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Combining Typefaces

There is undoubtedly a great typographic attraction in combining fonts. The term "stimulus" is meant to be ambiguous. On the one hand, stimulus suggests something appealing, alluring. On the other hand, we also sense the opposite in the term, the string in contrast to the caress, the possibility of our eyes, or rather our point of view, being overtaxed. The combination of typefaces stimulates – due to difference, to the unfamiliar  or even the unorthodox. The topic has always divided the typographic community into supporters and opponents.

Key data

ECTS points
Next start
12 February 2024
1 Week
Final application date
Mon, 15.1.2024
Teaching language
German / English
CHF 900.– (view fees)
Study mode

The combination of typefaces is considered one of the great challenges within typography. Profound knowledge and an in-depth examination of type are considered necessary – a good feeling for type is described as a prerequisite. But how do we achieve such a feeling for type? And what exactly is the attraction of typeface combinations? What are the reasons for choosing a combination of typefaces? And how do we achieve both coherent and interesting and expressive typeface mixtures?

The three possible uses of typeface will be addressed: singular, paucal, and plural. To illustrate the topic, historical examples will be used in several lectures, a variety of relevant typeface analyses and detailed considerations will be discussed, and a typeface classification renewed by the lecturer as a basis for the choice of typeface combinations will be addressed. And in practical application? Using the poles of analogy and contrast, the variety of typeface combinations can be systematically examined – initially in simple juxtapositions of typefaces, and subsequently in more complex situations of a magazine layout.

The workshop is aimed at people who want to contrast their gut feeling with an analytical view.

Course dates / Registration

Institute Digital Communication Environments (IDCE)

Visual communication is a tool of knowledge generation in its own right. Visualizations make things perceptible, imaginable and graspable.


Dreispitz Basel

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland Basel Academy of Art and Design Freilager-Platz 1 4142 Münchenstein near Basel
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