Secrets to Stunning Signs | Font Combos

June 01, 2021 3 min read

Secrets to font pairings

 

Ahhh—the sweet anticipation of knowing your vision is being expertly crafted for you. You can see that beautiful wooden sign with your babe’s name on it, hanging proudly on display. 


But wait. Is your vision a little fuzzy? Parents ask us all the time for font recommendations, and I don’t blame them...it takes some imagination! The truth is, there’s nothing like seeing your baby’s name dance into reality, and physically adding it to your space, your story. 


Choosing the perfect combo can make you see stars. Take it from this mama:


Absolutely beautiful. I cried when I opened the package and saw our little girl’s name for the first time written out (pregnancy hormones). - Nikki


So have a seat and get comfortable my friend, because it’s DIY Time with yours truly! 

(Disclaimer: Please note that the look and feel you get from a sign or a font is super subjective. These are merely the opinions of one mama, with no formal training in typography. I just know what gives me little butterflies when I get to pack them up to send home. The best choice for you is the one that fits your unique style.)

Now that you know these aren't rules, just inspiration to help you picture your keepsake, let’s get started! [Click to open our preview tool in a new window to experiment as you go.]

Here are my top 3 tried-and-true techniques:

  1. Think through your style, or the vibe you’re going for
  2. Opposites attract when it comes to font type and weight
  3. Consider the characters

DEFINE YOUR STYLE

Take a look around your home, through your wardrobe. How would you describe your style to a friend? Now translate that into a font style.

Scripts - handwritten versions can be more modern or trendy, while a delicate option can give a sense of softness.

Prints - straight, clean lines lean toward the modern feel, think sans serif for you technical folks (or without decoration), while the ‘tails’ or ‘hooks’ on other fonts can feel classic, timeless, or playful depending on the sharpness or shape.

Check these out (fonts in preview tool):

  • Modern: Chestnut, Sycamore, Pear, Saffron
  • Classic: Elm
  • Whimsical/Playful: Kiwi, Plum, Hickory, Clementine, Lemon, Avocado
  • Delicate: Apple, Willow, Olive 
  • Trendy: Aspen, Maple

OPPOSITES ATTRACT

Thicker fonts tend to attract the eye. Meaning if you choose something thin for the first name, even though it might be a larger  size, a thick middle name can upstage the first name. Instead, try fonts with similar weights, or choose a thicker font for the name you want to focus on.

Now let's double back to font styles (scripts vs. prints). Pairing two different scripts can make them look like they’re competing with each other, or it can make your sign look overly busy. On the flip side, two different prints can sometimes look disjointed.

I'm no matchmaker, but 90% of the signs we create marry fonts of opposite styles. Play around with these ideas:

  1. First name in a print, middle name in script
  2. First name in a script, middle name in a print
  3. First name in an uppercase print, middle name in script
  4. Same font for both first and middle name

CONSIDER THE CHARACTERS

Names with letters that drop below their neighbors can be tricky in a script (like g, j,  p, y, z). Let's walk through it...

  1. Picture a blank shape - is it a rectangle, a circle, a square, something else?
  2. Add in the first name - where do those droopy characters fall?
  3. How long is the middle name? Is it short (like Mae) or long (like Elizabeth)?
  4. Can the middle name be tucked in tight beneath the first name? If yes, great! If no...
  5. Can the middle name overlap the first name, or can it be smaller but still readable? (Remember, the keepsake has an edge, so no cheating and letting the name spill over the side.)

Popular font pairs

Common font pairings

And there you have it! You're well on your way to creating the perfect piece to complement your vision. Don't be afraid to shy away from these suggestions though, at the end of the day, it's your vision.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my brain. Still have questions? Drop us a note here.



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