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A strong font pairing is like a good relationship. The fonts need to share some basic commonalities, while also preserving their sense of individuality. You’ll want to find two fonts that complement each other but also provide that push and pull of contrast.
Great font pairings start by understanding the different families of type (serif, slab, sans serif, script, and handwritten) well enough to combine them in a powerful way.
Combining two different fonts from the same family generally won’t provide any contrast and the design is likely to feel boring or weak. But different weights of the same font can be used in harmony—like a sans serif in a demi-bold paired with a light italic. A combination like this will have a subtler effect than one that utilizes two totally different fonts.
In any good font pairing, there should only be one font with a lot of “personality.” So, don’t go overboard. If your logo uses a beautiful handwriting font, stick to something classic and clean for your second one. Two wildly interesting fonts will feel disconnected and out of sync with one another.
Finally, pay attention to legibility. A classic serif or clean sans serif can both work for long paragraphs of text, while a heavy sans serif will be better suited for headlines.
These are the 10 most trending font pairings in 2020.
1. Bebas Neue + Source Sans
Bebas Neue is one of the strongest display faces on the market right now. It never looks bad, and it pairs easily with serifs and other sans serifs alike. We like it with the open and clear style of Source Sans.
2. Oswald + Raleway
Oswald and Raleway are far and away two of the Internet’s favorite workhorse sans-serifs. Raleway brings a tiny note of sophistication to the pairing, with many letters (like L and K) ending in elegant feet.
3. Open Sans + Open Sans
In the older days, Google Sans and Open Sans were like brothers. Google no longer allows the usage of Product Sans Font (Google Sans). But, luckily for us, Open Sans works just as great when alone.
Download Open Sans
4. Pacifico + Josefin Sans
These two fonts are well-known and well-loved. And with good reason. Pacifico brings the fun with its loopy script characters, while Josefin Sans plays a supportive role with light and clean lines.
5. Work Sans + Work Sans
Work Sans is an amazing font that works really well when paired with itself. The Regular weight and others in the middle of the family are optimised for on-screen text usage at medium-sizes and can also be used in print design. The fonts closer to the extreme weights are designed more for display use both on the web and in print.
Download Work Sans
6. Vidaloka + Roboto
While we want to stress legibility when you’re designing with user experience in mind, that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Vidaloka brings just a touch of playful vibes with its curled serifs. Pair it with a more staid body font like Roboto to balance the tone just right.
7. Allan + Lato
While Allan brings the personality and throwback spirit of hand-painted signs, Lato keeps things modern in this fresh pairing.
8. Quando + Judson
This is a good reminder that fonts don’t have to be polar opposites to combine well. Quando and Judson are both serifs with a good dose of character and feminine charm.
9. Brandon Grotesque + Anonymous Pro
Anonymous Pro is a wonderful programming inspired font and pairs perfectly with Brandon Grotesque’s clean geometric style.
10. Droid Sans Mono + Montserrat
This font was trending in 2019 and never left the stage. The trendy serif is balanced by a well-spaced Droid Sans Mono.
Like any aspect of design, font pairing is a little bit of art and a little bit of science. If you understand type families, hierarchy and which font is dominant in your design, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a pleasing font combination. But never be afraid to push the boat out and try something new. Two fonts you never expected to combine well might be just the thing to break your design wide open!
Now that you’ve seen how font pairings work to bring strength and depth to a composition, you can make sure the fonts in your next design are truly on point. Font Pairings also come under Graphic Design Basics.