Typography Graphic Design

What is typography in graphic design?

The importance of typography in graphic design is undeniable. It is its main communicating element and its relevance is as fundamental as the images, colors, layout and all the visual identity of a brand. In publications of newspapers, magazines and other vehicles of written content, the privilege is granted to words. In this case, the images work only as a complement.

The technique of typography reigned over four centuries as the principal means of printing in the hands of printers, ever since the press revolution by Gutenberg in the fifteenth century. From the development of computer graphics, your domain has become popular and is available to anyone who wants to compose a text and choose their preferred font.

The meaning of typography

In dictionary definition, “typography is the art of printing types” – fonts or letters. The term also refers to the formation of its design and unfolding in whole families, which include variations of height, thickness and width, in addition to the bold, italic and underlined versions. Today, there is an untold variety of types available to designers and the general public. In addition, you can create fonts for specific projects, modify or refine existing ones. Fonts are also classified into some basic groups, such as serif, sans serif, cursive, fantasy, and display. These groups, as well as several others, have sub classifications, offering a wide variety of styles.

Choosing the right source

A well-done graphic work requires choosing the right source for the concept of the project to be developed. Each type has essential characteristics for certain works, whether written only or accompanied by illustrations. Therefore, it is necessary to comply with certain criteria. The sources have the format of what they intend to communicate: they carry peculiar expressions and are characterized by the sensation they convey. However, the pursuit of the ideal style for each project is very subjective. Likewise, the interpretation of the message embedded in the type also depends on cultural, psychological, social factors and many others belonging to each person. Therefore, the understanding of its meaning is also subject to the receiver of the idea. It is necessary to consider the content of the text, the content of the message and its relation with all the graphic elements involved in the project and the audience that it is intended to achieve.

In the editing of a book, for example, a classic-style fountain passes the notion of an old book; a more modern type can be applied on magazine covers. More bold text or ads usually have display fonts, with the same characteristics of the concept chosen. In this sense, the variety of interpretations that can be attributed to a simple set of “letters” in the composition of a text is perceptible. Often sources fulfill their role of communicating a written idea and, at the same time, forms related to the concept used in the text.

As has been demonstrated, typography is of great importance in the elaboration of graphic works. It facilitates the apprehension of reading and the understanding of symbols and messages. The use of typography and graphic design made with competence can even immortalize some brands and ideas.

No graphic design without typography

Let’s think of a beautiful website, great layout, color palette totally harmonious and synchronized, but almost no typography, at most the use of a verdana not to lose the custom. There is no doubt that this site runs the risk of being a good graphic work in vain. I say good, because it is not complete. One element of weight is missing. Typography and graphic design must coexist, always. Typography is directly related to the visual characteristic of a graphic project. Speaking in web, specifically, the suitability of the study of typography to the design of the project becomes complementary, exactly for this reason. Every beautiful design always starts with a nice set of typefaces.

The approach cited by it is linked to the collaboration of typefaces in design. The study of typefaces is directly related to the typographic and visual characteristic of a project. So the trick is not to get caught up in the basics. We must delve into the language that typefaces present, tailoring each language to each visual characteristic that we need to create. Thus, typography goes beyond the choice of typefaces. Typography is a study of how to present textual data and, moreover, how to transform texts into UI.

Some characteristics of the typography study:

  • The language of typefaces;
  • Alignment of text elements, as well as their definition of margins;
  • Spacing between characters and lines;
  • The definition of different text sizes for each area to compose in the design;
  • Contrast care between text and background.

Typography as the basis of web design

Oliver Reichenstein was categorical: Web Design is 95% typography!

Web design, really, is largely composed only of text. This is when we think of text not as content but as UI, hence the importance of defining quality typography.

A text readable and accessible, but with the characteristic look of the device that is used, is worth more than a typographically poorly formatted text to merely display a trophy of exactly the same site in any browser.

What makes a combination of two fonts more or less effective?

Combining two fonts with each other is not a science; there are no mathematical formulas. It is all a matter of finding harmonious relationships between the forms of the two typefaces.

One of the most important aspects is that two fonts, to work well, must be contrasting but capable of transmitting the same message. Oh yes, because like shapes and colors, even the characters transmit messages, have a mood, have a personality. Here is a summary of some important things you need to know before continuing:

  • It is always good to use at most 2 fonts at a time in a project, never more
  • Two fonts, to feel good together, must have a good contrast but not be in conflict
  • Fonts too similar to each other create confusion, avoid!
  • Fonts that are too different from each other can still have a negative effect
  • Usually the best matches are those between a serif (with thanks) and a sans serif (sticks or without thanks)

What are the best font combinations in typography and graphic design?

We’ll find out with some of the most “classic” (and effective) combinations of graphics and their possible (free) alternatives. It is important to create a visual hierarchy between the fonts that are chosen. Generally, in fact, when choosing two fonts to be flanked, one chooses one for the titles and one for the longer texts. The combinations that I will show you are in fact all to be understood in this way: one character will be used in the titles and another in the texts.

Helvetica with Garamond

One of the most classic combinations between two of the most widely used fonts, not just by designers, Helvetica, designed in 1957 by Eduard Hoffmann, is the representative of what was called Swiss design, the modernist period of graphic design. It is a neo-grotesque character, simple, one of the most versatile in absolute. Loved by most of the designers, snubbed or hated by those who prefer other characters like the Frutiger or the Univers. Garamond is, probably, one of the fonts that we see more often, even without even realizing it. Most books printed in Italy, for example, use Garamond. In fact, it is one of the most readable serif fonts. Helvetica and Garamond, therefore, because of their synthetic and, all in all, neutral, together are perfect, in particular, the coupled Helvetica Bold (perhaps uppercase) for titles and Garamond for texts. An alternative to Helvetica + Garamond could be using Google’s Arial or Arimo in the titles and the Google fonts version of Garamond, the EB Garamond.

Georgia with Verdana

This is another classic also suitable for those who do not have great knowledge of typography and graphic design. Both Georgia and Verdana are those classic fonts that are identified, a bit like Times New Roman and Calibri, as “those that are on the computer”. They are among the most known and commonly used fonts, and were both designed by the great type designer Matthew Carter for Microsoft between 1993 and 1996. Georgia and Verdana is perhaps the most commonly used font combination in websites. In fact, together they are absolutely perfect. Together they can be combined in many ways and both can be used both as a title and as text, depending on what the design needs are. Although, perhaps, Verdana is more appropriate in the titles and Georgia in the texts.

Franklin Gothic with Baskerville

I think it is extremely difficult to find a more elegant and fine font combination than that between Franklin Gothic and Baskerville. Franklin Gothic is a character designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1903 and the name “Gothic” stands for the way in which the sans-serif fonts were called at that time in English-speaking countries (while in Europe Grotesk was preferred in Germany, sans -serif in France and sticks in Italy). Baskerville is even older, it was designed by engraver John Baskerville around 1750. Both characters have an incredible elegance. And between them they “connect” almost perfectly. The elegance of one does not damage the elegance of the other, add up. My advice is to exploit the visual power of the bold version of Franklin Gothic for the titles and the high readability of the Baskerville for the texts. There is a free version, among Google Fonts, of Baskerville: Libre Baskerville. Just as there is one for Franklin Gothic: Libre Franklin.

Frutiger with Minion Pro

It is such a rare combination to be found in the works of designers, still it is one of the best. The Frutiger was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1968 for the interior signage of Charles De Gaulle airport. It is a very special character but, in my opinion, wonderful. According to Frutiger himself, he combines the rationality and cleanliness of the Universe (always designed by him), with the organic and proportional aspect of the Gill Sans. All designed to be easily readable even at great distances. If I had to choose a font to make directional signs, I would choose the Frutiger. If I had to choose one for the footballers’ lettering on the shirts, I would choose the Frutiger (as happens in the Premier League) combined with the Minion Pro (designed by Robert Slimbach for Adobe in 1990), they create an extremely functional and optically correct effect. The Minion Pro is an extremely versatile, elegant and perfectly legible font, even in small dimensions. It is perfect for long texts. My advice is to use the Bold version of the Frutiger for titles (also all uppercase) and the Minion Pro for texts. They are two very special and very high quality fonts: finding free alternatives at the height is impossible. But if you really want, instead of the Frutiger you can use one of Google Font grotesque inspiration like the Open Sans and perhaps the Roboto. Instead of the Minion Pro, I recommend Cardo instead.

Futura with Bodoni

Futura and Bodoni are two extremely geometrical, ordered fonts that stand out from the crowd. Together they can form some extraordinary couplings. In particular if the Futura is used in the Bold version for titles and the Bodoni for texts. They come from two completely different historical periods (the Futura is designed by Paul Renner in 1928 while the Bodoni by Giovanni Battista Bodoni in 1798) but both have things in common. What most unites them is the extreme care in the search for geometric perfection. Together they really form a deadly duo. Some versions of the Bodoni are pre-installed on both Microsoft and Apple while the Futura is already installed only on Apple. The Bodoni is also included in the Monotype Library collection along with another 2200 Monotype fonts.

Alternatives to Futura and Bodoni, being two extremely famous fonts and taken as a reference point by hundreds of type designers, there are many. Starting from high-level fonts like the Avenir (instead of the Futura) and the Didot (instead of the Bodoni). But there are also many free alternatives. Like the Renner or the Poppins as an alternative to the Futura and the Libre Bodoni for, of course, the Bodoni.

Minion Pro with Myriad

About Minion I have already spoken a few paragraphs before. Together with the Myriad, also designed by Robert Slimbach between 1990 and 1992, they form the spearhead of Adobe fonts. In fact, those fonts are already predefined every time you use the text tool in programs such as Illustrator and InDesign.

And it’s not a case. Together they are in fact extremely coherent, have the same visual dynamics, the same rhythm, similar dimensions and, at the same time, still offer a good visual contrast. They are interchangeable in use for titles and text. But my favorite interaction between the two is Minion Pro Bold for titles and Myriad for text. They are both fonts that can be used simply by having an Adobe Creative Cloud program. But there are alternatives: for the Minion, as already mentioned, the Cardo, while for the Myriad you can use the Open Sans.

Caslon with Univers

Caslon and Univers are two other fonts whose story speaks for itself. This pair is quite rare to find but in my opinion very successful. The Caslon is not really a single type of character, due to the fact that when it was designed (in the first decades of the 18th century) numerous variants were made by the typographer William Caslon I. In the following centuries (and especially in the digital age) , then some variations were made from all the various foundries and large companies such as Adobe, Linotype and Apple. However, it is a character that has made the history of typography due to its undoubted quality. Univers is instead the most famous font designed by Adrian Frutiger and the “competitor” number 1 of Helvetica. Helvetica and Univers were designed in the same year, 1957, both influenced by modernist pressures. Helvetica has won the promotional and marketing challenge, thanks to its inclusion among Mac’s pre-defined fonts from the ’80s onwards. But in my opinion the Univers has a versatility that Helvetica can only dream of. It became famous and was then included in the history books of typography and graphic design because of the number of weights contained in the Univers family: 14 Roman weights and 14 Italian weights. Now many fonts have this variety, but for the time it was a revolution. Possible free alternatives can be FreeUniversal for the Univers and Libre Caslon.

Clarendon with Trade Gothic

If some combinations I talked to you before are quite rare to find in other projects, this is even more so. Both Clarendon and Trade Gothic, are two very particular fonts, suitable to be used only in particular circumstances when they have certain communication needs. The Clarendon, designed in 1845 for Thorowgood & Co., is a slab serif character, with thick and perpendicular graces. It is among the best known representatives of the so-called “Egyptian” fonts of the Victorian era in the United Kingdom. And, as you can see, it is a character that stands out. It is indeed perfect to be used as a title. It works very well when it is paired with ordered and natural fonts such as the Trade Gothic (designed by Jackson Burke in 1948). As an alternative (free) to Clarendon I recommend Domine or Canadian, while the Archivo Narrow is an alternative to Trade Gothic.

Gill Sans with Garamond

If you want to create an elegant yet tranquil and neutral project, then Gill Sans and Garamond are your perfect solution. The Gill Sans is probably in my top 10 favorite fonts of all time. Designed in 1926 by Eric Gill, he immediately entered the history of typography due to its quality and natural shapes. With the Garamond it shares a lot: many glyphs seem similar (G and a, for example) and in general the forms interact perfectly. A project with a title in Gill Sans Bold and the text the Garamond will always look good and will adapt to many different contexts. The Gill Sans, however, is among the default fonts of most operating systems. As an alternative to Gill Sans you can use the Cabin, while as an alternative to Garamond, as already mentioned a few paragraphs above, the EB Garamond.

Avenir with Minion Pro

L’Avenir is a typeface designed in 1988 by … Adrian Frutiger! Yeah, him again. There will be a reason why it is one of the greatest type designers of the 20th century, is not it?

It is a character that owes much to the whole tradition of geometric fonts, starting from the Futura, but which, at the same time, also contains something natural that make it very special and interesting.

Compared to the Futura, for example, it has vertical rods slightly thicker than the horizontal ones and ascending and descending shorter. Features that make it suitable for both titles (displays) and long texts.

In particular, it combines perfectly with an old-style like the Minion Pro, of which I have already praised. An alternative to the Aviation can surely be the Muli or even the Trueno. Alternatively to the Minion, instead, as mentioned, it can be the Cardo.

Use fonts from the same font family in typography and graphic design

Using different font combinations can often guarantee the best result. Two fonts, when chosen well, combine to create a “combo” effect and transmit certain emotions or messages even more effectively. But there are also many other fonts that, thanks to their versatility, can be used both as a title and as text. They are those fonts that are part of what are called “font families”, ie typefaces with many different weights coherently designed with each other. We see the best, or at least those that guarantee greater versatility in terms of use both for the title and for the text. Choosing a font and combining it with others is certainly a fundamental part of the creative process. Knowing the fonts, how they work, what their story certainly helps to make you a true graphic design expert.

What is typography in graphic design?

The importance of typography in graphic design is undeniable. It is its main communicating element and its relevance is as fundamental as the images, colors, layout and all the visual identity of a brand. In publications of newspapers, magazines and other vehicles of written content, the privilege is granted to words. In this case, the images work only as a complement.

The technique of typography reigned over four centuries as the principal means of printing in the hands of printers, ever since the press revolution by Gutenberg in the fifteenth century. From the development of computer graphics, your domain has become popular and is available to anyone who wants to compose a text and choose their preferred font.

The meaning of typography

In dictionary definition, “typography is the art of printing types” – fonts or letters. The term also refers to the formation of its design and unfolding in whole families, which include variations of height, thickness and width, in addition to the bold, italic and underlined versions. Today, there is an untold variety of types available to designers and the general public. In addition, you can create fonts for specific projects, modify or refine existing ones. Fonts are also classified into some basic groups, such as serif, sans serif, cursive, fantasy, and display. These groups, as well as several others, have sub classifications, offering a wide variety of styles.

Choosing the right source

A well-done graphic work requires choosing the right source for the concept of the project to be developed. Each type has essential characteristics for certain works, whether written only or accompanied by illustrations. Therefore, it is necessary to comply with certain criteria. The sources have the format of what they intend to communicate: they carry peculiar expressions and are characterized by the sensation they convey. However, the pursuit of the ideal style for each project is very subjective. Likewise, the interpretation of the message embedded in the type also depends on cultural, psychological, social factors and many others belonging to each person. Therefore, the understanding of its meaning is also subject to the receiver of the idea. It is necessary to consider the content of the text, the content of the message and its relation with all the graphic elements involved in the project and the audience that it is intended to achieve.

In the editing of a book, for example, a classic-style fountain passes the notion of an old book; a more modern type can be applied on magazine covers. More bold text or ads usually have display fonts, with the same characteristics of the concept chosen. In this sense, the variety of interpretations that can be attributed to a simple set of “letters” in the composition of a text is perceptible. Often sources fulfill their role of communicating a written idea and, at the same time, forms related to the concept used in the text.

As has been demonstrated, typography is of great importance in the elaboration of graphic works. It facilitates the apprehension of reading and the understanding of symbols and messages. The use of typography and graphic design made with competence can even immortalize some brands and ideas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_RzDqgGcao

No graphic design without typography

Let’s think of a beautiful website, great layout, color palette totally harmonious and synchronized, but almost no typography, at most the use of a verdana not to lose the custom. There is no doubt that this site runs the risk of being a good graphic work in vain. I say good, because it is not complete. One element of weight is missing. Typography and graphic design must coexist, always. Typography is directly related to the visual characteristic of a graphic project. Speaking in web, specifically, the suitability of the study of typography to the design of the project becomes complementary, exactly for this reason. Every beautiful design always starts with a nice set of typefaces.

The approach cited by it is linked to the collaboration of typefaces in design. The study of typefaces is directly related to the typographic and visual characteristic of a project. So the trick is not to get caught up in the basics. We must delve into the language that typefaces present, tailoring each language to each visual characteristic that we need to create. Thus, typography goes beyond the choice of typefaces. Typography is a study of how to present textual data and, moreover, how to transform texts into UI.

Some characteristics of the typography study:

  • The language of typefaces;
  • Alignment of text elements, as well as their definition of margins;
  • Spacing between characters and lines;
  • The definition of different text sizes for each area to compose in the design;
  • Contrast care between text and background.

Typography as the basis of web design

Oliver Reichenstein was categorical: Web Design is 95% typography!

Web design, really, is largely composed only of text. This is when we think of text not as content but as UI, hence the importance of defining quality typography.

A text readable and accessible, but with the characteristic look of the device that is used, is worth more than a typographically poorly formatted text to merely display a trophy of exactly the same site in any browser.

What makes a combination of two fonts more or less effective?

Combining two fonts with each other is not a science; there are no mathematical formulas. It is all a matter of finding harmonious relationships between the forms of the two typefaces.

One of the most important aspects is that two fonts, to work well, must be contrasting but capable of transmitting the same message. Oh yes, because like shapes and colors, even the characters transmit messages, have a mood, have a personality. Here is a summary of some important things you need to know before continuing:

  • It is always good to use at most 2 fonts at a time in a project, never more
  • Two fonts, to feel good together, must have a good contrast but not be in conflict
  • Fonts too similar to each other create confusion, avoid!
  • Fonts that are too different from each other can still have a negative effect
  • Usually the best matches are those between a serif (with thanks) and a sans serif (sticks or without thanks)

What are the best font combinations in typography and graphic design?

We’ll find out with some of the most “classic” (and effective) combinations of graphics and their possible (free) alternatives. It is important to create a visual hierarchy between the fonts that are chosen. Generally, in fact, when choosing two fonts to be flanked, one chooses one for the titles and one for the longer texts. The combinations that I will show you are in fact all to be understood in this way: one character will be used in the titles and another in the texts.

Helvetica with Garamond

One of the most classic combinations between two of the most widely used fonts, not just by designers, Helvetica, designed in 1957 by Eduard Hoffmann, is the representative of what was called Swiss design, the modernist period of graphic design. It is a neo-grotesque character, simple, one of the most versatile in absolute. Loved by most of the designers, snubbed or hated by those who prefer other characters like the Frutiger or the Univers. Garamond is, probably, one of the fonts that we see more often, even without even realizing it. Most books printed in Italy, for example, use Garamond. In fact, it is one of the most readable serif fonts. Helvetica and Garamond, therefore, because of their synthetic and, all in all, neutral, together are perfect, in particular, the coupled Helvetica Bold (perhaps uppercase) for titles and Garamond for texts. An alternative to Helvetica + Garamond could be using Google’s Arial or Arimo in the titles and the Google fonts version of Garamond, the EB Garamond.

Georgia with Verdana

This is another classic also suitable for those who do not have great knowledge of typography and graphic design. Both Georgia and Verdana are those classic fonts that are identified, a bit like Times New Roman and Calibri, as “those that are on the computer”. They are among the most known and commonly used fonts, and were both designed by the great type designer Matthew Carter for Microsoft between 1993 and 1996. Georgia and Verdana is perhaps the most commonly used font combination in websites. In fact, together they are absolutely perfect. Together they can be combined in many ways and both can be used both as a title and as text, depending on what the design needs are. Although, perhaps, Verdana is more appropriate in the titles and Georgia in the texts.

Franklin Gothic with Baskerville

I think it is extremely difficult to find a more elegant and fine font combination than that between Franklin Gothic and Baskerville. Franklin Gothic is a character designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1903 and the name “Gothic” stands for the way in which the sans-serif fonts were called at that time in English-speaking countries (while in Europe Grotesk was preferred in Germany, sans -serif in France and sticks in Italy). Baskerville is even older, it was designed by engraver John Baskerville around 1750. Both characters have an incredible elegance. And between them they “connect” almost perfectly. The elegance of one does not damage the elegance of the other, add up. My advice is to exploit the visual power of the bold version of Franklin Gothic for the titles and the high readability of the Baskerville for the texts. There is a free version, among Google Fonts, of Baskerville: Libre Baskerville. Just as there is one for Franklin Gothic: Libre Franklin.

Frutiger with Minion Pro

It is such a rare combination to be found in the works of designers, still it is one of the best. The Frutiger was designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1968 for the interior signage of Charles De Gaulle airport. It is a very special character but, in my opinion, wonderful. According to Frutiger himself, he combines the rationality and cleanliness of the Universe (always designed by him), with the organic and proportional aspect of the Gill Sans. All designed to be easily readable even at great distances. If I had to choose a font to make directional signs, I would choose the Frutiger. If I had to choose one for the footballers’ lettering on the shirts, I would choose the Frutiger (as happens in the Premier League) combined with the Minion Pro (designed by Robert Slimbach for Adobe in 1990), they create an extremely functional and optically correct effect. The Minion Pro is an extremely versatile, elegant and perfectly legible font, even in small dimensions. It is perfect for long texts. My advice is to use the Bold version of the Frutiger for titles (also all uppercase) and the Minion Pro for texts. They are two very special and very high quality fonts: finding free alternatives at the height is impossible. But if you really want, instead of the Frutiger you can use one of Google Font grotesque inspiration like the Open Sans and perhaps the Roboto. Instead of the Minion Pro, I recommend Cardo instead.

Futura with Bodoni

Futura and Bodoni are two extremely geometrical, ordered fonts that stand out from the crowd. Together they can form some extraordinary couplings. In particular if the Futura is used in the Bold version for titles and the Bodoni for texts. They come from two completely different historical periods (the Futura is designed by Paul Renner in 1928 while the Bodoni by Giovanni Battista Bodoni in 1798) but both have things in common. What most unites them is the extreme care in the search for geometric perfection. Together they really form a deadly duo. Some versions of the Bodoni are pre-installed on both Microsoft and Apple while the Futura is already installed only on Apple. The Bodoni is also included in the Monotype Library collection along with another 2200 Monotype fonts.

Alternatives to Futura and Bodoni, being two extremely famous fonts and taken as a reference point by hundreds of type designers, there are many. Starting from high-level fonts like the Avenir (instead of the Futura) and the Didot (instead of the Bodoni). But there are also many free alternatives. Like the Renner or the Poppins as an alternative to the Futura and the Libre Bodoni for, of course, the Bodoni.

Minion Pro with Myriad

About Minion I have already spoken a few paragraphs before. Together with the Myriad, also designed by Robert Slimbach between 1990 and 1992, they form the spearhead of Adobe fonts. In fact, those fonts are already predefined every time you use the text tool in programs such as Illustrator and InDesign.

And it’s not a case. Together they are in fact extremely coherent, have the same visual dynamics, the same rhythm, similar dimensions and, at the same time, still offer a good visual contrast. They are interchangeable in use for titles and text. But my favorite interaction between the two is Minion Pro Bold for titles and Myriad for text. They are both fonts that can be used simply by having an Adobe Creative Cloud program. But there are alternatives: for the Minion, as already mentioned, the Cardo, while for the Myriad you can use the Open Sans.

Caslon with Univers

Caslon and Univers are two other fonts whose story speaks for itself. This pair is quite rare to find but in my opinion very successful. The Caslon is not really a single type of character, due to the fact that when it was designed (in the first decades of the 18th century) numerous variants were made by the typographer William Caslon I. In the following centuries (and especially in the digital age) , then some variations were made from all the various foundries and large companies such as Adobe, Linotype and Apple. However, it is a character that has made the history of typography due to its undoubted quality. Univers is instead the most famous font designed by Adrian Frutiger and the “competitor” number 1 of Helvetica. Helvetica and Univers were designed in the same year, 1957, both influenced by modernist pressures. Helvetica has won the promotional and marketing challenge, thanks to its inclusion among Mac’s pre-defined fonts from the ’80s onwards. But in my opinion the Univers has a versatility that Helvetica can only dream of. It became famous and was then included in the history books of typography and graphic design because of the number of weights contained in the Univers family: 14 Roman weights and 14 Italian weights. Now many fonts have this variety, but for the time it was a revolution. Possible free alternatives can be FreeUniversal for the Univers and Libre Caslon.

Clarendon with Trade Gothic

If some combinations I talked to you before are quite rare to find in other projects, this is even more so. Both Clarendon and Trade Gothic, are two very particular fonts, suitable to be used only in particular circumstances when they have certain communication needs. The Clarendon, designed in 1845 for Thorowgood & Co., is a slab serif character, with thick and perpendicular graces. It is among the best known representatives of the so-called “Egyptian” fonts of the Victorian era in the United Kingdom. And, as you can see, it is a character that stands out. It is indeed perfect to be used as a title. It works very well when it is paired with ordered and natural fonts such as the Trade Gothic (designed by Jackson Burke in 1948). As an alternative (free) to Clarendon I recommend Domine or Canadian, while the Archivo Narrow is an alternative to Trade Gothic.

Gill Sans with Garamond

If you want to create an elegant yet tranquil and neutral project, then Gill Sans and Garamond are your perfect solution. The Gill Sans is probably in my top 10 favorite fonts of all time. Designed in 1926 by Eric Gill, he immediately entered the history of typography due to its quality and natural shapes. With the Garamond it shares a lot: many glyphs seem similar (G and a, for example) and in general the forms interact perfectly. A project with a title in Gill Sans Bold and the text the Garamond will always look good and will adapt to many different contexts. The Gill Sans, however, is among the default fonts of most operating systems. As an alternative to Gill Sans you can use the Cabin, while as an alternative to Garamond, as already mentioned a few paragraphs above, the EB Garamond.

Avenir with Minion Pro

L’Avenir is a typeface designed in 1988 by … Adrian Frutiger! Yeah, him again. There will be a reason why it is one of the greatest type designers of the 20th century, is not it?

It is a character that owes much to the whole tradition of geometric fonts, starting from the Futura, but which, at the same time, also contains something natural that make it very special and interesting.

Compared to the Futura, for example, it has vertical rods slightly thicker than the horizontal ones and ascending and descending shorter. Features that make it suitable for both titles (displays) and long texts.

In particular, it combines perfectly with an old-style like the Minion Pro, of which I have already praised. An alternative to the Aviation can surely be the Muli or even the Trueno. Alternatively to the Minion, instead, as mentioned, it can be the Cardo.

Use fonts from the same font family in typography and graphic design

Using different font combinations can often guarantee the best result. Two fonts, when chosen well, combine to create a “combo” effect and transmit certain emotions or messages even more effectively. But there are also many other fonts that, thanks to their versatility, can be used both as a title and as text. They are those fonts that are part of what are called “font families”, ie typefaces with many different weights coherently designed with each other. We see the best, or at least those that guarantee greater versatility in terms of use both for the title and for the text. Choosing a font and combining it with others is certainly a fundamental part of the creative process. Knowing the fonts, how they work, what their story certainly helps to make you a true graphic design expert.

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