The Ultimate Guide to Font Pairings

Bonfire’s design tool boasts hundreds of fonts, but sometimes it’s overwhelming to choose which font is right for your design. We’ve compiled a guide of font pairing best practices so you can design amazing typographic t-shirts for your community. And, if designing a t-shirt feels overwhelming, we’ve also created 10 typography t-shirt templates for you to use as inspiration!

Best Practices

These four tips for using fonts will help you choose ones that work well together, and give you some ideas on how to creatively transform the fonts you decide to use.

Stick to two fonts
“The more the merrier” isn’t always true when it comes to pairing fonts. When choosing fonts to use in your t-shirt design, try limiting the quantity to two. This keeps your design clean, cohesive, and legible. You can also stick to one font, but create a dynamic design by switching up the size, bolding words, or using all-caps for some phrases.


Mix serifs and sans-serifs
There are two main categories of fonts: Serif, and Sans Serif. Serif fonts, like Times New Roman, have small lines (serifs) at the ends of the letter strokes, whereas Sans serif fonts, like Futura, do not have those lines. When you are choosing fonts to pair together, it’s best to pick one from each category. This helps to ensure you don’t choose two fonts that appear too similar.


Space out the letters
Give your letters some room to breathe! In design tools like Illustrator and Photoshop, you can letterspace your text, which means changing the space between all the letters in a selection of text. In the Bonfire design tool, you can achieve this effect by adding an actual space between each letter. This works especially well when you have text written in all-caps.


Create contrast
There are many ways you can create contrast between the fonts you choose. It’s important to create a “visual hierarchy” in your design so that one’s eye is drawn to the most important words or phrases. You can establish this by changing the size of text. Try making one text element smaller than the other.


Fonts that go well together

We handpicked our favorite font combinations in the Bonfire Design Tool to create 10 awesome design templates. Simply click on any of the typography templates below to start customizing the text and creating your own custom tee.

Sacramento & Montserrat

Cardo & Oswald

Cormorant & Pinyon Script

Playfair Display & Six Caps

Proza Libre & Six Caps

Chivo & Unica One

Shrikhand & News Cycle

Montserrat & Wire One

Nunito & Megrim

Spectral & Inconsolata

Creating a typographic t-shirt is an easy way to design a shirt that your entire community will love.  Do you have any favorite font pairings that you’ve discovered in the Bonfire Design Tool? Let us know!

We’ve also created design templates for many of our most popular categories, such as Adoption, Fundraising, and Mission Trips. You can view more Bonfire Templates here.