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5 Font Rules to Follow When Designing

Shon Roti is the owner of 9inthStreetDesigns, a sublimation and graphic design consulting business, and has a career in the awards and promotional products industry spanning over 20 years. He can be reached at

Because choosing the right font for your project is important, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of appropriate font usage. Here are some basic rules to follow:

  1. Pick a font that complements the design. Your font choice should be different if you’re designing something for a child’s birthday versus a memorial gift for a loved one.
  2. Thicker, bolder fonts tend to be used for headlines, titles, or attention-getting verbiage, and thinner fonts may be used for larger blocks or text or for more detailed information. 
  3. Serif fonts are those with added strokes at the end points or terminals of the letters. Sans serif fonts do not have these features and are considered a more modern font. Large blocks of text are often said to be easier to read if they are in a sans serif font.
  4. Try not to use too many fonts — it can make the design look confusing. Generally, two or three fonts is a good rule. However, this rule, like most rules, can be broken if the design calls for it. 
  5. If you do use more than one font, use fonts that contrast with one another. There’s no reason to use Helvetica and Arial together, as they are too similar. 

—Shon Roti, 9thStreetDesigns

Keep reading about the basics of working with text in the April ’19 issue of A&E