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Combination Table
Serif Classification Sans Serif Classification Example Combination
Oldstyle Humanist Bembo and Gill Sans
Transitional Geometric or Grotesque New Baskerville and Univers
Modern Geometric Didot and Futura
Egyptian or Slab Serif Grotesque or Geometric ITC Century and News Gothic

  Although the idea of typeface combining revolves around contrast, the best serif and sans serif combinations have similar characteristics. On the classifications page, we showed how the cap height and x-height had the largest difference on both the oldstyle serifs and the humanist sans serifs. Both also have a warm, hand-drawn look instead of a machined or geometric look.

So, yes, go with a serif and a sans serif for the contrast, but then look for compatibility so that they will “get along.” This may involve similarity in the shapes of the characters, the proportions, and the distribution of stroke weights.

Below are settings of the combination examples from the table above. Note how nicely they go together—like peanut butter and jelly—and look for their similarities ...
 
 
Type Combinations
 
  Go back to the first combinations page, or go back to the teachings page.  
     
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