Blog - September 5th, 2023

Find the perfect font for your next project

Branding | Graphic design | Marketing

If you could wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be? Choosing a typeface for your business is like deciding what you’re going to wear to present yourself to the world… but for eternity (well, until there is an apocalypse or you want to rebrand).

Selecting the right typeface is all about the message you want to convey. Jim Williams said it best: ‘Typefaces are the clothes for words, and like a finely tailored suit, it’s the detail in their composition that adds interest.

But like clothing, there are many different ways you can add detail, and there are a lot of typefaces out there for you to choose from. Frankly, it can get really overwhelming.

In this blog, we'll break down the process into 7 steps, so you can find the typeface of your dreams - just call us your Fairy Fontmother ✨

Magnify glass saying 'you why'

Step 1: Define your purpose

Any design project needs a solid foundation and clearly defined brief. You need to understand your project’s goals and brand personality. This is important, otherwise you will be selecting a typeface based on your own personal preference - or worse, on fleeting trends. Understanding your purpose will help you figure out the message you want to convey, and how you want to convey it. Think about these four questions:

- What are your core values?

It helps to write down your core brand values and goals. These should influence all of your decisions, from font choice to marketing strategy. Once you know your core values, put them up somewhere so that you can remind yourself of them everyday.

- What is your brand placement?

Where will your brand appear? Print or web or both? If you’re wanting a website you will need web-friendly fonts that are available on all major operating systems.

- Who are your target audience?

Who are you talking to? This is who you want to appeal to the most. Remember to factor in accessibility; by this we mean choosing a typeface that is easy to read and doesn’t clash with colourful backgrounds. 

- What is your brand personality and tone?

This will help you decide what font classification will work best for you. It’s good practice to do the following:

  •  Write down 3 words that represent your brand personality (for example 'confident, friendly and quirky')

  • Write down 3 words that represent your brand style (for example 'artistic, bold and informal')

image of someone holding an ipad with a pinterest board

Step 2: Research

Reflect on what your target audience likes, google to see what other people are doing, browse for design inspiration and collect fonts along the way. 

Set up Pinterest boards and use this handy Pinterest chrome extension tool. Look to the past for inspiration and understand the history of fonts.

Identify typefaces online using Fonts Ninja Chrome extension, or if you’ve seen any fonts you like in the real world, use Adobe Capture for iOS or Android.

An overview of the different font categoriesStep 3: Pick a font category

Fonts can be categorised into different types, and each one has a different function or personality that it conveys. Here are some categories.

Image with a Serif Font, the text reads: 'Serifs are the small lines/strokes at the ends of letterforms.   i.e Playfair Display'


Serif fonts are characterised by small decorative strokes (serifs) at the ends of letterforms. They were used in ancient Rome in stone carvings, and evolved over centuries to gain popularity in the Renaissance on printed materials. 

Characteristics: Traditional, elegant, air of authority, classic, timeless, formal, and readable

An image with a Serif Slab font, that says 'Serifs Slaba have thick, block-like serifs at the ends of letterforms i.e Roboto Slab'

Serif Slab

Slab serif typography features thick, block-like serifs at the ends of letterforms. These serifs are more prominent than in traditional serif fonts, giving slab serif fonts a bold and robust appearance. They emerged in the 19th century during the industrial revolution, being used in advertisements or headlines to make a strong impact.

Characteristics: Eye-catching, strength, stability, confidence, bold, no-nonsense, modern, approachable

An image with a Sans Serif font, that says 'Sans Serifs do no have any decorative lines/strokes at the ends of letterforms i.e Roboto'

Sans serif

Sans Serifs do not have the decorative lines at the ends of letterforms. They emerged in the late 18th century as there was demand for legible and straightforward typefaces, gained popularity in the industrial era and have strong ties with modernist design movements.

Characteristics: Legible, clean, straight forward, modern, contemporary, minimal, clean, clear, simple, versatile.

An image with a Mono font, that says 'Is where the characters occupy the same fixed widths   i.e IBM Plex Mono'


Monospaced or mono typography is where each character occupies the same fixed width, so that they align neatly in columns. They have roots from when typewriters emerged when they needed to even spacing on a page, and the gained popularity during the early days of computing and coding.

Characteristics: Consistent, uniform, clean, neat, technical, precision, retro, efficiency, clarity.

An image with a Script font, that says 'Script imitates cursive handwriting with fluid, interconnected letterforms i.e Baxter'


Imitates cursive handwriting with fluid, interconnected letterforms. They date back to calligraphy and handwritten manuscripts but became popular in printed materials in the 18th century.

Characteristics: Formal, elegant, whimsical, sophisticated, personalisation, warmth, human, luxurious

An image with a Handwritten font, that says 'mimics the appearance of handwritting, creating a sense of individuality i.e Unspoken


This is a type of script or cursive font that mimics the appearance of handwriting to create a sense of individuality. It has been around since the invention of writing instruments and is used in design today to add a human touch to digital designs.

Characteristics: Warmth, intimacy, personal, creativity, human, friendly, approachable, authentic

An image with a Blackletter font, that says 'Is a script recognisable by it’s sharp angles + ornate appearance i.e Schreibweise'


Also known as Gothic or Old English, Blackletter is a type of script that is recognisable by its sharp angles, and its ornate and elaborate appearance. It originated in medieval Europe to write manuscripts and religious texts, and over time it evolved into different regional styles.

Characteristics: Historical, medieval, craftsmanship, traditionalism, timelessness, formality, authority, gothic

An image with a Decorative font, that says 'ANY FONTS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO BE VISUALLY STRIKING OR UNIQUE i.e Becker Gothics'


This could refer to any fonts that are specifically designed to be visually striking and unique. They are often elaborate to set them apart from traditional typefaces. They have been around for centuries, and often mirror artistic movements. It is advised to use these sparingly due to their ornate appearance.

Characteristics: Experimental freedom, creative, elegance, bold, stands out, ornate.

Image that lists some of the Adobe Fonts typeface 'tags; such as 'fun', 'friendly' and 'gothic'Typography vibe

You can also categorise fonts based on themes. Some typography sites such as Adobe Fonts allow you to pick a ‘tag’ or design ‘vibe’ such as: Calligraphic, Clean, Brush Pen, Friendly and Fun.

Fun Fact: We often call Typefaces ‘fonts’ because that is how they are labelled on Microsoft Word Docs, but in fact the word ‘font’ refers to the variation of the typeface such as the ‘weight’. However, you don’t have to get caught up in the design lingo too much, as everyone still knows what you’re talking about when you say font (that's why we will happily use both).

Magnify glass saying 'find your font'

Step 4: Find your font

Sometimes this stage happens when you’re researching or deciding which category of font would best suit you. But it’s worth looking around a bit more once you have made a definite decision on what classification you want to use.

You can pay for fonts, or you can download free ones. Just make sure to double check that you are respecting the font licensing terms of the artist. If you’re going to bookmark anything, bookmark this site, which is essentially a google of online types to download!

It is worth noting that some typefaces have more variations than others. Ideally you want your body copy to come in a lot of different weights (or fonts!) that you can play around with. 

For more ‘decorative’ typefaces used in headers you might want to opt for an ‘Open type font’ as these come with more ligatures and decorative variations to choose from, so that your type can stand out and be a bit more unique. 

Top tip! Avoid trends, even though it’s tempting. You don’t want to be changing your fonts like you change your clothes; it will just lead to confusion for your customers.

Example of font pairing, on the left is an example of using the same typeface with different weights, on the right is an example of using three different typefaces

Step 5: Find your font pairing

Pairing fonts is a whole other level of skill; it’s like playing matchmaker but with typefaces. Remember these two key takeaways:

- Contrast is king

Our eyes are trained to spot differences in order to survive, so try combining fonts from different categories such as a serif with a sans serif.

- Limit the amount of fonts

Either stick to one typeface but make use of font weights and sizes, or select 3 typefaces maximum (for main header, sub header and body text).

You can get more inspiration for pairing at or if you’re super stuck try out this generator

Top tip! Less is more. Don’t pick too many different types of typefaces. Keep it simple.

An image of a loading screen

Step 6: Download your font(s)

- Installing a font on a Mac

  1. Download the font file from a trusted source 

  2. If in a zipped file format (.zip or .rar) double click to extract the font file

  3. Open up Font Book (Applications > Font Book)

  4. Drag the unzipped file (.otf or .ttf) into the Font Book application

  5. You may need to verify the font if a window pops up

- Installing a font on a PC

  1. Download the font file from a trusted source 

  2. If in a zipped file format (.zip or .rar) double click to extract the font file

  3. Right-click the font file (.otf or .ttf) and select "Install" on the menu

  4. A preview window will open; select the “install” button

  5. You may need to verify the font if a window pops up

a checklist saying 'contrast, readability, licensing, personality'

Step 7: Font checklist

Now you’ve got your fonts, make sure they tick the boxes on this checklist. If it feels like it would fail this test, then maybe think about tweaking your choice.

- Contrast

Do the headers and body copy contrast happily with each other? Are they from different ‘categories’ or have different weights? 

- Readability

Is it accessible, can it be read easily?

This should be your main priority. Consider the context of your design and your intended audience - is it suitable? Use decorative, script and ALL CAPS sparingly.

Can you read the body copy in paragraphs, without struggle?

If not, make sure it is 9pt -12pt for reading. If it’s still a struggle maybe try a different typeface or alter the tracking (space between letters) or leading (space between sentence lines).

- Licensing

Have you got the right licensing to use the typeface how you would like to?

- Personality

Does the personality of your typeface represent your brand?


an image that says 'experiment, experiment, experiment' with painted brushstrokes in the background

Selecting the right font for your design project is a creative and strategic process. But our last and final tip would be to embrace experimentation and trust your instincts to find the perfect font to elevate your design. Sometimes it's okay to break the rules if it's the best solution for your brand.

We’d love to see what fonts you picked for your project, so get in touch!

Happy font finding!

Who wrote this?



She / her; green / blue. Zoe is a designer, daydreamer and self-anointed snack queen. Once described as “so awkward she’s charming” by a friend, there isn’t a day that goes by without her accidentally slipping in an innuendo. In winter, she hibernates in a blanket of books and netflix, but by late spring emerges with her trusty birkenstocks, ready to go on photography adventures and socialise with the neighbourhood cats. If she were a pokemon she would without a doubt be Pikachu, but a buzzfeed quiz has determined her to be a Magikarp. She’s a firm believer that buzzfeed quizzes cannot be trusted, under any circumstances.

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