Give Me 5 Minutes and I’ll Give You the Secret of Font Pairing

quickly learn how to pair fonts

So you want to learn font pairing.

First, let me explain that the correct term is actually typeface. However, because this is a layman’s tutorial and most of us are more familiar with the term font, we’ll use font instead of typeface.

Before I can explain how any of this works, let’s first learn about the different groups of fonts.

Font Families for Laymen


1. Serif  A serif is the term for the short lines on the ends of letters. Many have a thick/thin contrast in the letters. These are very readable, and very good for online.

San Serif

2. Sans Serif Since “sans” means without, the sans serifs are typefaces with out the serifs at the ends of the strokes. The letters are usually the same thickness all the way throughout.


3. Script Script is the family of handwritten lettering – like calligraphy, pencil writing, or cursive.


4. Decorative These are those fonts that are fun, quirky, and wild. They’re often not easy to read so use them sparingly.


You want your text to be easily read. As I mentioned before, you’ll want to avoid overly decorative fonts, shadowed or 3D fonts, because they are not easy to read.

Match the Photo Lines or Curves

You also want to consider the feeling of the photograph. Consider the shapes in the photograph. Do you have swirly, roundish shapes or pointy shapes? The font  you use should complement those shapes.

Color Match

dark text

Dark photos require a light color font (preferably one that is matched in the photo itself.)

light text

Light photos need a dark color font (again, match this color to a color within the photo.)

Font Pairing: Opposites Attract

If you decide to use more than one font, you want the second font to be harmonious with the first. Pairing fonts is like pairing wine with a meal. You want harmony, not vomiting!

Also, for the purposes of this tutorial, only pair two fonts. More is not always better. And never pair fonts from the same font family. Ever.

serif pairing

SERIF: If you have a Serif font, it can be paired with any of the other font families. Don’t pair it with another serif. (The exception is you can pair it with itself, and make it italicized. But don’t worry about this too much.)

san serif pairing

SAN SERIF: This same principal applies to a san serif. You can pair it with serif, script, or decorative.

script pairing

SCRIPT: Just don’t over use this. Pair with serif or san serif but NOT decorative. Gack.

decorative font pairing

DECORATIVE: This only pairs with serif or san serifs, not scripts.

More Font Pairing Techniques

You’ll also want to consider size, weight, color and case when you pair fonts. A perfect contrast makes for a good marriage. I teach all of this in my upcoming webinar, Eye-Catching Pins.

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You’ll learn:

  • 4 design elements of an eye-catching pin
  • the must-haves for a perfect image
  • beginning to advanced photo editing using the free website
  • how to properly pair fonts for image titles
  • proven Pinterest designs

The LIVE webinar is June 18 at 9 pm EST. Don’t miss out on this chance to improve your pins 100%. sign up