Waiter! I Want a Font-Cocktail!

Ghee that was quite an interesting discussion yesterday.  Enjoyed it very much.

To answer one of the questions straight ahead:
Yes you can mix fonts.
Actually you somehow want to mix fonts.

Guess everybody knows by now that we need different fonts to get our message out. The right font is part of the message and helps us to communicate with our readers.

We want our text to be interesting. Everybody knows these days that content counts!

The right font is part of that content.

You have seen that I have bolded the words “content counts”. One method to highlight important statements. You can also set words italic, or bolditalic, or work with colors, which is self-explanatory.

To do that properly your font needs different weights. Some fonts have just 3 or 4 weights: regular which is also called roman or book, bold which can be medium, semibold or demi, italic, which is also know as oblique, and bolditalic.

There are other fonts, which have many more weights.

By using the different weights you are mixing in between the font family.

We have also heard about font clans, remember Lucida Handwriting, a lovely member of the font-clan of the Lucidas. Could be a good idea to mix inbetween the clan.

One rule for successful font mixing is:

Create obvious font differences!
Keep it harmonic!

So when the members of the font clan are too similar, that you can mistake them:

Usually you are going to mix a serif font with a san-serif font.

Don’t mix script fonts with italic fonts. Both are slanted but they might not slant in the same way.


I have prepared some examples of font mixing. As text I have used the well know dummy text “Lore Ipsum”. Just have a look at the examples and decide for yourself

I have used a big headline and a smaller one. And I have also set up a marginal part.

You can use that e.g. for pictures or special tip.


First example is set in Times, just plain Times.


Headlines and Marginal Times

Bodytext Helvetica with tagging “bold” and “italic


Headline Garamond

Bodytext Frutiger

Marginal Amoeba


Headline eurostile

Bodytext kabel

Marginal agent orange


Headline Gabriel Extended

Bodytext GillSans

Marginal Gabriel Condensed

If you go more into font history, it is also a good idea to mix fonts of the same time.

  • Never mix more than three different fonts.
  • Never mix different Blackletters.
  • Never mix Mediaeval with Didone.
  • Never mix English script with Garalde.
  • Never mix Didone with Transitional.
  • Never mix different Didone font

Nice mixtures

  • Caslon/Frutiger
  • Concorde/Univers
  • Minion/Syntax
  • Frutiger/Times
  • Bodoni/KünstlerScript
  • Centennial/Egyptienne/Univers
  • Futura/Galliard
  • Futura/Walbaum
  • Futura/Caecillia
  • Futura/Claredon
  • ITC Stone Serif/ ITC Stone Sans/ ITC Stone Informal
  • Thesis: TheSerif/TheMisx/TheSans


Liked what you read?

Than join my newsletter today – your privacy will always be respected!

or like me on facebook

Single Post Navigation

3 thoughts on “Waiter! I Want a Font-Cocktail!

  1. Pingback: Shake the Graphic … Don’t Stir it « Helz-Design

  2. Unfortunately for me, your boxes are just blanks. So, they all blend in well together. And, that is one of the biggest problems I see with folks making websites and blogs. They choose fonts that many others don’t have- which means that the exhibition feast they think they’ve prepared is totally lost. Make sure your post shows the same way you designed!

    • that.s pretty strange roy.
      i have set up this article the same way as i set up any article.
      i checked it via safari and via firefox – the only options i have.
      and it both looked the way it should be.

      when i am talking on fonts i usually don.t talk about web-fonts.
      it is about printing and you can choose any font that is available at that time.

      sometimes it is not the fault of the designer … maybe it is fault of system … wordpress.com or any other backbone down the way?

      when i design for web i usually chose font families that work well together and which most people have on their computer: like arial, helvetica, verdana … or times, palatino…

%d bloggers like this: