HG: First of all, use a mood board. Choose three words that describe the idea or the emotion that you want to convey to your users. This will help your search. Let’s say that I want to convey happiness and childhood. I’m not going to pick a font that is thin and “high techy.” I’m probably going to choose something that’s a bit more joyful, perhaps something a little circular, something that’s a bit more childish.
Think of the concepts, words that help you imagine the idea. If I say “ice cream,” for example, you have a specific idea of what ice cream should look like. It’s not going to be something square, right? But something circular. It’s the same for fonts.
MM: So you’re basically looking at the attributes of the font the same way you look at the attributes of an element, or an icon. You’re looking at it from a graphic point of view. I would say, even geometric.
HG: Not always. If I’m conveying “woman versus man,” for example, men will be usually be represented by something more squared and a woman by something with curves. It’s not necessarily geometric. Perhaps you could call it a vision of an idea.
HG: I think that you should just have fun. If it’s something that is hard, and you don’t have fun with it, so it’s not worth it. I mean, I guess you’re going the wrong way about your work process.
MM: Speaking of having fun, where does your intuition come into this? How much does intuition play into making your choice of font?
HG: It’s something that comes with experience. I think that in the beginning, I wasn’t good at picking fonts because it’s a really difficult area and people are scared of it. And it’s okay, I can understand it. I was scared. But if you try to do it one time and then another, and another, you’ll begin to get better at it, just like with bicycles.
MM: Is there anywhere you would recommend where we could start learning how to pick fonts better?
HG: You should search Google fonts where you’ll see font pairings, and read about the font as well. There are a lot of places that show the font and offer recommendations and explanations as to why a font is good for a certain image or idea. You could also pick images and try pairing fonts and get a feel of what works.