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Tips for matching Fonts


GeauxColonels

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No, I'm not talking about "what font does McDonald's use" or something like that. What I'm looking for are tips when using multiple fonts in one logo. Are there any tips/secrets/hints that someone should know that dictates which kind of fonts should be used together?

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To be less snarky than Mr. Fiasco, I'll tell you this. First, the general rule of thumb is to pair a sans with a serif. That's not to say you can't pair two sans or two slabs or two serifs together, you just have to be super picky about making sure they're not too similar.

When picking serifs and sans, you either want to A) make them radically different so you see the contrast within the character styles in order to use them to establish visual hierarchy OR B) you want to try and find similar characteristics between the typefaces. You'll want to look at stroke width, character spacing, ligatures, and just a general feel that the two typefaces look good together. But this is a case where beyond just a visual feel knowing your type anatomy and character structures is paramount so you know what to look for.

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To be less snarky than Mr. Fiasco, I'll tell you this. First, the general rule of thumb is to pair a sans with a serif. That's not to say you can't pair two sans or two slabs or two serifs together, you just have to be super picky about making sure they're not too similar.

When picking serifs and sans, you either want to A) make them radically different so you see the contrast within the character styles in order to use them to establish visual hierarchy OR B) you want to try and find similar characteristics between the typefaces. You'll want to look at stroke width, character spacing, ligatures, and just a general feel that the two typefaces look good together. But this is a case where beyond just a visual feel knowing your type anatomy and character structures is paramount so you know what to look for.

What the hell was snarky about Joel's response? If they look good together you have a match. People say Klavika and Univers shouldn't go together but I make it work. Rules of thumb are made to be broken.

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To be less snarky than Mr. Fiasco, I'll tell you this. First, the general rule of thumb is to pair a sans with a serif. That's not to say you can't pair two sans or two slabs or two serifs together, you just have to be super picky about making sure they're not too similar.

When picking serifs and sans, you either want to A) make them radically different so you see the contrast within the character styles in order to use them to establish visual hierarchy OR B) you want to try and find similar characteristics between the typefaces. You'll want to look at stroke width, character spacing, ligatures, and just a general feel that the two typefaces look good together. But this is a case where beyond just a visual feel knowing your type anatomy and character structures is paramount so you know what to look for.

Makes sense. And good to know about pairing a sans and serif with one another. I honestly wouldn't have thought about that. Would it be too different to pair an Olde English-stlye font with something more straight?

For reference, something along the line of these 2 with the Olde English being the dominant:

Old%25252BEnglish%25252BText.gif

9765f6302579624449667f294bc5e4.gif

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its not an easy question to answer. many books have been written on the subject, which you should look into. the more you know about type the easier decisions will be when pairing them. but sometimes, as educated as you may be on the topic, you cant quite explain whats going on. you just know the type feels right. so Fiasco's short comment has some merit.

Symbojet could pair well with a Blackletter like Old English depending on context and what you want to communicate. i love English roundhand type of script fonts (like Edwardian Script) with Blackletters

also, this article may be helpful http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/03/24/how-to-choose-a-typeface/

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its not an easy question to answer. many books have been written on the subject, which you should look into. the more you know about type the easier decisions will be when pairing them. but sometimes, as educated as you may be on the topic, you cant quite explain whats going on. you just know the type feels right. so Fiasco's short comment has some merit.

Symbojet could pair well with a Blackletter like Old English depending on context and what you want to communicate. i love English roundhand type of script fonts (like Edwardian Script) with Blackletters

also, this article may be helpful http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/03/24/how-to-choose-a-typeface/

Thanks, I'll check that link out later. I have no plans to use Symbojet or Olde English specifically, I was just using them as examples. I'm currently working on a logo design but figured I would make this a more global discussion of font usage and pairing in logos. I didn't want this to become specifically about the one logo I'm working on.

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Actually I've found that some of the heuristics described in gordies post are the exact opposite way round to those I was taught. Should you wish, you can do courses on this type of thing and get genuine acreditaion (even letters after your name) in the art of typography. I believe the body is something like the international society of typographic designers. I did a course at university from them and now have the entirely useless letters istd after my name which can appeal to people who like letters.

My personal opinion is that there are better things to be than a type nazi. It's like being a grammar nazi. Nobody will thank you for it, and all it will do is cause you to see fault in others work. Ultimately the type rules are based on a concusses of Swiss designers from the best part of a century ago who had no conceivable way of knowing what we can do with type on screen, in film, in web today. Whilst it's interesting to learn why somethings can make typography look out of place, a strict adherence to the details if these rules will make you a horse in the age of steam.

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I wasn't trying to be snarky in my response, I was just saying that if it looks good, then that's how it should be done. Aesthetics are more about looks than rules, in my opinion.

In my opinion, using a Blackletter with anything else is a mistake. Using anything other than a single letter or a monogram in Blackletter looks just plain awful to me. But that's just me, I suppose.

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Actually I've found that some of the heuristics described in gordies post are the exact opposite way round to those I was taught. Should you wish, you can do courses on this type of thing and get genuine acreditaion (even letters after your name) in the art of typography. I believe the body is something like the international society of typographic designers. I did a course at university from them and now have the entirely useless letters istd after my name which can appeal to people who like letters.

My personal opinion is that there are better things to be than a type nazi. It's like being a grammar nazi. Nobody will thank you for it, and all it will do is cause you to see fault in others work. Ultimately the type rules are based on a concusses of Swiss designers from the best part of a century ago who had no conceivable way of knowing what we can do with type on screen, in film, in web today. Whilst it's interesting to learn why somethings can make typography look out of place, a strict adherence to the details if these rules will make you a horse in the age of steam.

So, if I'm reading this right, your opinion is pretty much to go with what you think looks good and works in the logo/graphic you're designing regardless of the "rules of typography"?

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I wasn't trying to be snarky in my response, I was just saying that if it looks good, then that's how it should be done. Aesthetics are more about looks than rules, in my opinion.

In my opinion, using a Blackletter with anything else is a mistake. Using anything other than a single letter or a monogram in Blackletter looks just plain awful to me. But that's just me, I suppose.

I definitely didn't take it that way. Thanks for your input. Feedback and discussion is always appreciated.

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Actually I've found that some of the heuristics described in gordies post are the exact opposite way round to those I was taught. Should you wish, you can do courses on this type of thing and get genuine acreditaion (even letters after your name) in the art of typography. I believe the body is something like the international society of typographic designers. I did a course at university from them and now have the entirely useless letters istd after my name which can appeal to people who like letters.

My personal opinion is that there are better things to be than a type nazi. It's like being a grammar nazi. Nobody will thank you for it, and all it will do is cause you to see fault in others work. Ultimately the type rules are based on a concusses of Swiss designers from the best part of a century ago who had no conceivable way of knowing what we can do with type on screen, in film, in web today. Whilst it's interesting to learn why somethings can make typography look out of place, a strict adherence to the details if these rules will make you a horse in the age of steam.

So, if I'm reading this right, your opinion is pretty much to go with what you think looks good and works in the logo/graphic you're designing regardless of the "rules of typography"?

Not exactly. What I'm saying is that its worth knowing and understanding the rules of type, as it can inform your design and give you an awareness of the various common pitfalls. However its worth recognising that these often are archaic, slightly arbitrary and anachronistic ideas given todays design environment and the media through which design is expressed.

A guess a decent parallel might be the example of someone like Picasso. To look at his work, its often very easy for kids in art class to think that his cubist paintings are very simple, and all too often you see examples of poor 'Picasso style' imitations. The reality is that Picasso was one of the great life drawers from a young age and his early charcoal works are quite exquisite. However with the dawn and rapid improvement of photography, an all too obvious obsolescence was to befall realism in general. The same is kind of true of type. Computers do much of the typesetting we do now, and the ease and in-expense of working with type means that strict a adherence to the minutia of typographic dogma has too become obsolete. Take a look at the work of people like David Carson and Neville Brody as two early pioneers of the deconstruction of type and its rules. Its no coincidence they worked at the dawn of the graphical interface on the home computer.

Tracey Emin said something quite pertinent a few years back that I cant find to quote perfectly, but I think it illustrates my point. She said something to the effect that 'in order to take an blurry out of focus photograph and call it art, you first need to learn how to take a perfect photograph'. Or something to that effect. My point is that its at least worth knowing the rules, even if its so you can break them knowingly.

Hope thats of use.

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I wasn't trying to be snarky in my response, I was just saying that if it looks good, then that's how it should be done. Aesthetics are more about looks than rules, in my opinion.

In my opinion, using a Blackletter with anything else is a mistake. Using anything other than a single letter or a monogram in Blackletter looks just plain awful to me. But that's just me, I suppose.

apologies, mr. fiasco, i was amused by the simplicity of the remark and meant nothing negative.

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Davidson beat me to the Carson example. hes by far my favorite designer. another way of putting FD's point is "you have to learn the rules before you break them" and you find thats true with many artist. though David Carson would not be a good example of that. he had no training in the arts/design when he started. he was just a beach bum who did what he wanted. Ray Gun was a very experimental magazine he worked on but it does have some great typography work.

"dont mistake legibility for communication" -David Carson

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Yep...Fraser, gordie_d, and BNS pretty much covered it all. Fiasco just put the exclamation point on it. ^_^

One thing I was always taught in regards to logo design was never to use more than two fonts in the same logo if at all possible. Me personally, anything more than that and it starts to look a good bit tacky.

Since Old English/Blackletter got brought up, I'll go into this a bit. I'm no art historian, but I've long had a serious love affair with heraldic artwork and the medieval time period, so suffice it to say I like working with those Old English-style typefaces. (Some of you might have picked up on that with that Red Wings concept I put out several weeks ago...which actually eveolved from a Detroit Lions concept set I started long ago.) If done right, one can massage an Old English style typeface enough to make it look good and fresh...Joe Bosack (I think it was him, anyway) did a helluva job with that when crafting the identity for the Duquesne Dukes (seen here and here). Part of the fun with working with those typefaces is trying to figure out how to "modernize" them...but you gotta be careful not to lose too much of the essence of them when doing it. It ain't easy, but I find the challenge of trying to do so kinda fun. There's other examples of this, as well, such as the Louisville Cardinals (though I really don't like that one all that much). The other thing about those two identities is, for all intents and purposes, they have two "fonts", if you will, in the same word.

Just thought I'd throw that out there to add to the discussion.

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While I despise David Carson, his work and his attitude at times, there's no denying how important he and Brody were to the way we handle type in this day and age. It's been said perfectly already but put two words together and see if they look good, but before you put them together, let those 'rules' inform the decisions you make. Round with round, Tall with short, Thick with thin? However you combine them there's no hard and fast rule that will give you a perfect combo every time. You have to have an eye as well.

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