Pairing Fonts: Jacques & Giles

Jacques & Giles

I spend a lot of time looking at fonts and anyone who knows me personally, always knows they can come to me with font or type-related questions. I get asked to pair fonts from friends a lot. It’s probably unhealthy. Normal people have that one friend who is really good at pairing clothes or pillows but I’m the friend that pairs fonts. Since it’s become an obsession a hobby, I’ve decided to take some time to find some of the more popular fonts I’ve seen going around and pair them up with friendly, easy to read alternatives. This may or may not become a series, who knows, but today it was fun to seek some companions for the ever-popular, Jacques & Giles, a calligraphy script from the Emily Lime foundry. Some of my favorite handwritten scripts come from letterer, Emily Conners, the artist behind Emily Lime Designs β€” including the self-titled font and Carolyna.

After seeing Jacques & Giles make its way among the blog world, I’ve often seen it paired fonts that are barely as legible as the script itself. More offensively, it’s often used in body copy, which is a big DO NOT in itself. With script fonts, it is important to consider it’s legibility when pairing it. Often times scripts are only paired with serifs to maintain the elegant feel, but don’t be afraid to find a sans serif or even an elegant slab serif to pair with your script choice. In this case, I took on Adobe’s Arno Pro and Monotype’s Gill Sans. While you may be thinking, I don’t recall seeing either in the Google webfont site, don’t fret. Arno Pro is available as webfont through TypekitΒ and Gill Sans is available through Webtype.

In case you were thinking I was insane after doing price checks, I did stumble upon a few free options. Crimson Text is a great free alternative to Arno Pro. As inspired by Gill Sans, Cabin is a great alternative that you probably already have sitting in your font library.

Are there any fonts you’re finding impossible to pair? Are you looking for font variety in your pairs? Feel free to leave me your thoughts below!

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Angelica Yarde
My name is Angel Yarde. I am a designer, front-end developer, and speaker. I am the editor and designer of Studio 404 whic was founded in December 2006. In January 2014, I launched Studio 404 Paper, a paper shop which includes type-focused greeting cards, note cards, and prints. I currently reside in Celebration, Florida where I co-own a branding strategy studio, Sevenality, with my husband.
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27 Comments

  1. I love pairing typefaces together. That’s one of my specialities. Unfortunately, the blogging world killed the Jacques Giles typeface for me so I vow to never use it again. But when it comes to pairing calligraphy type w. san serifs my go-tos tend to be Gotham HTF, Futura BT or Avenir.

  2. Hah i just love you!
    I guess i’m not the only person with that unhealthy habit lol!

    I love font quizzes.. not that i have found any, but i’ve been “studying” fonts for such a long time, sometimes when i watch tv or walk around, i like recognising the names of the font.. so crazy

  3. Great font combos. I’ve had Jacques & Giles, as well as other of Emily’s fonts for a while. She’s such a great letterer. I think her fonts are great for many things, specially wedding-related designs.

  4. i love experimenting with new fonts but one of my challenges is pairing them together and would love to learn more about it. I think my favorite is #3 with the gill sans. πŸ™‚

    • I think lots of people have trouble figuring out which fonts work together because fonts all have such unique features that can all seem trivial but I think things like, seeking out core letter composition, helps me decide which fonts work best. Typography is all so interesting!

  5. That is some talent to be able to pair fonts together. I kind of just pair what I think goes (no science behind it). I definitely have an obsession with downloading new fonts everyday – it is starting to become an unhealthy habit πŸ™‚

    • haha my pairing process is a little lengthy but sometimes even I just eyeball it. I think we should all own our type obsessions, even if they’re a tad bit unhealthy. πŸ˜‰

  6. If I had a penny for every time I saw Jacques & Giles paired with another hard to read font, I’d be rich πŸ™‚ I’d love to learn more about your font pairing process! I usually just pair fonts via trial and error, but I’d love to hear if you have any tips or tricks!

    • Tell me about it! Scripts have been misused from quite some time now. I’d love to do a process post. Perhaps in the near future! Thanks for stopping by Allyssa. πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks for the post, Angel! I’m so glad I found this. Using a mix of Jacques, Gill Sans MT and Century Schoolbook (free and the italic version was close enough for me to the Sentinel you used) for my wedding invitations.

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