One very important way to look like the expert is to be consistent with how you use fonts. It’s not enough to use your logo, you need to establish consistency throughout all of your marketing materials: in your website, on social media, in print, on your business card. All your materials as a whole really establish your unique look, your brand. There are some very important and simple rules about how to do this through the fonts you use.

1. Practice the Rule of 3

Choose 3 main fonts for your “font family.”
  • Emphasis: A strong font you use for emphasis (like a headline).
  • Accent: A font you use for support that should be used sparingly to accent (like a tagline or highlight text).
  • Body Copy: A font you use for body or large blocks of text.
  • Web Font (Optional): You may want to also include a web font if the fonts you’ve chosen above aren’t able to be used for web. Google Fonts has free web fonts and readability is key here, as well, since the web font will need to be able to accommodate large blocks of text. This should be easy to read and not a “fun” font. (Think Arial, Verdana, or Trebuchet.)
2. Never choose creativity over readability!
You worked hard on choosing the perfect words to say. Make sure they can be read.
3. Just because you like a font, doesn’t mean you should use it.
Discretion is important here. There are millions of fonts available, a lot are free, but when you deviate from your “font family,” you lose consistency and since consistency leads to brand recognition, you’re doing some damage here.

4. Make sure the font you choose relates to the message you’re sending.
If your ideal customers are males, ages 25-50, don’t choose a scripty, feminine-looking font just because you think it’s pretty. Be sure you appeal to your ideal customer and the style they can relate to.
5. You can have more fun with shorter text.
If you are writing a headline and it’s short and concise, it’s still not appropriate to use a “cute” font. Again, readability is key here and you can get by with using a “cute” font on words like “New” or “Now Open.”
6. Keep your font styles separated.
When using serif style fonts, don’t mix them with other serif style fonts. Serifs pair well with sans serif fonts. If you’re using a strong, sans serif font, they pair well with script fonts or handwritten fonts, or serif fonts. Try not to use them with other strong, sans serif fonts.

Of course, as with all rules, there are occasions when these rules can be broken. Generally, when these rules get broken, it’s by a professional designer who has a bigger scope for the project. Your goal should be about establishing and maintaining the overall consistency of your brand and these are basic rules you can use to do that through your typefaces. I highly recommend establishing a “font family” immediately if you don’t already have one. Or if you’re completely lost, I’d love to help you find your way through all the beautiful fonts that can effectively communicate your message. What are your “font family” fonts? Share below which fonts you use consistently.