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4 Main Font Styles & Font Pairing Tips

Yes, I’m slightly obsessed with fonts.  I won’t share how many fonts I currently have on my computer because you might call the font therapist on me, lol! 

When I first started my design journey, I had no idea what I was doing but as time went by I’ve learned a ton about design.  I find that font pairing is a huge struggle for my clients.  Let’s chat about fonts, font psychology and why it’s important. 

First off, font psychology is the study of how different fonts impact the viewers thoughts, feelings and behavior.  Understanding font psychology is important if your goal is to create impactful designs.

The 4 main typography styles

Serif Font

Serif is the most traditional,  it evokes the feeling of trust, respect, tradition, class, formal, elegance and it is most commonly used in financial companies, fashion, and college brands.

Some of my favorite Canva Serif Fonts:

Abril Fatface, Alice, Abhaya Libra, Arapey, Bentham, Bodoni FLF, Brixton, Buenard, Cardo, Corben, Cormorant Garamond, Forum, Gilda Display, Hatton, Libre Baskerville, Lora, Lustria, Mak, Marcellus, Merriweather, Noto Serif Display, Ovo, Playfair Display SC, Prata, Quando, Quattrocento, Radley, RoxboroughCF, Rufina, Sahitya, Suranna, Unna, and Vidaloka

Sans Serif Font

Sans serif is a modern font and avoids decorative elements making them more readable.  This font evokes the feeling of straightforwardness, trustful, modern, clean and minimal.  It’s most commonly used in sports, technology, modern and startup brands. 

Canva Sans Serif Fonts: Aileron Heavy, Alegreya Sans, Anton, Archivo Black, Barlow, Basic Title, Bebas Neue, Belleza, Brixton Sans, Caviar Dreams, Champagne & Limousines, Cooper Hewitt Heavy, Cuprum, Dosis, Fashionism, Francois One, Glacial Indifference, Josefin Sans, Kollektif, Lato, League Gothic, League Spartan, Libre Franklin, Mallanna, Mardoto, Maven Pro, Merriweather Sans, Montserrat, Muli, Noto Sans, Open Sans, Open Sauce, Oswald, Poppins, Prompt, Pt Sans, Quicksand, Raleway, Roboto, Signika, and  Titillium Web

Script Font

Script font is a more elaborate, detailed, and fancier look.  This font evokes the feeling of fancy, happy, elegant, creative and whimsical.  It’s most commonly used in food related companies, elegant, fashion, and child focused brands.

Canva Script Fonts: Amsterdam Three, Angelina, Angella White, Apricots, Better Saturday, Blastine, Breathing, Brightwall, Brilliant Signature, Daydream, Feeling Passionate, Flatlion, Gellatio, Gistesy, Holiday,  Just Believe, Moontime, Regular Brush, Sisterhood, Virtual

Decorative Fonts

Decorative font is a versatile font that is typically used in logo designs.  It evokes the feeling of casual, fun, and uniqueness.  It’s most commonly used in food related companies and children focused brands. 

My favorite decorative fonts are ones I’ve purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers, Creative Market or ones I’ve created. 

Another element of fonts that is important to note is the weight of a font.  You can have a light, medium or bold weight.  

Light font weight: thinner look, recommended to be used as paragraph text

Medium font weight: most readable, standard look and is also recommended for paragraph text

Bold font weight: thicker look, perfect for titles or headlines as it grabs the viewer’s attention



Font Pairing

Now that we know the 4 main typography styles, how do we put it all together to create the perfect font pairing?  Here are some tips to help you on your font pairing journey.   

* Combine a serif style font with a sans serif font

* Use the same font but contrast with the weight of the font 

* Use 2 to 3 fonts max

* Chunky font pairs well with a thinner font

* Tight spacing with looser spacing 

* Traditional font with a decorative font to add uniqueness 

* Decorative heading with a traditional body

* Contrast, contrast, contrast with font sizes, weight, color, spacing and style

Let’s Review

There are 4 main typography styles: serif, sans serif, script and decorative fonts.  You can use different weights in fonts such as light, medium or bold weight to make text stand out. As for font pairing, use the list above when creating your next font pair.

Looking for templates to make the process super easy?

The DIY Teacherpreneur is a template monthly subscription.  Each month you get a new set of Canva templates and an element guide.  I love the templates, but the elements guide is GOLD!  The guide is a catalog style of elements that you can copy and paste into your design.  It’s all about saving time, with this guide you have the cutest elements in one place.  No more spending hours looking for the perfect element.  Many of the elements you can adjust the color to match your brand, I know it’s AMAZING!

Join the The DIY TeacherPreneur community today!

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