Google has a catalog of fonts available for public use. These are free and are good for websites, presentations, and graphic design projects.
As of this writing, there are 999 of them with more on the way.
Choices are a good thing. But sometimes having too many options can leave you confused and frustrated.
And so it is with Google fonts.
That is why I have taken the time to put together a collection of seven great Google Font pairings. Seven—the perfect number.
I pored over hundreds of combinations to assemble this lineup. The result is a collection of options that will look great in a variety of designs. You will also find some commentary on each selection and ideas for how to use them.
The Case for Free Fonts
Before I go any further, I would like to answer a couple of questions about free fonts. These are common concerns and ones you may also have.
1. If a font is free, does that mean it looks “cheap”?
The truth is some Google fonts look cheap. But many of them don’t. In my view, every type (font) foundry has its share of “not-so-appealing” choices. This is true for premium fonts as well.
Still, there are plenty of Google Font combinations that will make your design look great. For most of us, we should have no problem finding ones that work well.
2. Are free fonts overused and thus, generic?
Google fonts are quite popular. For this reason, they get plenty of use, some more than others. In creating a unique font style, you may want to avoid the most common combinations.
Keep in mind that there is a reason certain fonts get used more than others. It isn’t coincidence. They just have qualities that make them good.
I have found that there are some great alternatives to some of the more common pairings. My goal in this article is to provide some unique options you don’t see every day.
Great Google Font Combination #1: Halant and Proza Libre
Why I chose it: I don’t think I have ever seen this combination used anywhere and it looks great.
Halant will give your design class. It has a traditional, sophisticated feel. Yet it doesn’t see the usage of Cormorant Garamond or Playfair Display. Italics are not available, so it wouldn’t be ideal for body text. But Halant in boldface font is great for headlines.
Proza Libre is one of the best-looking sans-serif Google Fonts. It’s easy to read, elegant, and complements the traditional style of Halant quite well.
Uses: Articles, blogs, events, personal service professions such as attorneys and agencies.
Great Google Font Combination #2: Catamaran and Merriweather Sans
Why I chose it: This is a standard font combination that isn’t overused and doesn’t look generic. Both are easy to read and legible on small screens. If you’re looking for fonts do their job without being a distraction, this is the pair for you.
Catamaran is best as a headline font. Again, there are no italics, so I wouldn’t use it for body text. But that is why we paired it with Merriweather Sans. It’s a great for reading, especially long sections of copy.
Uses: Agencies, financial services, or modern designs with a gender-neutral audience.
Great Google Font Combination #3: Cormorant Garamond and Raleway
Why I chose it: Cormorant Garamond is one of the most classic, elegant Google fonts. It’s easy on the eyes and legible. It does lose some of its appeal in boldface, so consider that before you choose it.
That’s why we paired it with Raleway. Raleway is a distinct font that can be used for headlines or body copy. It is a thin font by design, which makes it a good partner for Cormorant Garamond. With this combination, Cormorant Garamond remains a dominant in the normal weight.
I have not seen this combination used often either, so if you want a pair that stands out, this is a good choice.
Uses: Artistic designs, photography sites, agencies, and even restaurants.
Great Google Font Combination #4: Arimo and Lora
Why I chose it: This pairing has a minimalist feel with an elegant touch.
Arimo is an improvement on Arial font and can be used for headlines or body text. It looks like a standard web safe font but has just enough character to set it apart.
Lora is an elegant font that conveys style. Using this font is a great way to soften a bold or masculine design.
Uses: Fashion, blogging, magazines, portfolios, photography, and design agencies.
Great Google Font Combination #5: Montserrat and PT Serif
Why I chose it: Montserrat has a contemporary, modern look and works great for headlines. Many websites also use it as body text. It looks professional and is one of the most popular Google fonts.
I’ll admit, Montserrat is somewhat overused. But that is a testimony to how awesome this font is. To offset that issue, we could make it a headline font in ALL CAPS and change the entire feel.
PT Serif is one of the best serifs for body text in the Google Fonts library. It’s legible at small sizes, has a traditional vibe, but looks like it belongs in a 21st century design.
Uses: Personal services, portfolios, agencies, business blogs, and magazines.
Great Google Font Combination #6: Marcellus and Nunito Sans
Why I chose it: Marcellus is an eye-catching headline font, fashionable and clean. It’s also one of my favorites. It does not come in bold or italics, so that rules it out for body copy.
Nunito Sans is a beautiful, clean font that is an elegant body text. This font is one of those that looks similar to a few others but isn’t. That makes it different and a good selection for your brand.
Uses: Portfolios, websites for high-end businesses, restaurants.
Great Google Font Combination #7: Vollkorn and Vollkorn
Why I chose it: No, that isn’t a typo. Sometimes, simpler is better. And what could be simpler than using one font for everything?
Vollkorn is one of the few serif Google fonts you can use for headlines and body text.
It’s legible on smaller screens and has a variety of weights. This means you can use a boldface style for headings and normal or light weights for body copy.
This is a great pair for any business seeking to establish trust and authority.
But the best part? You really don’t see that many websites or designs that use one font. Yet there is a simplicity and uniqueness about doing so that makes a single-font design stand out.
Uses: blogs, e-books, financial services, and personal service businesses.
Get It Here: Vollkorn
Do you need help selecting the fonts for your next design?
Or do you just want a second opinion?
Either way, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Until next time,
P.S. Here are some resource sites that are great for helping you decide which fonts to use.