Design Like a Pro – Part 2: Pairing

28th September 2016

In part 1 of “Design Like a Pro” we looked at common mistakes made when adding text to your creative, today we’re going to look at font and colour pairing.

Pairing your fonts for better appeal

Font pairing is something which can even get experienced graphic designers scratching their heads, so for amateur designers, this is something which can easily lead to instant disaster.

There is no correct rule of thumb, but the following guidelines will certainly help the overall appearance of your finished design:


  • Don’t use more than three different fonts in the entire design.
  • Don’t pair fonts that are too similar, for example Helvetica and Arial.


  • If in doubt, choose one serif font and one sans serif font.
  • Always use the same font for headings and another for body copy.

The following fonts would work quite well together in most layouts:

I hope you can see that the following fonts do not work together and would probably result in your design hitting the wastebasket far quicker.

Colour Pairing

Matching up colours can also be quite a challenge for a lot designers; one of the main issues is not having enough contrast which makes the text harder to read, having colours that are quite similar has the same result.

As you can see, some colour pairings are so garish together it would have your potential client reaching for his sunglasses, or worse, the shredder! Bad colour pairing can make the overall design of your creative look extremely amateur.

These three panels have much better contrast; the text is easier to read and the colours are far easier on the eye, giving your artwork a more professional appearance.

Next Time

In part 3 of “Design Like a Pro” we’ll be looking at design grids.