While a dating game sounds rather out of the ordinary to the world of typography, designer Aura Seltzer’s Type Connection turns the complicated process of matching typefaces into a very entertaining learning opportunity.
First, you start by choosing a typeface to pair. Like a conventional dating website, Type Connection presents you with potential “dates” for each main character.
The game features well-known, workhorse typefaces (Garamond, Univers, Archer, etc.) and portrays each as a character searching for love. You are the matchmaker. You decide what kind of match to look for by choosing among several strategies for combining typefaces. Strategies include things like opposites attract, the importance of family (font families) and seeking similarities.
After selecting your typeface and picking a pairing strategy, you’ll be presented with three eligible matches. Select a match and then compare the differences between the two faces. Then, send them on a date to observe how well the pairing went!
Note that not all pairings work, and the site will intervene if things go awry. For example, don’t try to pair Maple with Univers. That’s bad.
Above is an example of Archer & Eurostile, a compatible match:
Archer and Eurostile know their shapes. Archer is a slab that praises circles, while Eurostile is a sans that follows widened squares. Archer’s lighter weights, open forms, and tall ascenders find company in Eurostile’s thick monolinearity and compact letters. Intentional curves, a double-story a, and a single-story g define both, as does their perceived overuse.
Along the way, you explore typographic terminology, type history and more. By playing Type Connection, new and non-designers have a rare opportunity to observe a lot of the techniques used to match typefaces. For more experienced designers, it’s simply a fun exercise that helps deepen your understanding of typography.
If you want to cheat, you can see all of the matches here.