One of the most important tools our designers have at their disposal is a font library. Typography is a vitally important aspect of design and most designers will develop a number of go-to font pairings that they can count on when pressed for time. Most graphic designers have a collection of thousands of typefaces that they mix and match to their heart’s content.
My personal font library includes nearly 13,000 different fonts within over 1,200 different type families. I’m constantly scouring the Lost Type Co-Op and Typewolf to discover new typefaces and new ways to combine the fonts I’ve already grabbed. I can describe from memory every classification of type out there and have spent hours agonizing over which pairings will work best for specific projects. And it’s an emotional process; I’ve been thrilled to discover that the latest typeface I’ve fallen for is affordable, and bitter when I’ve had to forsake my preference because clients aren’t willing to pay licensing fees for particular type families.
Font licensing can be a particularly tricky subject since many people do not realize that most typefaces are copy written materials that you have to purchase in order to use. Before Google Fonts launched in 2010, designers had to go through the lengthy and often expensive process of sourcing and purchasing typefaces from various type foundries. Adding to this challenge was the fact that most of these typefaces were not optimized for online use. Google Fonts changed the game in making a variety of web fonts freely available through open source licensing.
Here at Maga Design, we’re big fans of Google Fonts. Today, we thought we’d share five of our favorite combinations that feature these typefaces!
Up first are Sans Pro and Source Sans Pro. Sans Pro’s highly contrasting stroke weights and lively accents add a bit of fun to the modern and serious nature of Source Sans Pro.
Secondly, we have Muli and Domine. Muli is a unique sans serif that manages to be loud and powerful without venturing into the overbearing or austere realms that other popular sans serifs tend to occupy. It pairs nicely with Domine’s professional, yet approachable, style for a combination that will instantly grab the reader’s attention.
In third place is Open Sans and Fanwood Text. Open Sans is known for being a universal font – it pairs well with pretty much any typeface out there. However, because of this it can often come across as monotonous and repetitive. However, when used as a display type and paired with a font as light and airy as Fanwood Text, the result is a unique balance between feminine and masculine.
Next is Oswald and Quattrocento. Oswald is a unique display type in that it’s much more condensed than the majority of sans serifs. This, in addition to its angular nature, makes it a natural pairing for the equally angular Quattrocento. When paired together, these typefaces create an aesthetic that’s at once authoritative and approachable.
Lastly we have Roboto and Crimson Text. Roboto is a great sans serif alternative to typefaces like Helvetica and Gotham. Paired with a traditional oldstyle typeface like Crimson Text, the result is a classic and well-balanced combination.