I dabble in design. I am not, nor do I aspire to be a designer. However, like most of my colleagues who work with text, either printed, or onscreen, I have opinions about type and typography.
I tend to like old-style, angled-serif typefaces, with good balance between thick and thin strokes: Goudy, Jensen, in a pinch Garamond.
But when it comes to pairing typefaces, and choosing display fonts, I waffle. My own preference is for slightly ornate, whimsical type: Gallia
, even Harrington
. I balance my love of whimsy and floweriness against considerations of legibility.
But I recognize that I can't always have ornate display fonts. They're not always appropriate—sometimes I need to focus on legibility, sometimes the documents I create demand a bit more gravitas. So I dither.
I was dithering yesterday over what typeface to use for the headers on a handout on Editing and the Law (aka What Editors in Canada Should Know About Libel, Copyright, Trademarks, Plagiarism, and Model Releases). The body was set in Goudy. A topic of this weight demanded a more serious typeface, but I didn't want to go as far as the monumental Citation
. I didn't want to go the cop-out route of using a darker, heavier family of Goudy, and Helvetica doesn't please me.
So I googled something like "Which font goes with Goudy?" and found my way to Esperfonto
's handycool font-matching engine.
Did I mention it was handycool?
Tell it what typeface you need to match. Tell it how you plan to use the matching typeface—display or body text—and what kind of look you need—traditional or modern? Cool or warm? Serious or friendly? Then the engine suggests a typeface. It seems to like Gill Sans a lot. Daniel Will-Harris, the proprietor of Esperfonto, is quick to remind users that we're getting his suggestions
and we should feel free to disagree.
Lots of other cool stuff at Esperfonto, too, including a list of typefaces that work well together
: a match made in mythology, or maybe Narnia! Joanna & Gill Sans—they're a sweet couple who like to go golfing on Sundays. Albertus
—initially I thought they were going to open a used book store together, but now I see they're actually opening a patisserie.)
Fontastic! *ducks and runs*