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Font Pairing Dos and Don'ts - Typography for Teachers
Episode 611th October 2021 • The Creative Teacher Podcast • Kirsten Hammond
00:00:00 00:16:11

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What fonts go well together? Which fonts should I avoid? 

Have you ever scratched your head about which fonts are best to use for your classroom or TPT resources?

You're not alone. Font pairing takes practice and a little extra time to get right. 

In this episode, I am sharing with you some typography and font pairing tips. These ideas I share with you are perfect if you're wanting to creating a parent form to send home, permission slips, TPT resources, or anything else you are creating for your classroom and business.

These tips are taken from outside of the teacher world (from the graphic design world)!

In this episode, you will learn:

What typography is (and how it is more common than you think!)

The 3 types of fonts that are used

How you should go about choosing a font

Easy font pairing tips that you can tweak and implement as soon as you're in front of a computer

How you can find cute and fun fonts for your classroom and for your Teachers pay Teacher business

I've been font obsessed since childhood, and have definitely upped my game considerably (my 5th grade fonts of choice were Kristen ITC and Ravie). I hope this episode gives you some clarity on how you can pair fonts for the right occasion and audience! 

Mentioned in this episode:

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Kirsten 0:00

Do you want to know a little secret? I have been obsessed with fonts since childhood. I kid you not growing up we had Microsoft Office. And I absolutely loved creating and designing brochures and newsletters and slideshows in Word and PowerPoint. I remember in fifth grade typing and word all the time and printing up papers. And at the time my favorite thoughts were Kristen ITC because, of course, the name Kristen Kyrsten RACV and Tempus sands, but don't worry, I have definitely upped my game very considerably. So today I wanted to share with you some typography and font pairing tips for you and some just some general information about typography. So if you're creating a parent form to send home or a permission, slip TPT resources, anything else you are creating for your classroom and your business. These tips are taken from outside of the teacher world from the graphic design world. So I wanted to bring that in in today's episode.

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact inside and outside of the classroom. I'm Kiersten, a full time classroom teacher and part time business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small to in each week, as I give you my best advice on classroom teaching, and starting and growing a teacher business. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

All right, so we are going to dive right in to typography for teachers. So first off what in the world is typography in the first place? All it is is just the style or appearance of text and it's something you see everywhere you see it on your clothes, you see it on different brands, you see it in commercials, you see it on many products out there, we see typography everywhere we look.

There are three main types of fonts. So the first type of font would be a serif font, and tariffs are little tails that you see on the ends of letters. These types of fonts are great for print items like newspapers, and they also have a classic look so font such as times new roman Garamond. Those are both Serif fonts, they have those little tails around the edges of each letter. The second type of font we're going to talk about is a sans serif font. These are more rounded fonts more modern, they're much easier to read on digital products and computer screens. So we are thinking fonts such as Calibri century Gothic Poppins, those type of fonts. The third type of font would be a simple display font. And these can resemble a handwritten look. They can be print or a cursive script type font. So these are the types of fonts you may see on TPT resources. A lot of font artists such as Amy Groesbeck K finds cagey fonts, Perfect Blend fonts, those those are all display fonts. There's tons of other ones that you can find online that have been around for many years.

I want us to talk a little bit about how you would go about choosing a font. And it really just depends. It depends on who your audience is and what your message is. So if you're writing a letter to third grade students, it's probably up best to avoid some type of super intense. I know super cute. There's so many cute script fonts out there. But it's best to avoid those types of fonts, because students will most likely not be able to read it. Or if you have some type of serious disciplinary letter, or serious referral with some type of bad news, you probably want to avoid some type of fun and light hearted the cute font, your fonts need to match what you want to display. If you're a TPT. seller, you also want to think about this, the types of fonts you use in your brand. So let's say that you are a high school TPT seller, make sure your resources have fonts that are suitable for high school students.

Alright, so I'm going to give you a few font pairing tips. So how you can pair certain fonts together, because I know sometimes it can be hard to see Oh, which fonts go good together which fonts I should avoid which fonts clash. So it can be kind of hard to figure and navigate all of that, especially if you're not the best at graphic design. So here are just a few simple tips that you can take away and utilize. Right now if you are creating something for your classroom, or if you're creating Teachers Pay Teachers resources. One is that font families are your friends. So font families are just basically a typeface. And they range in weight. So they can be very thin, to super, super bold. There's usually font families that have a ton of wide ranges. So one example that I can think of off the top of my head would be Open Sans or Montserrat and Poppins, they're actually Google fonts as well. If you go to Google Fonts, you'll see some of those font families, you'll see a variety of different weights from bold to super thin, you can always pair a bold heading with a thinner body text. That's a simple way to utilize a font family. So you're just keeping the same font in the resource or in the document. And you're just changing from bold to maybe a regular.

Another font pairing tip would be to limit to no more than three fonts on one product. And this is something I actually mentioned in my product listing toolkit. I mentioned it throughout many of my checklists for product covers, and thumbnails and previews, make sure to use no more than three fonts on one resource, or just one product that you're making. And if you're interested in grabbing that toolkit, by the way, it is completely free, you can go to the southern forward slash free toolkit, and I'll make sure to link that in the show notes. So they give you helpful tips on not just fonts, but just really anything that goes into creating a cohesive and appealing product listing.

My third font pairing tip for you would be to stay away from overused fonts. So I'm talking to you Comic Sans, and papyrus and Arial. The fonts that you see everywhere, they are ubiquitous, try to stay away from those you don't want to be lost in the crowd you want to stand out, especially if you're selling your resources online. But just in general, make sure you stay away from those overused fonts that are used everywhere you see them everywhere. My fourth font pairing tip for you is to pair a Sarath with a sans serif font. You'll be surprised at how well this looks together. So for example, you can pair a serif font such as Playfair display and use that as a heading. And you can change the weights you can make it more bold or less bold. And you can pair the body text so you have some type of title in saref. And then the actual text the main meaty portion, with a sans serif font, such as Montserrat or Poppins, or century Gothic. So something that pairs with those fonts with the little tails versus the fonts without the tails actually makes a really cool cohesive look.

My last font pairing tip would be to avoid fonts that look similar with each other as a heading and body. So we are thinking about two script fonts that look almost identical. That doesn't look very good together. And also maybe two super classy fonts that don't go well together. And usually you can tell pretty pretty quickly that it just there's something not right with it. Follow that instinct. If you feel like it just kind of looks a little off, it's probably the case. So you are thinking about the common term opposites attract. I want to share with you an example of how you compare super different fonts and make it look kind of cohesive. If you look at my logo, my actual the southern teach logo, I utilize century Gothic and ag How do you survive as the script font, so it's mixing a sans serif font with a script font. And that kind of gives it a nice little fun look.

Alright, well, here's my creative action tip for today. I love going on font hunts on TPT. Because they're just some really great font artists. So if you're looking for any fun fonts for your classroom, I would totally suggest looking there first. And something that you can start by is downloading Kimberly gesswein fonts. She is a really popular font artist. And her fonts are completely free for personal use in the classroom. So when you download a font, you can use it unlimited times in your actual classroom. If you're a TPT seller, you can invest in fonts for commercial use. So let's say you have a kg font that you really love. And you want to use that in some of your TPT resources, you can actually purchase licenses. And there are some TPT font artists that include the license with your purchase. So if you buy fonts from them, you can get a license with that. My big warning for you though, is just to not go in a deep hole of buying all the fonts because to arrest me, I have been there and it is not fun. It makes somebody who is super indecisive. Like I am even more indecisive. So just a little caveat. All right. Well, that's all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed this graphic design typography lesson, and I will see you again next week.

Thanks for tuning in to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also find me on Instagram at the southern teach. I cannot wait for you to join me in the next episode for more tips and inspiration. Have an amazing day.





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