How many fonts should you use in one design?
1. None. You should be letting a professional do that.
2. Oh, all right. If you insist:
- One is a bit boring.
- Two, if chosen correctly, can be ideal.
- Three—you’re pushing it, there.
- Four +: let me just give you a visual of what that looks like to a trained eye:
One of the principles of design is
gelatin contrast. If your whole document is the same font, it looks like a great mass of grey. A good designer will wisely go for something in between a grey mass and a quivering, overstocked mess.
HOWEVER. You may not mix fonts which are both serif, or both sans serif.
That’s like mixing plaids and plaids. You know that’s not okay, right? Get yourself a nice neutral like Garamond—a serif font that doesn’t have any weird quirks. At a distance, a paragraph or two of Garamond will look like a boring pair of khakis. Now wouldn’t a splash of color look great with those pants?
Let’s try a sans serif like Univers bold with those khakis. The Univers family, which comes in a variety of weights, as well as condensed versions, is an ideal choice. That way you can have the look of a gazillion different typefaces (because you know that Jell-o is still calling to you), but you won’t actually be breaking the rules. Pair those Garamond pants with a Univers bold shirt, and you’ve got the perfect outfit for a summer afternoon.
And won’t you look fresh next to that Jell-o salad the other designer brought?