The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing

Good graphic design doesn’t happen by mistake, and neither does clever font marriage.

With this Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing we show you how to make your designs beautiful, with simple and effective type applications.

If you’re not a professional designer, we’ve added a little glossary to help with the design lingo.

Julius Sans One + Roboto Condensed Bold

01. Luscious lines

Julius Sans One + Roboto Condensed Bold

Sans serifs fonts offer strong geometric lines and are great to use over images, as they can help with legibility.

Applying a bold font can compliment a short word nicely. When used in the centre, it will also anchor your design. Balance hierarchy by ensuring your focal words are prominent.

02. Crisp contrast

Raleway Bold/Regular + Archivo Narrow

You don’t have to use different fonts to get a dramatic effect, use light and bold versions of the same family for versatility.

Round and narrow typefaces offset nicely against each other. Here I have spaced out the narrow wording to give it extra room to breathe.

Extra tip: Apply a solid frame around your text to contain it, but ensure the weight of the box corresponds to the thickness of the typeface you use.

03. Luxe Legibility

Libre Baskerville Italic + Regular

Take an elegant and traditional approach to your design by using a serif font. Libre Baskerville offers a variation of styles. For example, using an italic pronounces a word or subheading without having to change font-families.

Break apart sections of your copy to create hierarchy using color. Extra info – if you want to place copy over image make sure you find a clear space where your text won’t be invaded by a feature in the photo.

04. Twist on tradition

Coustard + Arvo

Finding fonts that look similar for your header, sub and body copy is a clever way to create nuance within your text. Coustard is a heavier typeface, appropriate for a title font, while Arvo has a little more finesse – good for body copy.

Make sure the font sings the song of the subject, apply an appropriate typeface according to the content. This post was about organic grains so I used a more traditional serif font selection.

Extra tip: Apply transparency to your background if you are using an image with texture (like seeds in this design) to create contrast and stronger text legibility.

If you liked this post, you’ll also love Font Pairing Like a Pro Part Two!

We hope this Ultimate Guide to Font Parings has inspired you and given you a few ideas to make your graphics even better. All the fonts in the examples are found in Canva and are ready for you to use. What are you waiting for? 

Poppie is passionate about helping people become better designers. As Canva’s Senior Graphic Designer, she’s responsible for many of Canva’s amazing graphics including the daily design tips on Canva’s social, runs educational webinars and workshops and recently authored a book – How to Create a Memorable Brand that Catches On. Got a design question? Ask her on Twitter @poppiepack.