One of the biggest challenges in design is choosing type that pairs well together. And that is especially true for business owners who are going the DIY branding route and don’t have much design or development experience to inform their decisions.

Sure, you can simply stick with one typeface for your brand and use that across the board. That would certainly ensure cleanliness and consistency. But when you choose that path, you also sacrifice visual interest and the increased legibility that can come with some typographic variety.

So today I’m making things a little bit easier by giving you a handful of suggested pairings to get you started. For today’s edition of this ongoing series I’m focusing on 5 more modern examples.

All of the typefaces included below, though definitely unique, can be characterized by clean lines a very minimal amount of flourishes. They are incredibly versatile and can be considered appropriate for a wide variety of businesses. However, if your brand skews towards the traditional, the ornate or overtly feminine, these options probably aren’t for you. (Don’t worry, I’ll cover selections that will appeal to you in the next installment.)

So without further adieu, here are 5 modern Google font pairings for your website.

Montserrat & Space Mono

  • Use Montserrat’s heavier weights for headlines and display text, as in the sample image. You may want to also use Montseratt’s lighter weights for longer blocks of body copy.
  • Use Space Mono for smaller body copy, but be careful to not use it too heavily. In a long block of text, Space Mono could become hard to read. You could also choose to use it as more of a display font, for things like pull quotes, captions or highlighted information.

Palanquin Dark & Overpass

  • Use Palanquin Dark for headlines, pull quotes and other display text.
  • Use Overpass for body copy, captions and longer running text.

Rubik & Zilla

  • Use Rubik for headlines, pull quotes and other display text.
  • Use Zilla for body copy, captions and longer running text.

Tenor Sans & Fira Sans

  • Use Tenor Sans for headlines, pull quotes and other featured text.
  • Use Fira Sans for body copy and longer blocks of running text.

Fjalla One & Work Sans

  • Use Fjalla One for headlines, pull quotes and other display text.
  • Use Work Sans for body copy, captions and longer blocks of running text.

Next Steps

How to Use Your Chosen Fonts

Now that you’ve found a pairing that you’d like to use for your own brand, you have a couple of options for how to go about implementing them on your website without using code. (Note: the best way to install Google Fonts is with code, but if you don’t have access to a developer, these alternatives are perfectly good ways to get your fonts in place.)

  1. Themes: If you haven’t already built your site, consider using a theme or platform that has Google Fonts capabilities built in out of the box. Squarespace and Elementor, a WordPress builder theme, are two great examples.
  2. Plugins: If you’re already using WordPress with a theme that doesn’t provide Google Fonts access, you can use a plugin to add that functionality. Two popular options include Easy Google Fonts and Use Any Font.

A Few Tips

One last note before you go off to make over your site with some brand new shiny typography. Beyond the simple usage guidelines given with each pairing, here are a few tips you should follow to ensure your site is professional and user-friendly.

  1. Keep your choices simple. Do not go overboard with the number of different fonts you use. Most of the above typefaces include many different weights and styles, but you definitely want to lean towards simplicity. Start with just two—one font for text and one font for headlines—and then review and adjust from there. There is no hard and fast rule about the number of typefaces you should use, but if you’re not used to working with type, erring on the side of caution is always going to work to your advantage. A little bit of visual variety is a good thing, but it can easily turn into a confusing mess if you go too far.
  2. Choose what’s best for your brand. It can be tempting to choose a pairing that feels trendy right now, or that you are personally drawn to, but it’s important to make your choices from a place of what will best represent your brand to the world. What feels right for your brand? What personality do you want to communicate?
  3. Don’t stop at the web. Google allows you to download copies of the fonts to use on your computer, in any word processing or design application you might be using. If this is your starting point, take your chosen font pairing and be sure to extend it to all other brand-related documents that you’re producing. Instagram templates, presentations, sales letters—literally anything associated with your brand that involves text—all can and should be updated to share the same typographic system. This will ensure that your brand is experienced consistently no matter what the point of contact is.

You’ve heard me say it before—Google Fonts is an amazing resource for typography, especially if you’re going the DIY route, you don’t have a whole lot of design experience, or you just don’t have the budget for professional development services right now.

Implementing any sort of design strategy for your business can feel overwhelming, especially since we business owners are faced with countless decisions each day. My goal for these round-up posts is to help you to narrow down your options and simplify the process. All you have to do is make one choice. And then once you do, you’ll be well on your way to a professional and polished brand presence both online and off.