Typography 101: Methods to choose a model font

Be daring

There was a “bathe thought” meme circulating lately, mentioning that “accents are simply mouth fonts.” All of the design nerds at GoDaddy Studio had chuckle at that one. However the perception is kinda profound, from the angle of your model’s id, and extra particularly, your model font.

You see, phrases aren’t simply phrases within the context of design.


They serve a twin operate — speaking info and telling a narrative. Like an accent, the way in which by which we obtain and decode even fundamental info is affected by the idiosyncrasies of the voice telling it to us. And this distinctive tone of voice is a results of that particular person’s origin story.

So now the query arises: What distinctive accent does your model have, and what can this inform us about you? Your alternative of brand name font is basically the important thing ingredient to shaping your model’s voice on the market on the earth, consistent with your story and your graphic model.

Look right here, for instance, on the identical model title written in three very totally different font kinds. Every of them appears to return from a very totally different world, and we all know this instinctively, with none further graphics, pictures, or phrases. We learn all of them barely in a different way.

san-serif acacia

Serif Acacia

On this publish, you’ll stroll away with:

  • A working information of the essential rules of typography.
  • Insights on how fonts can have an effect on your model id and messaging.
  • The power to search out, navigate, and edit fonts in GoDaddy Studio.
  • Your personal custom-made number of typefaces so as to add to your model board.
picture of Storme Conradie and quote
Actual discuss from GoDaddy Studio design curator, Storme Conradie

This info goes to make your inventive selections extra tuned-in to your model. Selecting your hero fonts upfront will even develop model consistency, and prevent a great deal of time within the design course of down the road. We’re pondering long-term right here, people!

GoDaddy Studio makes the method of discovering fonts and creatively modifying textual content very simple and intuitive.


As soon as you realize the fundamentals, virtually something is feasible.

The artwork of typography

For many of its existence, typography has been a extremely specialised area for skilled designers with a factor for microscopic element.

However with the appearance of non-public computer systems and phrase processors, the typical individual has been offered with a universe of typographic prospects for the primary time. And these choices simply maintain increasing as the sphere of typography retains rising.

At the moment, most gadgets come pre-programmed with a whole lot of font kinds.

font options and designs
GoDaddy Studio has greater than 500 distinctive fonts, all free with a Professional account

It’s an ever-evolving artwork kind, and in as a lot as there are some unshakable guidelines we’ll take a look at on this chapter, typography — like all types of artwork — is topic to the tide of traits.

We’ve been seeing a surge within the recognition of Delicate Serifs, Supersized Kind, and Didones.


The purpose to take from that is that — whether or not we notice it or not — we’re all extremely finely tuned to the subtleties of typography. In actual fact, we’re subconsciously snobbish to the extent {that a} poorly chosen font (Papyrus or Comedian Sans anyone?) may rightfully elevate a crimson flag and strongly have an effect on our resolution to have interaction with a model in any respect.

Acacia in two different fonts on navy background
You’d in all probability belief your life financial savings with one in every of these firms greater than the opposite.

Let’s begin with some fundamentals and fine-tune as we go alongside.

Typography 101

It’s essential to get some terminology straight on the outset as a result of typography design has its personal secret language to explain construction and spacing.

When you begin wanting nearer on the nuances, you’ll have the ability to categorical your selections higher (“I like Sanchez Daring, however suppose it wants some monitoring and an possibility with heavier serifs.”)

First off, the distinction between a font and a typeface is complicated. You should use them interchangeably for probably the most half (we’ll do precisely that on this chapter), however to be completely appropriate and acquire some cred with the kind geek crowd:

  • A typeface is a household of fonts (Baskerville, for instance).
  • A font refers to any variation of this typeface (Baskerville Common, Baskerville Daring, Baskerville Italic, and so forth).

That is essential to know as a result of whereas some typefaces in GoDaddy Studio have just one default look, lots of them can have variations in weight and elegance — i.e a number of fonts inside a given typeface.

Gif of Baskerville font and it’s styles
The Baskerville typeface has a number of fonts.

Anatomy of a font

Typographers clearly personify their creations, judging by what number of phrases for the bits and items that make up letters, numbers and symbols are borrowed from the human physique. You may by no means consider an ear, shoulder, leg, arm, or backbone in fairly the identical manner after as we speak. The alternate definitions of beaks, bowls, tails, and spurs may also shock you.

This diagram identifies the vary of parts that make up a typeface. The extra you study typography design, the extra you’ll begin taking note of how these little particulars differ from font to font.

Elements of typography explained

Now let’s contemplate how we confer with the positioning of textual content in your canvas, and the spacing between letters, phrases, and paragraphs.

This diagram illustrates the relative excessive factors and low factors of a font from its baseline. The elements of a letter that rise above this are known as ascenders, whereas the bits that dangle under the baseline are known as descenders.

Heights of typography explained

The size of ascenders and descenders in a phrase will affect the relative area between textual content above or under.

If the ascenders and descenders get too shut to one another, the traces really feel compressed, and the paragraph would require extra effort to learn.

On this case, we would wish to regulate the main: the area between traces of textual content.

That is a simple adjustment to make in GoDaddy Studio, by merely dragging the dial inside the Type tab when modifying fonts.

Example of tight leading in fonts

Opened leading example

After we’re coping with areas between the letters themselves, we confer with monitoring.

If letters are too shut collectively, the phrase might be tougher to learn. Once more, it’s a easy edit in GoDaddy Studio, switching to the monitoring dial, and adjusting the spacing so as to add some respiration room, and legibility. You may mess around with this as a inventive aptitude for positive, too.

tracking at 0 / standard

Tracking opened up

Kerning is comparable, however refers extra particularly to the spacing between two adjoining letters, and never the entire phrase.

Typically the phrase can be evenly spaced, however two specific people are standing a little bit too shut for consolation. Restoring stability right here requires optically adjusting the kerning — or simply, you realize, closing the hole a little bit.

bad kerning example

Optically kerned example


The ultimate typographic lingo we’ll run by is hierarchy, and this one’s essential as a result of it’s the way you’ll navigate the reader’s eye by your design.

In any design with textual content — an Instagram Story, a poster, a presentation — we are able to’t merely take all of it in at a single look.

To decode your message clearly, our eyes must have a place to begin, after which proceed in the best order — from level a to level b, c, d, and so forth. With out this precedence order for the knowledge you’re relaying, your message can be complicated at finest, and irritating at worst.

The thought of hierarchy is most clearly expressed in editorial design, which has its roots in centuries-old newspaper layouts and stays the default as we speak.

Scanning the pages of a publication, printed or digital, the very first thing to seize your eye will at all times be the headline or title. If this piques your curiosity, the sub-heading may provide you with a little bit extra context, and if you happen to determine to learn on, you’ll dig into the physique copy.

These three ranges are sometimes expressed in descending order of measurement:

Hierarchy of headline, subheads, and body copy

This age-old concept nonetheless applies to virtually all graphic design and branding.

Take into consideration a live performance poster, whether or not it’s on a road pole or your social feed. You’ll solely look at it for a second.

Example of event sign

On this instance, there’s an order by which the designer needs us to learn the knowledge: a hierarchy from most to least important. We’ll take up this info sequentially, so every part must nudge us on to the subsequent in a logical manner:

event poster with example of order

The reader strikes by textual content everywhere in the web page, however in a coherent order:

  1. The Desert Foals! I like them!
  2. Taking part in stay in my city? The value isn’t too steep…
  3. When and the place is the present?
  4. How do I purchase tickets?

This instinctual, instantaneous course of merely doesn’t work in reverse, and so the secret is to be sure that probably the most important info is absorbed first.

There are a number of methods to do that as a technique to engineer your hierarchy.


Dimension is the obvious one: the extra actual property the phrase takes up on the web page, the extra possible we’re to learn it first.


Bolder, heavier typefaces will sometimes get observed earlier than skinny, slender fonts, merely due to the unignorable presence they demand.


All issues being equal, a phrase expressed in a powerful, vivid coloration will at all times entice the attention greater than one thing impartial, pale, or monochrome.

It’s no totally different from being transfixed by a single pink flower on a inexperienced and brown tree.


Entrance and heart is at all times a great place to seize consideration, however for extra text-heavy design, keep in mind that the (English-speaking) human mind is wired to scan from high to backside, left to proper — making the highest left quadrant of the web page our default beginning place.

That’s sufficient concept for now. It’s time to make use of all this information to make some knowledgeable selections to your model.

Let’s take a gander on the choices.

Kinds of typefaces

types of typefaces

All of the 1000’s of font kinds on the earth can principally be grouped into 5 principal teams or households.

They’re categorized by their construction, however that is very carefully associated to the context by which we use them.

These fast reference guides embody some examples of the related typefaces we’ve ready so that you can check out in GoDaddy Studio:


Serifs are these tiny little extensions that stand out from the tops and tails of some letters. Whether or not a font has these or doesn’t, will have an effect on its classification.

Serif fonts, as you might need guessed, do have serifs. It’s form of their factor.

For hundreds of years, just about all typefaces have been Serifs, and as such, they’re related to classicism, and custom — traits that counsel trustworthiness, and authority.

Stylistically, they exude sophistication and grandeur. Equally at dwelling in a headline, emblem, or full web page of textual content, elegant Serif fonts are extremely sensible all-rounders in your model id equipment.

Examples of serif fonts

Sans serifs

Sans is the French phrase for “with out,” so sans serifs are fonts with out these little doohickies on the ends of them.

With out this added ornamentation, they seem cleaner, extra geometric, and minimalist. There’s straightforwardness and ease inherent on this, and types that worth these concepts would gravitate to fashionable sans serif fonts (check out many tech firm fonts and also you received’t discover serifs).

Rising a lot later in typography’s historical past, they conjure up associations of modernity and progressive pondering. Sans serifs are supremely legible, which is why you’re in a position to learn this paragraph so simply. They workforce up superbly with their serif cousins as a font pairing: an unbeatable combo is a serif headline, with sans serif physique copy.

San serifs font example

Slab serifs

A slab is one thing we discuss after we confer with monumental, flat sections of stone or concrete. So, within the typography world we are able to think about Slab Serifs as precisely that: fats, chunky serif fonts of serious weight.

You’d be extra possible to make use of this for a headline reasonably than physique copy. Their hefty presence makes them not possible to disregard. Counterbalancing a powerful slab serif headline with a no-nonsense sans serif for physique copy is a stable pairing.

The well-built jocks of the font household, slab serifs challenge energy, confidence, even athleticism — however not and not using a sense of playfulness. This is perhaps why it’s the Varsity sports activities sweater customary.

Slab serifs font examples


We’re clearly all in denial concerning the loss of life of handwriting since there are a whole lot of fonts that emulate the O.G typography: pen on paper.

There’s an inherent magnificence to the unbroken, liquid dance of traces that sketch phrases like patterns on a web page.

In GoDaddy Studio, it’s a heck of so much simpler than mastering fountain pen method. Digitized although they might be, Script fonts recall to mind the work of human fingers. They’re expressive, free and informal, however equally able to femininity and class.

Not at all times the best to learn, they make higher headlines and subheadings than physique copy.

Script font examples


The title says all of it, proper? Show typefaces, or ornamental typefaces, are the massive ones you’ll convey out once you actually wish to get observed.

They’re for headlines and logos primarily — the primary occasion. These typefaces are elaborate, ornate and playful, with an consideration to element that carries by to our associations together with your model.

Choosing ornamental fonts in your model equipment is a thought of transfer; they operate as graphic components, and as such must align together with your model’s graphic model.

display or decorative font examples

Font pairing

Within the final part, we talked about that sure typefaces work effectively with others. We additionally mentioned hierarchy and the concept that copy normally seems at totally different sizes and lengths in any design.

When you may use a single typeface for all of your branding and communication, it’s way more widespread (and smart) to have two or three choices in your equipment of font kinds, to make use of at totally different positions inside your hierarchy.

Sadly, not all fonts can co-exist harmoniously. Some mixtures simply look unsuitable.


They will tug in numerous stylistic instructions, compete for dominance on the web page, or simply appear to exist in numerous worlds. Font kinds which can be too comparable bother the attention too, because the reader wavers between studying, and noticing refined variations between the necks, shoulders, toes, and ears of the 2 barely totally different typefaces.

Font pairing refers to choosing two or three fonts to your model equipment that work in concord, regardless of their variations.

Past our basic recommendation of selecting a mix that’s neither too totally different nor too comparable, it’s troublesome to prescribe any onerous guidelines right here. Distinction is essential: pair chunkier fonts with extra slender ones, an expressive typeface with an easy possibility.

The choices inside your model equipment may additionally embody totally different font variations of the identical typeface: daring, italic, textured, and so forth.

uote from Storme Comradie

Among the fonts we’ve in GoDaddy Studio are known as duo fonts, which is mainly a typeface with two very totally different expressions designed to work collectively.

Primarily, it’s a pre-selected font pairing — a two-for-one for the taking.

You’ll must check out a number of mixtures to search out the magic method, which can in fact hinge in your model’s model.

As a place to begin, listed below are some solutions for font pairings we expect work significantly effectively collectively — grouped in accordance with our 10 graphic kinds. Both use these or attempt refined variations as you develop a custom-made combo so as to add to your model board.

Daring font pairings

Example of bold font pairings

Minimal font pairings

Minimal font pairings example

Elegant font pairings

Elegant font pairings example

Trendy font pairings

Modern font pairings example

Avenue font pairings

Street font pairings example

Basic font pairings

Classic font pairings example

Luxurious font pairings

Luxury font pairings example

Playful font pairings

Playful font pairings example

Natural font pairings

Organic font pairings example

The precise fonts to your model

As we’ve emphasised earlier than, the secret in terms of creating your model’s id is consistency: decide them, and keep on with them.

Similar to your graphics, pictures, and colours, choose font designs that complement your model’s story and elegance. That stated, belief your intestine right here. That you must be in love together with your model’s typeface greater than anyone else, seeing as you’ll be utilizing it every day.

Love at first sight is nearly as good a purpose as any to information you.


Right here’s some glorious parting recommendation from the king of the kind geeks at GoDaddy Studio – our senior UX designer, Daniel, who additionally runs a devoted font fanatic account @kind.bot that we advocate you comply with for ongoing inspiration.

quote from Dan Klopper

Daniel suggests seven key factors to think about when selecting a typeface to your model id:

  1. Make sure that it’s clearly readable and purposeful earlier than selecting a typeface primarily based on its appears to be like. It must work throughout many mediums as your model evolves over time.
  2. Typography kinds are expressive and evoke feelings, so select a font that’s versatile and permits for various moods, relying on what content material you must create.
  3. Appears are essential and can’t be ignored. It helps to differentiate your model from others. It’s essential to consider the distinctive letterforms and in the event that they maintain their very own character, plus in the event that they elevate your model and don’t fall into the generic pool.
  4. Be in line with the usage of your major typeface. Experiment with format and varieties and be constant in supply of kind scale and composition, in order that your viewers can simply establish your model.
  5. Begin easy and if you must develop and evolve your model, begin pondering of a complimentary typeface that accentuates your major typeface and general model.
  6. There’s a restrict. It’s finest apply to maintain your model’s font household within the vary of 1 to 3 fonts that work effectively collectively. A very good start line is a single font that’s versatile in its weighting and elegance.
  7. Once you’re establishing a model from scratch, a single well-chosen typeface can serve you and your model effectively, earlier than having to think about extra typefaces (if in any respect). Begin easy and construct confidence by steady creation.

quote from Storme Conradie

Create your model new model with GoDaddy Studio as we speak, and discover the right fonts to face out in model. 

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