fantastically easy to read classic serifed font, so why not use it when you can. I did a project with this combo if you wanna (shameless plug) check it out.
3. Futura & Futura
A double scoop of the future! Ah, yes! A double whammy of Futura can be good for you (and your project). Why Futura? It’s not exactly a new comer. I am claiming it to be a classic. A “Mod” classic. It’s easy to read, even in all caps, not aggressive and versatile. I mostly love it because it alludes to modern style. I have two examples, one I crafted so I naturally am biased, and the other is from United Pixelworkers, which is a site I personally enjoy.
According to MyFonts.com, Futura is based on geometric shapes. In 1927, stimulated by the Bauhaus experiments in geometric form and the Ludwig & Mayer typeface Erbar, Paul Renner sketched a set of Bauhaus forms. Working from these sketches, the professional letter design office at Bauer reinvented the sans serif based on strokes of even weight, perfect circles and isosceles triangles and brought the Universal Alphabet and Erbar to their definitive typographic form. Futura became the most popular sans serif font of the middle years of the 20th century.
4. Varela Rounded & Lato
Varela Rounded is clean and inviting. Rounded fonts are hard to use properly, so it’s best to use a light touch. Varela has that lightness in a rounded font. The unrounded version of Varela is also nice and a good one to keep in mind as it reads well when small, which is a bonus for places where you need to fit in small type (e.g., on mobile devices). I would use Varela rounded as a header with a font such as Lato to go with it. It’s a rather sleek and “sporty” feeling combo to me.
5. Omnes & Din (light)
Omnes Pro is a curious font in that it gets more sausage-like as its weight increases. It has a fantastic lower case letter ‘g’. Sometimes I can be swayed by just one letter in a font. I guess I’m easy like that. Pair the Omnes bold with a classic font like Din light and you get a unique-looking combo. One that is friendly and familiar, but strong at the same time.
What font combinations have you taken a fancy to lately? Share them in the comments.
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