HomeBookMac 19 font combinations: text and header

As an entrepreneur and business start-up we all begin somewhere.

I am on my second book (and a a third and fourth in the wings) and am in the editing stages now and I am starting to consider how my book will look to others, and in this case, how my fonts will look in the book’s interior. A readability issue: How does my text look to the reader?

How essential are fonts to your readers? Very. Read this article A Comparison of Popular Online Fonts: Which is Best and When? to see how crucial your fonts are to your readers. With most graphic artists there are always the titled blog post called “Great pairs” referring to pairs of fonts that go well together, like FontShop’s blog.

I found a quick link to a quick article that as a novice to fonts it broke fonts down so even I can choose between a few choices. The article 19 top fonts in 19 top combinations (and 19 top fonts from graphic artists around the web) is a first start for those that need to buy a clue from their local graphic artist. But better yet, I’m a better informed customer to a future graphic artist now.

Here’s his list with headline first and text being second and I have indicated in bold which ones are default loaded on the Mac OS:

  1. Helvetica / Garamond
  2. Caslon (Big Caslon) / Univers
  3. Frutiger / Minion
  4. Futura / Bodoni
  5. Garamond / Futura
  6. Gill Sans / Caslon
  7. Minion / Gill Sans
  8. Univers / Caslon
  9. Bodoni / Futura
  10. Myriad / Minion
  11. Avenir / Warnock
  12. Caslon / Franklin Gothic (Franklin Gothic Book)
  13. FF Din / Baskerville
  14. Trade Gothic / Clarendon
  15. Baskerville / Univers
  16. Akzidenz Grotesk / Garamond
  17. Clarendon / Trade Gothic
  18. Franklin Gothic / Baskerville
  19. Warnock / Univers

As I was going over my first book I actually chose #1 above without realizing it, but I see what the author means now. In my second book I stayed with Garamond for text and switched to Gill Sans for headers.

But the one thing that would be helpful is if Doug actually took his comment “I could have picked Baskerville, Caslon, Garamond, or Minion, etc. (all serif typefaces) to go with Futura (a sans serif typeface)” and for us newbies he could have expanded upon this some more. Note to Doug, we just don’t have the “eye” for this stuff! If you do add to this, I’ll put your name in my upcoming book as helping me out. 🙂

Mac OS Mavericks shows around 320+ fonts installed (I have purchased just a few for my own use, but have stuck with what is default).

Anyone with any different ideas or comments?

Update: Here are some sites to find fonts:

Update 1: Here is another source of font combinations, if you like a certain pair.


Mac 19 font combinations: text and header — 6 Comments

    • Hey Doug,

      Here’s the dilemma for us Mac users who are not graphic artists: we don’t have a clue, with my 203 fonts that come with my Mac, what to do with them, i.e. you started with your 19 font combinations, expand upon this for us. By this I mean take the basic Mac Snow Leopard default font list and make “appropriate” combinations for us that we can do for ourselves without taking up your precious time for our simple “Christmas newsletter” and does not look tacky. Sort of the Pareto approach, do these 20 font things and you’ll look 80% better than your neighbor’s newsletter. Make any sense?

      • P. S. I would LOVE to take my Font Book and categorize all of my fonts so I know which ones to use for what, such as the classics for writing text like Garamond. Categories like: text, web, graphics, headline, fun, traditional, etc. just to begin to heading in the right direction.

        • That is great idea for a post! I’ll put the topic in the draft cue and see what I can do. Since I have about 5 billion fonts installed – do you have the list of 203 fonts from your system handy / easily cut and paste-able?

          I find it odd that this topic has not been dealt with more frequently. It comes up so frequently, but I think more so for non designers.

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