Did you know that most readers form their first impression about your website within 50 milliseconds? The first impression can often dictate whether your audience will choose to spend time on your website or not, so it’s critical to nail every detail. We believe web font combinations are worth obsessing over, and so should you. A great web font will dictate the tone of your website and tell your story more effectively.
Pairing web fonts for your website isn’t always an easy task, so we’ve picked ten of our favorite combinations to help you get started. A general rule of thumb when selecting two web fonts to pair is utilizing a serif and a sans serif together to create contrast. These pairings have been chosen to use two complementing typefaces. One for the heading and one for the body, while both being interchangeable. We recommend that you experiment with different sizes, weights, leading, and other available options to get the most from your chosen web fonts.
Remember to consider your brand carefully, and the overall message when selecting your typeface. Picking something more playful and less serious can be great for more whimsical sites, but would function poorly on a business website. Keep your tone consistent across your site and lure your readers in with familiarity with your brand.
This is a classic combination that will always please. Who doesn’t love a large headline set in Helvetica Bold? The clean and neutral nature of Helvetica makes it a perfect partner for Garamond, one of the most legible printed serif typefaces around.
For those who stick to web standards, this combination is always going to be a winner. By coupling the beautiful serif typeface that is Georgia with Verdana, a sans-serif font that was designed for the screen, you’ll hit upon a match that will never fail.
Bodoni’s geometric construction and a blend of thick and thin strokes make it a real beauty of a font. Combined with Futura, it becomes part of a true power pairing! This combination is commonly seen in fashion magazines.
Baskerville is an old-style classic designed in 1757 which, when combined with the sans-serif 19th-century typeface Franklin Gothic, makes for an appealing contrast and gives your design that additional touch of sophistication. Try experimenting with the condensed versions of Franklin Gothic for an attention-grabbing headline.
Caslon is a robust serif typeface that is characterized by short ascenders and descenders with a moderate modulation or stroke. It works extremely well with the rather neutral Univers, a neo-grotesque sans-serif typeface. When using Univers as your display font, try utilizing the condensed weights.
The Minion Pro family is a must for any designer’s arsenal. With its many ligatures, small caps, old-style figures, swashes, and other added glyphs, Minion Pro is ideal for a multitude of jobs. In combination with the versatility of Myriad, this is even truer – just ask Adobe.
Frutiger is an extremely legible typeface, originally designed for directional signage systems in airports, which makes it perfect for headlines. The organic, clean nature of this sans-serif face makes it a great match for the very readable Minion, a beautiful typeface that is inspired by the classical fonts of the late Renaissance.
These fonts come installed by default on most operating systems, which makes this duo a solid choice for those with even the most basic software set-up. Gill Sans is one of those fonts that will take nicely with just about any other, so it is incredibly versatile. Initially designed for use on the London Underground, it is highly legible, and, when combined with such classics as Garamond, it can work visual wonders.
The slab serif Clarendon attracts attention at large sizes. It is also quite legible at smaller point sizes thanks to its clear, objective, and timeless forms. It works particularly well when paired with the earthy naturalism of Trade Gothic. If using Trade Gothic as the headline face, make sure you check out the condensed weights.
Although Avenir owes some of its interpretation to Futura (‘avenir’ translates as ‘future’ in French, after all), the typeface is not purely geometric. It has vertical strokes that are thicker than the horizontals and shortened ascenders. This enables Avenir to work for both display, body copy, and to nestle very comfortably alongside old-style serif fonts such as Minion.
If you’d like to learn more about how choosing the correct fonts can affect your brand, read more in our article about building a recognizable brand.