Well I am no expert in typefaces, but one thing is for sure and that is, I am obsessed with them. I’ve wasted countless hours before just meandering online searching for fonts. I remember one moment in particular where I used to take breaks from doing my dissertation to reward myself with searching for a new font. Most of the time I don’t even know what I’m searching for! It’s become such an obsession, I now carefully examine menus, books, shop signs and tv adverts trying to decipher what the font is - a sad game I play - which I am rather good at I may add. On a side note, I feel like that would make a great app! - it probably already is one!
That being said, these are just my opinions about what I think works best, and the general formula I tend to use when marrying fonts together. This by no means says that I have all the answers, and what I say is absolute - because I think its always just an opinion, which is what makes most art so versatile!
I'd like to start with the glossary, just so terminology here won't be lost on you. Here's a little glossary I drew up with simplified language!
One of the biggest habits that I think works well for myself in searching for fonts, is compartmentalising the font into a bracket (obviously this occasionally doesn’t work all the time, and sometimes fonts cross over into different themes) but this general rule of thumb works for me. For example, a script font that seems really quite regal with lots of flourishes would be perfect for wedding stationary, but not necessarily for an album cover for a heavy metal band. Try not to get too excited with a new found font and use it for everything, as tempting as it may seem.
My tutor at university once said, "Never, ever, under any circumstance, use any of the fonts your computer come with.." (Now please bare in mind, he also occasionally swung a samurai sword around in class to help demonstrate animation movements, and also once made us watch a presentation he made of 100 different cat illustrations...actually 98....one was a fox, and the other was a yeti)
I digress, as much as I don't particularly follow this rule this has stayed with me since graduating. So searching for different typefaces for the occasion is definitely something I do. I'm going to narrow it down to a few practical points:
1 ) Using light and bold versions of the same family for versatility, works really well.
2) Script with a different script rarely works, so if you do; keep it simple!
3) Don't be afraid of space! ("Kerning" -the geek term - means adjusting the space between the letters.)
There you have it, three short tips I keep in mind when I'm designing. Hope you find it inspiring and helpful!