Adding Colours to Titles

One is never over-dressed or under-dressed in a little black dress.

Karl Lagerfeld’s quote can be applied to scrapbooking too – it’s really hard to go wrong with a black title or journaling.

However, sometimes black just isn’t the “right” color for a title. In those cases, changing the color might be a way to give your page a literal dash of color.

Example One shows the original title in black. There’s nothing wrong with this title, but it doesn’t help convey the feeling of the photos (changing colours).

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Example Two shows the complete title in a new color. The text layer was selected and a new color chosen. This title works with the oranges in the photos.

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Example Three shows each letter of the title changed to a new color. The colors were selected from the photos and leaf elements tying all of the items on this layout together. In this instance, having the letter in different colours becomes a play on the title.

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Additional Title Ideas

Example Four shows a “sticker style.” In this case, a white stroke was added to the title with a bit of bevel for interest and a drop shadow. This treatment helps the title stand a bit out from the layout.

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Example Five shows the title appearing to be cut out from the paper using an inner shadow effect.

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These are just some of the ways to take your “basic black title” and accessorize it to stand out a bit more from your layout page.

Kit used in layouts: Pixels and Art Design Collaboration Kit – Autumn Twist

TIP: Where to find font combination examples

If you haven’t looked at (and downloaded) Kimberly Geswein’s Guide to Font Pairing (, take a look at this fantastic source!

Doing a search on “Pinterest font combinations” in your favourite search engine and then selecting “images” gives over 1000 results. Click on the photos to see them larger and be prepared to spend a lot of time looking at the photos and searching for the fonts.

Deborah Julene has a blog entry “the best new hand lettered font pairings” (…ont-pairings/; 24 AUG 2016) that not only shows a number of handwritten font combinations but also links to those fonts.

Diana Miller’s site,, has a blog entry with some of her favourite font combinations –…ombinations-2/

Although it takes a little bit of digging through, The Cottage Market ( has a number of font combinations listed on their site. At the main page, do a search for “fonts” and you’ll find results for font pairings along with themed free fonts (such as for holidays).

Gina Luker, from The Shabby Creek Cottage, has a rather eclectic blog – ranging from DIY projects to recipes to holiday tips. She has this post (…binations.html) listing her favourite font combinations. Additionally she has additional posts listing some of her favourite fonts.

This is just a sampling of some of the information regarding fonts and font combinations available on the web. The best place to visit for ideas is Pinterest, but there’s nothing like trying your hand at combining your own fonts into new combinations on your scrapbook pages. Have fun!

Pairing Fonts

What makes a good font combination? While there are a number of articles available online about this, combining fonts boils down to two main things: harmony and what looks good to you.

For a classic combination, stick to combining a sans serif with a serif font (see example 1). Newspapers and magazines use this quite often. These combos work best for long journaling with a simple title.

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example 1

But, what if you want to create some word art or a catchy title? Using “standard classic” fonts may not provide enough excitement to your layout. Some combinations we like are combining a script font with a classic looking font (example 2).

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example 2

While combining fonts may take some trail-and-error, font designer Kimberly Geswein ( wrote a fantastic “guide to font pairing” a few years ago that not only gives tips but also provides examples (and links to free downloads of her fonts).

Using multiple fonts on a page

How many fonts you use in a layout is completely up to you, but keep in mind the overall effect you are trying to achieve. A script font conveys a different meaning than a graffiti or sans serif font.

Ian Yates, in his blog article A Beginner’s Guide to Pairing Fonts has suggested “Fonts, like people, have personalities. And fonts’ personalities, just like those of people, can sometimes clash. Think of your fonts as table guests at a wedding reception; one entertainer is usually enough as too many strong personalities can make the atmosphere awkward … Make sure that there is some charisma in the group though; eight people with little to say just results in a toe-curling wait for the speeches.”

Luckily, there isn’t a rule saying how many fonts to use in a layout – one, two, three, or more it’s completely up to you.

Tips for using multiple fonts:

  • if you want everything to go together, stick to one font family (such as Helvetica Regular, Helvetica Italic, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Extra Bold)
  • if you want a little bit of contrast, mix two different types of fonts (such as a sans serif and a script)
  • if you want to emphasize something, use a bold font (such as Helvetica Extra Bold)
  • rely upon font harmony not a lot of font contrast; combining large text blocks of a calligraphy font with a graffiti font is too much, but an occasional word in either font in a layout works in harmony with a neutral (serif or sans serif) font

Fonts for Journaling

Once again, just like for titles, pretty much any font can be used for journaling.
However, it is best if your journaling is typed in something that is easy to read.
One way to make things easier to read is by increasing the leading between the lines of text.
Script and italic fonts are not the easiest to read over long passages, so if you choose to use these for journaling, you may wish to keep your line lengths shorter.

In the first example, Remington Noiseless (size 10, leading 16) is used.

example 1: adventuring

The second example uses English Essay (size 10, leading 16, with a stroke to make the journaling more visible on the page).

example 2: adventuring

Although the extra space between the journaling makes both layouts easier to read, the “cleaness” of the first layout is easier to read. The script font is difficult to read over the long passage of journaling.

kit used: Pixel and Art Designs May collaboration kit

Fonts for Titles

You can use pretty much any font for a title, although a title using solely a dingbat font may be difficult to read.

In general, keep these suggestions in mind when picking a font for your title:

    • thicker fonts are easier to read than thinner ones
    • larger fonts are easier to see as a title
    • shorter titles grab attention
    • making the title font a different style than the journaling text also helps draw attention
    • not every page requires a title

In the first example a thick font (Phosphate) is used in combination with a thin font (fox in the snow).

example 1: under the weather

“under the” is spaced out (tracked) over the word “weather” and both fonts are rather large.
In the second example a thin font (organic fruit) is used in combination with the same fox in the snow font as before.

example 2: under the weather

“under the” is now at regular tracking so the script nature of the font is more easily visible, and “weather” has been tracked to take up more room across the page. Notice, too, that “under the” has been moved to fit better with “weather.”

While the titles on both layouts is acceptable, notice that in example one the title pops out more than on example two.

kit used: MIR: April by Wisteria Moments

TIP: Right font, right time

Here’s a meme that greatly illustrates this idea:


Pick your fonts wisely!