If you do a google search for “what fonts go with…”, you’ll see Futura, Century Gothic, Bebas, and a few other suggestions pop up in the auto-suggest tool. We just did a post on fonts that look great with Futura, and now we are continuing on to Century Gothic.
Century Gothic is similar in some fundamental ways to Futura, but has some very unique differences that clearly set it apart. For instance, notice how the terminals of the letter “C” (and other letters) differ from each other in this illustration (which I reconstructed from an uncredited source on Pinterest):
The perpendicular cut of Futura seems to make it feel more “serious”, where Century Gothic feels a bit less formal. If you compare Century Gothic and Futura in a variety of settings, you’ll see that to a large degree they can be used interchangeably. So, let’s see what fonts work with Century Gothic, pulling from a list of classic typefaces we keep handy, and see what kind of look and feel we can get going.
5 Fonts that go with Century Gothic
1. Century Gothic and Bodoni
This combination looks like it would work best in a display context, like a poster or a flyer. It’s got a strong sense of classic authority because of the nature of Bodoni, but it also has a modern friendliness to it. Century Gothic is commanding and friendly, but not to the point of being casual or warm. It seems like this would be a great combination to use in a poster for modern classical music concert.
2. Century Gothic and Caslon
Here is a combination we can do a lot more body copy with. Bodoni is not a body font for any length of text for sure. So when we move on to Caslon, we are in a context of a lot more text. They work together but it’s not a great match, but it can work in the right context. Caslon is definitely a more formal typeface with narrow glyph widths, which creates contrast with the wide-set stance of Century Gothic. I could see this combination working in a context where there is a lot of serious-subject copy, like financial or legal disclosures, where there might be a large number of section headers. The section headers in Century Gothic would be bold, easily scannable in a long document you might be flipping through, and would efficiently guide you and drop you off in the right section of serious-business content set in Caslon.
3. Century Gothic and Minion
This is a pretty friendly combination, and the two typefaces here seem to have a happy rapport between them. I could see this working really well in a user manual that needed to be a little copy heavy, but have a friendly feel to it at the time. It feels more modern and less serious than the Century Gothic / Caslon combo, though Minion and Caslon share the same typeface classification. Minion is a recent take from the 1990’s on classic Renaissance-era typefaces, like Caslon.
4. Century Gothic and New Baskerville
At first glance, a Century Gothic and New Baskerville combination looks very similar to a Century Gothic and Minion combination. I’d say some of the same commentary applies. But New Baskerville definitely feels a notch or two friendlier and homier. It turns out that Baskerville was the basis for the popular typeface Mrs. Eaves, who if living would no doubt have set out tea and crumpets for us by now.
5. Century Gothic and Souvenir
This combination has me thinking of the famous painter-pesonality Bob Ross and his “happy little clouds”. But not so much for his campy presentation and rigid formula-style painting. But for his friendly persona (complete with a warm and fuzzy halo of hair) that was the front to an art supply instruction and supplies business that persists to this day. Century Gothic is all business, with a smile. Souvenir is a botox-smile sliding you a business card.
Yo, Font-Addict! Make sure to check out The Big Book of Font Combinations. Go grab a copy from Amazon or B&N and stare at all 350+ examples of informative font combinations for web and print. You know you want to!
Once again, I can state that it’s a fact that subjectivity rules the day when it comes to creating workable font combinations. After the technical side of choosing a typeface, there is the subjective art of deciding what to do with it and other typefaces and how to mix them. Your eye has to be the guide. But look at good typography a lot, and it will be easier to recognize the good (and the bad) in your typographic choices when you make them.