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  • Choosing font combinations for our website


    Putting together a new website for our photography brand and I'll be honest, it's been a while since I've been in the design world! I'm struggling a bit with font choices and I'd love some advice/opinions from you lovely people. We're definitely keeping the Anter script font, and I've used Playfair Display pretty heavily in all our branding for a while now and we love it. What I'm struggling with is a subheading font I suppose and a paragraph. I'm leery of using more than three fonts so I'm a little stuck.

    Any suggestions for body fonts? Does it need to be sans-serif? What do you think of Playfair as the quote/subheading font? I just wanted a script-like font that drew from the prettiness of the Anter font without totally being distracting.

    Thanks for any advice! (oh and the website is far from finished so there's that)
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  • #2
    Originally posted by alyssarenee View Post
    We're definitely keeping the Anter script font...
    Okay, then it's no wonder you're having difficulty.

    As script faces go, that is an example of one that produces an effect which is the opposite of what's usually expected and delivered by script. It's inelegant and one-dimensional, consistently producing words that are misshapen, unbalanced, and disproportionate. It's wussy weight, compromised readability, and your no-title-case treatment leave your headings the weakest type on the page—like I said, the opposite of the desired effect. Add the unfortunate fact that no other face can compliment, offset, or match it in any way, and you find yourself in an endless, fruitless search for cohesive typography. The momentary novelty it offers isn't worth those trade off's.

    Originally posted by alyssarenee View Post
    What do you think of Playfair as the quote/subheading font? I just wanted a script-like font that drew from the prettiness of the Anter font without totally being distracting.
    Playfair, on the other hand, is beautiful; a perfect choice for the setting, and would gladly "play fair" with any more credible script you might choose for headings. Here though, it's rightly making Anter look even more so like the handwork of a ferret. They have nothing in common.

    Originally posted by alyssarenee View Post
    Any suggestions for body fonts? Does it need to be sans-serif?
    I'd say serif or sans could work, so long as the face is subservient enough of the others, you keep it left-justified, and you make it short in length; both line and paragraph. The medium-weight sans at full-justification in your example is just a solid block of tension. I'd think you'd want it to be lighter and tighter.


    Last edited by HotButton; 06-08-2017, 08:06 AM.
    I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

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    • alyssarenee
      alyssarenee commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah ... okay I agree with you. Thanks so much for your feedback! It IS a bummer because our original logo was not far off from the anter style, so I adjusted our logo with the plan that we'd incorporate that font. I'm cool with dropping anter, but I'm still at a loss now lol. I really love Playfair, but no I have no idea what else to use with it. I think my favorite usage of Playfair is for a Heading font using the uppercase as I am now, and the subheadings, italicized. SO now I need a body font and a Title font. Mostly I'm struggling with the title font I think.

      You can see the logo at the top if you follow the link to our website. I'm going to go ahead and guess that you think the Playfair Display uppercase looks horrendous with the logo? I never thought it looked good but wasn't sure where to go from there.

  • #3
    I was always taught no more than two fonts. One serif, one sans-serif.

    In your picture above, flip the fonts you are using. Use the sans-serif font for the heads and the serif font for the copy. See how that looks.

    Keep in mind, I'm coming from a newspaper perspective. Readibility wise most newspapers use serif fonts for body copy because it's easier on the human eye, while sans-serif heads draw attention (which is why you have a head, right?).

    Just my take.
    Erik Youngren Pueblo Publishers, Composing Manager
    2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro | InDesign CS4 | Suitcase Fusion 5

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    • alyssarenee
      alyssarenee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! I appreciate your feedback! So, you're saying no more than two and I can just use variations of those fonts for title, heading, subheading and body? I have a hard time finding a sans serif uppercase font that I like with Playfair being the body font. Thoughts/suggestions for a heading font that can be used in uppercase?

  • #4
    I agree with HotButton about the script face. When I first looked at your attachment, I initially thought the words in this typeface were notes you had penciled in, but it seems that it's a typeface you actually want to use. Like HotButton said, it's personality is the opposite of what you're seemingly trying to achieve, and even if it weren't, well, it's difficult to read and, in my opinion, not a typeface I'd ever use for anything. I don't have an issue with using the right script face; I would just choose another one.

    As for Playfair, I'm not a fan of free fonts. They're usually badly constructed and/or pirated from legitimate works, but I didn't download a copy of it to look at its outline geometry, so maybe it's fine. It is a nice-looking face, though, so I have no reservations about its looks. As for type pairings with it, if you use a serif for the body, why not continue to use Playfair -- pairing two similar serif faces typically causes a clash (like wearing plaid pants with a striped shirt).

    If you want to go with a serif, I'd tend to pick one that had a touch of elegance instead of a workhorse face, like Helvetica or Arial. Futura, Neuzeit or Harmonia Sans come to mind, but I haven't actually juxtaposed them with Playfair to see how they would look (which is the final test of any typeface pairings). If you're looking for free font recommendations, though, um, you're on your own.

    Comment


    • #5
      Originally posted by alyssarenee View Post
      Thanks! I appreciate your feedback! So, you're saying no more than two and I can just use variations of those fonts for title, heading, subheading and body? I have a hard time finding a sans serif uppercase font that I like with Playfair being the body font. Thoughts/suggestions for a heading font that can be used in uppercase?
      I'm just suggesting that heads be in sans-serif and body copy be in serif. I wouldn't use a head in all caps, but OTOH I am not designing for a website. The rules I am relaying apply mainly to newspapers and newspaper ads. But from a readbility perspective body copy is always easier to read in a serif font style.

      Erik Youngren Pueblo Publishers, Composing Manager
      2.8Ghz Quad Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro | InDesign CS4 | Suitcase Fusion 5

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