Posted on: April 13, 2017

There is a wonderful article on written by Jonathan Hoefler about combining typefaces. It is called “Typographic Doubletakes” and features many of the typefaces from their collection. Check it out.


Posted on: December 28, 2016

One new trend that’s become a part of the typographic landscape recently is the inclusion of contrasting typefaces within a type family. The type designer creates a main font family and then adds another font to compliment. This makes it easy to find a “match” to use with the main typeface, with beautifully predictable results. […]


Posted on: January 24, 2016

Hoefler & Co. just released some new weights of Archer: Black, Extra Black and Ultra. They’re thick. They’re heavy. And the italic styles are quite beautiful. I especially like the contrast between the heavy block serifs of the Ultra Italic with the curvilinear forms within the letters. What can you pair with Ultra Italic? Most light weight san serifs and many serifs. […]


Posted on: November 27, 2015

Note: I’ve had a bit of a hiatus from posting, but hope to get back to something more regular.  A few months ago I finished designing a logo for an organization called Sardonyx. I designed some marks with an “S” and then experimented with some different typefaces. There are usually two ways to go when choosing […]


Posted on: February 13, 2015

Note: This is the third entry in a three-part series about techniques for matching typefaces. Getting your own groove on From the previous posts, you’ve been given a lot of suggestions and characteristics to consider. In romance, this can often lead to what is commonly called analysis paralysis: you end up doing nothing. To get […]


Posted on: October 7, 2014

Note: This is the second in a three-part series about techniques for matching typefaces. Aesthetics, or Does this serif make me look fat? Now we turn to the less concrete world of aesthetics. In doing so, I hope to provide some solid advice and not hide behind flowery language and generalizations, like “help your Barbie® find […]


Posted on: July 30, 2014

Note: This is the first in a three-part series about techniques for matching typefaces. A  H O L L Y W O O D  E N D I N G A woman is attracted to a man. Or rather, she thinks she is attracted to him. They are engaged to be married before she realizes […]


Posted on: February 15, 2014

I thought I’d share a Valentine’s Day card I gave to my wife yesterday that combined 6 typefaces to make something eclectic but interesting. The card is an accordian fold with seven 5 x 5 inch panels, printed on an Epson inkjet on a heavy, uncoated paper. I used Bodoni Poster, Clarendon Roman, Glypha Black, […]


Posted on: December 7, 2013

Part 3 of 3 Here’s the last entry in a three part series about creating holiday type. Last time we talked about elegant simplicity. Informal Beauty Script type seems to go well with the holidays. Above is Thirsty Script paired with Clarendon. The script provides a personal touch to the type while still retaining some […]


Posted on: November 29, 2013

Part 2 of 3 Our first entry showed an example of detailed elegance. Today we tackle elegant simplicity. Above is Caecilia LT Std  followed by Adobe Garamond Pro italic. These compliment each other nicely with the italic adding some subtle curves and energy. I created a border out of some characters from the typeface Zapf Dingbats. If […]


Posted on: November 23, 2013

Part 1 of 3 The Holiday season brings out some great typography. Two important things that I think about in choosing type is finding something that feels elegant and that has a slight ornateness to it (or sometimes I create that ornateness). Contrast that with something plain and you’ve probably got a type combination that […]


Posted on: October 27, 2013

Note: We take time out of our regularly scheduled program of matching typefaces to talk about how to create scary type that matches Halloween. Halloween is a time where we are inundated with type clichés. You know, type that looks like blood dripping, or type that looks like it has been scratched into the surface […]


Posted on: September 28, 2013

Although I’m not sure I understand the rationale behind its name, I love the curves of Squirrel and the fact that the uppercase is the same size as the x-height. It shares a kinship with typefaces like Bodoni Poster and is a beautiful typeface. What is a good match for it? Anything straight. Try something […]


Posted on: August 10, 2013

A few weeks ago my wife and I spent some time in Cedar City, Utah. On the walk to our hotel after seeing The Tempest, part of the Shakespearean festival held each year in that city, I walked by this restaurant and enjoyed the typography of the logo. It’s a nice combination of Copperplate Gothic […]


Posted on: July 6, 2013

My latest entry on talks about the recent resurgence of Futura Extra Bold Condensed in Nike’s advertising and product lines. In conjunction with that, I thought it would be interesting to look at some typefaces that work well with Futura. I have never liked Futura when used as body text. Its long ascenders and […]


Posted on: May 29, 2013

On Memorial Day my family went to Denny’s for breakfast. They had a new menu for summer, featuring red, white and blue dishes. I ordered the blueberry pancakes with strawberries and whipped creme. It was delicious and so was the typography on the menu. It looks like it was hand comped in chalk and tastefully […]


Posted on: May 4, 2013

A common time to investigate matching two typefaces together is when choosing a subhead to compliment body text. The idea is to find a typeface that stands out from the body text, creating hierarchy. This makes the subhead easier to find and the text easier to scan by the viewer. Usually, a heavier san serif […]


Posted on: April 13, 2013

A few years ago, I wrote an essay titled “Garamond, the Ketchup of Typefaces.” I argued that Garamond is a match with just about every typeface. In dating terms, that is sometimes called “playing the field.” In this final entry of examining U&lc’s Type Matrix, I thought I’d take a look at Garamond as the […]


Posted on: March 26, 2013

Last post I reminded everyone of the Type Matrix that appeared in a 1992 issue of U&lc (for more information about the publication check out this article on I also promised to look at some of the combinations shown in the matrix. Here’s the first in a series of 3 additional posts. The type […]


Posted on: March 2, 2013

In 1992, the famous periodical U&lc was past its prime. It did, however, create an intriguing tool for matching typefaces, known as the type matrix. I’ve highlighted this source on my resources page. The type matrix compared display text and body text and indicated a 1 (Combine at Will), 2 (Not a Conservative Choice), or […]


Posted on: February 18, 2013

Sentinel and Landmark H&FJ (Hoefler & Frere-Jones) just released Landmark, a beautiful typeface with Art Deco undertones. In addition to the more traditional weights and styles, it also comes in an inline style, a shadowed one and a dimensional style that combines the inline with the shadowed. It is an elegant and eye-catching face that […]


Posted on: February 5, 2013

Dobra and Jeanne Moderno The distinct sans serif, Dobra, has asked out the beautiful serif (with Bodoni undertones), Jeanne Moderno. Dobra’s sturdy book weight provides a wonderful constrast with the hairline finishing strokes of Jeanne. There are also some wonderful similarities. Compare the “d” from Dobra and the “e” from Jeanne, for instance. Or the […]


Posted on: January 21, 2013

This week, instead of posting a typographic match made in heaven, I thought I’d change things up a bit and show you a beautifully designed poster that combines many typefaces. This print is from Leanda at One Little Bird. The typefaces are juxtaposed in a masterful way, making it look easy as pie.


Posted on: January 12, 2013

Hipster Script Pro and Trade Gothic For combining typefaces, taking a face with a lot of character and putting next to a face that is non-descript almost always works. It is the visual equivalent of Chris Farley acting with David Spade. I’m not necessarily a big fan of script type. Most of it looks stilted […]


Posted on: December 18, 2012

Matrix II Italic Bold + Modula Bold Last week, I coupled Matrix with Brothers. This week, Matrix starts seeing someone else: Modula. Modula was the first headline face that Zuzana Licko designed for Emigre at a high resolution. This type family has a san slab serif version to go with the sans serif. It is […]


Posted on: December 8, 2012

Matrix II Italic Bold & Brothers Regular Last week I combined Vendetta with Brothers, or more specifically Vendetta Light & Brothers Bold. This week, I’ve combined Matrix II Italic Bold with Brothers Regular. The contrast of the curvilinear forms in Matrix seem to compliment the sharp serifs and rectilinear forms in Brothers. The similarity in […]


Posted on: December 1, 2012

Vendetta Light + Brothers Bold In an article published in Communication Arts, Jonathan Hoefler suggests that one way to find typefaces that match is to look for fonts designed by the same person. To that end, I’ve combined two typefaces designed by John Downer for Emigre, Brother and Vendetta. The past year or two I’ve seen […]


Posted on: November 23, 2012

I know I post a lot of older typefaces and their combinations. This week I’ve looked at some newer weights of Tungsten from Hoeffler & Frere-Jones that were just released. There are a couple of interesting combinations from two other typefaces in their library: Archer and Acropolis. The clean and condensed letterforms create a perfect […]


Posted on: November 13, 2012

Bembo and Franklin look quite nice together, with Bembo as a display text and Franklin as the body. Or you could invert them. They both share excellent readability. Franklin is a humanist san-serif, it’s also clean, no-nonsense and not really geometric. It was designed in 1902 by Morris Fuller Benton. Bembo hearkens from the late 1400s, […]


Posted on: November 7, 2012

One of my favorite type combinations involves a couple of typefaces with some subtle but unique quirks: Geometric 415 and ITC Berkeley Old Style. The pointed tips of the strokes on some of the capital letters in Geometric (M, N for instance) and the angle of the edge of the strokes on some of the […]


Posted on: October 27, 2012

Today marks the beginning of the weekly type combo. Each week, I’ll post a new combination of typefaces that I think are a match made in heaven. Or that at least work well together. Feel free to suggest your own, just comment below. You’re also welcome to tell me why you feel a combination I’ve […]


Posted on: October 9, 2012

The road to success is littered with rejection. At least, that’s how I feel about the Typographic Matchmaking poster. There were more than a few ideas and designs that were discarded completely. Others that were revised, revised and then discarded. And some that were revised, polished, tweaked and lived to see the light of day. […]


Posted on: September 22, 2012

One of the issues in creating the poster was whether or not the names I included were legal to use. I created a comp of the poster, and then showed it to a colleague of mine who specializes in copyright law. I was informed that many of my initial pairings would probably infringe copyrights. Combinations […]


Posted on: September 12, 2012

The initial idea for the Typographic Matchmaking poster came while I was writing an article (yet to be published) about how to effectively combine typefaces. I did some sketches, including the one above. The poster started out a little more topical and sarcastic. As you can see, it was at a time when Tipper and […]


Posted on: August 29, 2012

Rosewood + Trade Gothic [ Rosewood Fill + Trade Gothic LT Std Bold Condensed with Adobe Wood Type Ornaments ] Bogie. Probably the only leading man able to overshadow Lauren Bacall’s beauty. After starring together in To Have and Have Not (Bacall’s first movie), they married in 1946 when she was 20 and he was […]


Posted on: August 21, 2012

Clarendon + News Gothic [ Clarendon LT Std Bold, News Gothic Std Medium ] Mr. Utterson had his suspicions about Dr. Jeckyll, his somewhat reclusive friend in London. The typeface Clarendon works well to depict the doctor. Designed in England, it is a meshing of a slab serif and a serif (not unlike Dr. Jeckyll […]


Posted on: August 15, 2012

Museo + Didot [ Museo 700 & Didot Italic ] Substantive, stylish, elegant, with a subtle uniqueness that sets them apart. If you think the previous sentence is talking about John and Jackie, you’re half right. It also refers to the typefaces Museo and Didot. Many have thought of John F. Kennedy and Jaqueline Bouvier […]


Posted on: August 8, 2012

Engravers + Rosewood [ Engravers LT STD Bold Face, Rosewood Std Fill with Adobe Wood Type Ornaments ] Larry King has fallen in love over and over and over again, even with the same woman. It is also interesting that his last name is King, the title for King Henry, another man included in the poster […]


Posted on: August 2, 2012

Eurostile + Didot [ Eurostile LT Std Medium, Didot Regular, Eurostile LT Std Medium and Condensed ] Although they would never be mistaken for a “romantic” couple (rumors abounded about Marie’s possible lovers), the deaths of King Louis the 16th and Marie Antoinette make it hard to think of one without the other. A tidal […]


Posted on: July 25, 2012

Centuries ago, the Roman empire was alive and well thanks to Roman soldiers, who were partially paid for their labors in salt. Meanwhile, in the homeland of pepper, India was also being used as a commodity. These two spices have been intertwined for centuries, both for their value as currency and for their ability to […]


Posted on: July 18, 2012

Gill Sans + Perpetua [ Gill Sans Ultra Bold, Perpetua Std Italic and Roman ] The most amazing harmonies and blending of voices belongs to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Beginning in 1964, they made 6 studio albums together. After they split in the early 1970s, Simon completely overshadowed Garfunkel, yet they performed together every […]


Posted on: July 12, 2012

Rockwell + Caslon 540 + Berkeley [ Rockwell Std Bold + Caslon 540 LT Std Italic + ITC Berkeley Oldstyle Std Medium ] In many religions, Adam and Eve are honored as our first parents. Imagine trying to trace your posterity back to them. What an interesting family tree that would make. It is only […]


Posted on: July 6, 2012

Bodoni + Futura  [ Futura Std Book, Bodoni Std Roman ] Jack and Jill, one of the great pairs in all of literature. The beautiful alliterative quality of their names. The naive innocence to the story, unwilling to foreshadow Jack’s impending struggles and the duo’s classic fall from grace. Okay, I know, it’s just a […]


Posted on: June 27, 2012

Baskerville + Gill Sans [ Baskerville Std Italic, Gill Sans Std Light ] Movie adaptations of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice abound. But typefaces like Baskerville and Gill Sans are one of a kind. John Baskerville created the elegant and refined Baskerville in 1752, the perfect typeface to depict Elizabeth Bennet. Though unappreciated in its […]


Posted on: June 20, 2012

Caledonia + Univers [ New Caledonia LT Std Semibold & Univers LT Std 59 Ultra Condensed + Adobe Woodtype ornaments ] Jane and Edward: a match made, well, kind of in heaven by going through hell. Mr. Rochester initially is a domineering figure over the diminutive Jane. But after his house burns down, killing his […]


Posted on: June 13, 2012

Goudy Sans + Eccentric [ ITC Goudy Sans Std Book, Medium Italic + Eccentric Standard Regular ] One of the greatest tandems in literature is Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, who debuted in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Tom is envious of Huck’s freedom to do as he pleases, without having to […]


Posted on: June 5, 2012

Univers + Rockwell + Janson [ Univers LT Std 45 Light + Rockwell Std Regular and Bold + Janson Text LT Std 55 Roman ] When I was 8, I was in love with two things: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches AND baseball. I remember visiting Three Rivers stadium many times as a boy in […]


Posted on: May 29, 2012

Caslon + Cochin [ from top: Adobe Caslon Pro Bold  + Cochin LT Std Roman ] Love can be so fleeting, can’t it? For some it is much more fleeting than others. Before Zsa Zsa Gabor (married 9 times), Elizabeth Taylor (8), and Larry King (8), there was King Henry the VIII. He changed wives […]


Posted on: May 22, 2012

ITC Serif Gothic + ITC Avant Garde Gothic [ from top: ITC Serif Gothic Std Heavy  + ITC Avant Garde Gothic Std Book ] The songs, the long hair, the bell bottom pants. Sonny and Cher met in 1963 when Cher was about 17 and Sonny was 10 years older. He had been writing pop […]


Posted on: May 15, 2012

Franklin Gothic + Century [ from left: Franklin Gothic Medium, Book + Century Regular ] Yoko and John. John and Yoko. These names will be connected forever, whether you think she was responsible for breaking up the Beatles or not. They are a couple known for their passion, love and devotion to one another. To […]


Posted on: May 8, 2012

From top: Univers + Century Schoolbook + Goudy + Univers [ Univers LT Std 57 Condensed + Century Schoolbook Bold + ITC Goudy Sans Std Black + Univers LT Std 67 Bold Condensed ] From a cinematic perspective, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant form quite a unique, interesting and compatible foursome. […]


Posted on: April 25, 2012

From Top: DIN + Memphis + Mrs Eaves [ DIN 1451 Engschrift + Memphis Std Bold + Mrs. Eaves Bold ] Those old arch enemies. Yes, the Montagues and the Capulets, but also in a typographic sense the Germans and the Brits. DIN is an abbreviation for Deutsche Industrie-Norm, a typeface used for road signs […]


Posted on: April 4, 2012

Remember that scene from Fiddler on the Roof when Tevye’s daughters long for the matchmaker to “Find me a find, catch me a catch”? Well, matching contrasting typefaces is almost as difficult as finding that special someone. When it works it seems effortless, like the two were meant for each other. Jim Godfrey created the […]


Posted on: March 17, 2012

Remember that scene from Fiddler on the Roof when Tevye’s daughters long for the matchmaker to “Find me a find, catch me a catch”? Well, matching contrasting typefaces is almost as difficult as finding that special someone. When it works it seems effortless, like the two were meant for each other. Jim Godfrey created the […]