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Choosing the Right Font & My Favorite Free Font Duos

April 5, 2020

Are you looking for designer-approved free fonts or free font duos that you can use for your next design project? You’re in the right place! Keep reading to learn more about my favorites, plus typography nuances you may want to consider when choosing to go the DIY branding route.

More than almost any other design element, fonts convey both emotion and meaning and their first impression can either pack a big punch or leave your ideal audience uninterested. There is much more to choosing a font for a brand than choosing something “pretty”. Strategy and consideration of your industry’s niche come into play when choosing a main font and a complimentary font for a brand.

The font a word is written in gives it personality. I like to think of it as the outfit a word is wearing. When a word is outfitted in a font that helps convey its meaning as a visual, it all of a sudden has such deeper context that can really carry a brand or a hurt a brand, depending on the font used.

With all of that said, sometimes you need a font that is designer-approved and free to use commercially when just starting out. If that’s you, you’ll find my roundup of favorite Google fonts below helpful:

Gowun Batang | Playfair Display | Rubik | Alice | Quicksand | Nanum Myeongjo

I’d consider most of the fonts above to be display fonts. Now, if you’re looking for the best free font duos, you’re probably wondering what I’d use for a body font? My go to free body fonts are Montserrat, Nunito, and Brandon Text (although this one is paid it is such a favorite of mine so I had to include it).

Need a better understanding of font types before making a decision for your brand? Find a basic overview of typography below. And remember, if you’d like more custom 1:1 support when it comes to choosing the right typography for your brand, reach out to me here.

Understanding Font Types

There are two distinct font types to consider, serif and sans serif. A serif font is a font that has a small foot or stroke on the ends of each letter. Serif fonts are of the most classic type of fonts, dating back to ancient Rome. Times New Roman, for example, is a serif font. In design, they’re typically used to convey elegance or maturity and give a classic look to a design. They’re considered a more conservative typeface and work well in both headers and copy as well as logos, depending on the brand.

Opposite of a serif, a sans serif is a typeface without the small strokes or feet… hence sans serif. Sans serif fonts may also be called “grotesque” as they were thought to be crass or flashy compared to traditional serif fonts when they were first introduced in the 20’s and 30’s. They are thought to be more modern and playful and work well for brands that are in the tech space or other more modern niches. When a client of mine fills out their questionnaire using words such as “modern”, “sleek”, or “simplistic” my mind typically thinks sans serif. They are great as copy font or complimentary copy (such as a tagline) as well.

Script fonts are cursive or handwritten type fonts. They are playful and may work well in a brand design, but are typically not well suited for logos or other important copy as they can be more difficult to read. They may work well as accents across a website or collateral like stationary, etc.

The above three are definitely the most well-known and commonly used fonts in design. However, there are countless other font types; decorative fonts that are less commonly used in design and typically will fall under one of the two more broad categories of sans serif or serif.

An important thing to note is that fonts will fall under one of two categories: Display or Text (or Body). A display font is meant for headings, logos, etc. and NOT meant to be used in large bodies of copy or paragraphs. To maximize readability of your copy, it is important to use Text fonts and not Display fonts.

Typography is such an important aspect of brand design with many nuances that only a professional designer is keen on. Its definitely one of my favorite aspects of brand design! I hope this blog post helps guide you in the right direction when making font selections for your next design project, before you’re ready to hire a professional for help.

Looking to understand more on color in branding next? Check out this blog post, this blog post or this blog post, all pulled from the archives throughout the years!

  1. Amy Fletcher says:

    I don’t think the font you have listed is actually Monalisa Regular.

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