Quick Tip To Selecting The Number of Typefaces for Your Design.

My quick tip is to limit the number of typefaces you use in your design or documents. A good rule is to use no more than three typefaces. Select one that has a significant variation in its weights. Another that either contrasts or complements to use for headlines. Possibly a third for use as an accent or pull-out information. You can limit yourself to a single well-defined typeface set for a more minimal approach.

The Google typeface Barlow created by Jeremy Tribby has an impressive 18 styles. (There are also companion typefaces of Barlow Semi Condensed and Barlow Condensed, each with 18 styles.)

barlow typeface showing all 18 styles

Barlow makes an excellent typeface for body copy. Either pair it with a sans-serif typeface for headings or use it at a different weight.

comparison of layout with 1 or 3 typefaces

As you can see above, one side uses three typefaces (left) and the other only Barlow (right). Both options make for an attractive layout. However, if you were to use them without structure, you could quickly end up with visually conflicting elements and reduced communication efficiency.

When it comes to typefaces, less is more.

‘Till next time.


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