Finding different fonts or typefaces that work well in conjunction can be a tricky and daunting task, especially for those who have little to no experience in typography and design.
Before searching for fonts that work well together, understand that all fonts convey a distinct mood and have their own personalities. A rounded, sans-serif font will project a less serious, more fun mood. An elaborate serif font might evoke a more premium and traditional feeling.
When choosing fonts, make sure the feeling of the fonts lines up with the purpose of your project. A general guideline to follow when choosing font pairings is to create obvious visual contrast.
Fonts with strong personality and character tend to go well with fonts that are more neutral.
For example, pairing a bold, artistic, hand-drawn-style font with a neutral and legible sans-serif font such as Helvetica will usually work well. Try to avoid using two fonts that are different but similar in some noticeable way. Mixing serif fonts and sans-serif fonts tends to work well, especially at different weights and sizes.
However, using fonts from the same family can also work well. Font families that have a large number of differing weights and sizes (condensed, extended, etc.) offer a lot of options of mixing different fonts that all work together in harmony. This is where creating contrast is even more important.
Striking a good balance between your two fonts through visual hierarchy is another important task.
For typographic layouts, try to use the font with the stronger personality sparingly. Use the stronger font in your headlines, and keep the neutral, legible font in longer pieces of copy, such as your main body of copy. Make sure your headlines are much larger than your body copy, in order to make the distinction between those two pieces of information.
At the end of the day, there is no science to choosing fonts that work together. Becoming proficient at choosing different font pairings takes practice and a good eye.
Sometimes, pairings work even if they don’t follow the conventional guidelines that are out there. It’s best to trust your gut and make sure your typography flows well and, most importantly, is easily legible in all formats.