Pocket Guide - Combining typefaces

Combining typefaces

By Tim Brown

Develop your skills and intuition when making typographical decisions - without wasting any time.

About this book

Combining typefaces is challenging and fun, but it takes practice. Successful combinations are partly a matter of good taste, which can be tough to develop. And finding typefaces that work well together often takes more time than we (or our managers, or our spouses!) think it should.

This pocket guide will give you a framework for efficient practice, lead you to founts of knowledge and help you judge the work you see, including your own work. It will encourage you to be selective, patient and reasonable, focusing on web contexts and your design goals.

Topics include

Some background on type and typography, covering designers, anatomy, families, classification and the jobs that typefaces do.
A brief look at web compositions as coordinated chunks of typeset elements, shifting among many states simultaneously.
Strategies for selecting typefaces based on real design goals, to truly understand why a combination works or doesn’t.
Practical advice about identifying successful typeface combinations by using them and looking at them carefully.
An appraisal of five different sites’ type choices and typesetting, noting the relationships between their successes and the strategies and advice in this guide.

About Tim Brown

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is a designer, writer, speaker and toolmaker, with a focus on typography.

Formerly a web designer at Vassar College, he is now type manager for Adobe Typekit, a curator for A List Apart, and the author of Nice Web Type. Tim lives and works in New York State’s beautiful Hudson Valley with his wife and college sweetheart, Eileen, their two daughters, and two dogs.

Sometimes it takes a bit of graphic assistance to make typefaces work together, like a mutual friend that can introduce one typeface to another

Tim Brown