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How to Use Multiple Fonts in One Project

written by: Thursday Bram•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 6/24/2011

Using multiple fonts is easy with desktop publishing software—almost too easy! Making sure that your fonts match is a must, if only to make sure that your target audience gets all the information out of your project as they can.

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    Decorative Fonts and Text Fonts

    There are some truly creative and unique fonts out there. They're eye-catching, decorative — and tough to read. A good example is Talvez Assim, a font created to be decorative. The letters are art forms in and of themselves, but you wouldn't want to set the time and date for a very important meeting in Talvez Assim because not everyone may be able to read it. Decorative fonts are instead best used for drawing attention to the project or even to specific words. If, for instance, a specific date is particularly important for your readers, you could draw attention to the date by setting the word 'date' in a decorative font and then setting the actual date in a more legible text fonts.

    Text fonts are designed to be read. They tend to be particularly clean, like the characters in the typeface Sanford. You can read large blocks of text set in Sanford with no strain, while setting an entire paragraph in something like Talvez Assim almost guarantees that the paragraph won't be read. Text fonts can be particularly important if your readers are in certain demographics. If, for instance, you're completing a project for children who are just learning to read, it's important to pick easy-to-read fonts in order to avoid confusion. You may even choose to use decorative fonts that aren't particularly ornate for decorating your project.

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    Decorative Fonts and Text Fonts

    Talvez AssimSanford
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    Multiple Fonts in One Place

    It's tempting to use a wide variety of different fonts for a desktop publishing project — after all, you already have them. But using more than two or three fonts in one project can quickly make it seem like you're writing a ransom note with different letters cut out of the newspaper. Instead, it's crucial to limit yourself to just a few fonts for a particular project — and if you're creating a series of projects that go together, like a poster and invitation, you'll want to use the same set of fonts throughout the series.

    For many projects, choosing a text font and a decorative font can be enough to put together a well-designed project. Pick a decorative font that matches the overall theme of your project and match it with a text font. If you can find a text font that appears to be fairly similar to what your decorative font would look like without its decorations, so much the better.






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