How to Use Way Too Many Typefaces in Your Design

Design by Bethany Heck

This article by designer Bethany Heck extolls the virtues of using lots of typefaces—far more than the commonly accepted good practice of limiting yourself to three—to create richly expressive design solutions.

This approach is antithetical to almost everything that I believe about how good typography is crafted, and Heck’s results are strike me as nearly alien to my own aesthetic. I would be loathe to advise any young designer to follow her lead.

And yet, the article is a wonderfully reasoned counter-argument to rarely questioned typographic dogma, a refreshing inversion of the “rules” to which designers can cling with too few questions. There’s also no denying that Heck’s results are wonderful, gorgeous even. With each typeface she uses, her designs become elaborate systems, almost like orchestras of typographic instruments. I’m humbled just poring over her work samples.

If you hunt for similarities in the typefaces you use and exploit them, you can have a great, diverse system of multiple faces that are fundamentally quite different but work well together because you have a specific role for each to play.

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