I had a doctor’s appointment today. The doctor didn’t show for at least an hour. He also wasn’t answering calls from his frazzled staff. I hope he’s OK and glad that my need wasn’t urgent and that I was able to rebook. I also took advantage of the enforced downtime to read Nick Simson’s 26 Days of Type, which had been on my to-read list for a while.

What a treat to learn so much about typefaces from someone who clearly knows what he is talking about and loves what he does. Thanks Nick. Thanks especially for the link to The 3 secrets to Font Pairing. I’ve only skimmed that, and I’m not sure that as a rank amateur I have the skills to consider the emotion a typeface expresses or the similarity of curves. I’m going to try though.

And this is relevant because I am in the throes of redesigning one of my sites from the ground up, and with the scaffolding in position, it is time to consider typefaces and pairings. I have an anchor for body copy — Charter — and I think I have a pairing for headlines etc. — CooperHewitt — but until I have done a fair bit more work, I won’t be sure.

Will I be sure even then? Nick Simson offers this advice:

Combining type is notoriously difficult. Because it isn’t easy, I think it’s worth doing well, and not outsourcing to something like AI. And I mean testing type combinations with real content, not abstract dummy text like lorem ipsum. It takes a human eye to figure out what feels right. Two typefaces that seem right on paper may not have the desired effect when put together.

So, yes, my barely-trained human eye will have to do the needful.

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