Mixing Hand Lettering with Fonts


Have you wondered how to best mix hand lettering with fonts?  I started out mixing hand lettering with fonts out of laziness actually! On my Instagram account, I include a fun, hand lettered quote every 4th post.  To make each of those more consistent looking and easier to digitize, I started lettering just the focal point of the quote, then mixing that with a font.  If you follow these 4 tips for mixing fonts, you’ll be able to do it in a professional and pleasing manner every single time.


  1. Think about the mood of the fonts
All fonts have moods to them. Some are more serious, whereas other are playful.  For instance, you might not want to choose the same font for a black tie wedding invitation as you would for a birthday party sleepover.  When you look at a font, think about how it looks and what it makes you feel.  When choosing fonts to go with your hand lettering, consider the mood of the piece you are creating.  The above quote is one that is light and fun, so the font I chose also conveys that.
2. Consider the contrast of the font
When choosing a font that goes with your hand lettering, you should consider fonts that contrast with each other enough that they are clearly different fonts.  However, you don’t want the contrast to be so different that it’s jarring to the reader.
3.  Look at the weight of the font
Just like contrast, you will want to think about the weight of the fonts you choose.   The weight of a font is how thick or thin a font is.  In the quotes above, the font I chose to go with my hand lettering has a much lighter weight than the hand lettered words.  The two weights are different enough that it really highlights my focal word of each quote.
4.  Choose two different types of classification
Fonts can typically be classified into (1) serif fonts (fonts that have small lines or feet at the ends of certain strokes); (2) sans serif fonts (fonts without the serifs or the small lines at the ends of strokes); or (3) script fonts (fluid fonts based on handwriting and fluid letters).   When mixing fonts, choose two different types of classifications.  All of the quotes above include a script font (my handwritten font) and a sans serif font.

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