DESIGN Q & A: All About the Fonts

In my private DIY Designer Startup Facebook Group {a group devoted to teaching and supporting business owners, entrepreneurs & bloggers with their graphic design efforts} I regularly host opportunities to get their most pressing graphic design questions answered. I also recently had the opportunity to host a weekly Office Hours segment in The Biz Studio Facebook Group. I noticed many of the questions were the same as the ones asked in my DIY Designer FB group, so I figured other entrepreneurs and business owners would probably be keen to learn more about these topics too. With that, I decided to polish up a few to post regularly on my blog...

In this initial Q&A series, I'll be answering some questions about FONTS!

Q. What are your go-to fonts?

A. I have a few go-to fonts that I like to use on the main body text, but I only use it if it goes with the client's design and branding. My go-to's right now are Lato & Oswald and Helvetica Neue as well as a few others. I like to use those because they come in many weights - light, regular, medium, bold, heavy, italic, etc. When you choose a font that has a lot of options, you are less likely to have a messy design. Keeping it to one font with many options allows you to construct a clean design.

Q. When should I purchase new fonts?

You can purchase fonts whenever you feel the need. If you have a vision for a design but you can't do it with the fonts you currently have, then it's a great time to get a new one(s). I really like getting fonts from right now because they are usually under $30.

Q. Is there a set rule on mixing script fonts? i.e. using two script fonts at the same time.

A. I see a lot of designs using and mixing fonts, it seems easy. But. It isn't.

I generally advise not to mix script fonts. It's not an easy thing to do. It's not even something I'm comfortable with, to be honest. But I would say that two fonts used together work well if one is scripty and one is simple. Or if one is Serif and the other is Sans-Serif.

If you are going to mix fonts, as a general rule I would not use more than 2 at a time.

Q. When creating a logo, how many fonts can I use if has 3 words in the name?

A. That's a tough one to answer because so much of a design rests in the mood and message you want to portray. ie. A logo for a kids program might allow for more fonts that play off of each other as opposed to a  logo for an insurance company, which needs to be serious. I always recommend no more than 2 fonts though. But they need to work well with one another and stick with the mood of your overall brand.

Q. How do you organize your fonts? Do you have a font management app/program you like to use?

A. I have tried a few in the past but I currently use and like Fontexplorer Pro. It's what I have used most regularly and for the longest time. I think going on 10 years now. It does an amazing job of keeping your fonts organized, as well as turning on and off fonts as you need them within the software you're using. So, if I open up a file in illustrator which uses a font installed on my mac but is not active, Fontexplorer will open it for me and have it available for me to use within the program. This allows you to keep a minimum of fonts open so your computer doesn't get slowed down by tons of active fonts running.

Have your own design-related questions? I would encourage you to join my private Facebook group here!

I regularly post tips, advice and helpful articles, as well as offer opportunities to promote your business. What others find most beneficial is when I have my "Ask me anything design-related" opportunities and every second Friday is "Feedback Friday" where you can post a design project you're working on and receive feedback from me to make it better. The group is growing, and right now at the beginning stages (with less people) it's a great place to get some 1 on 1 feedback from me. If you join, please take the time to read the pinned post and introduce yourself :)

With design always in mind,

ps. Want to jazz up your design skills? Feel free to sign up for the FREE Graphic Design mini course here: