There are an extensive number of articles, books, and even interactive games to introduce amateur designers to typography. But, the market lacks resources to help individuals hone their understanding of selecting typefaces to pair in a single design. For my MFA thesis project, I set out to fill this space, while making an esoteric subject like typography approachable and fresh.

The seed of Type Connection began with the notion that like human beings, typefaces are built with common DNA; they share basic anatomies that can be analyzed and compared. When anthropomorphized, the structure of a typeface gives a picture of a its physique, voice, and personality. Just like when searching for a potential mate, combining typefaces calls for a certain harmony.

In the first week of going live, Type Connection received over 62,000 unique visitors. Since 2012, the site has attracted over 500,000 unique users. The site has also been featured by Lifehacker, Fast Company, Smashing Magazine, How Magazine, The Next Web, Dexigner, Swissmiss, Minimalsites, Notcot, Designboom, and others.

After selecting a main character, a pairing strategy, and one of three daters to evaluate, the website prompts users to send their chosen couple on a date. If the match is correct, users see a congratulatory page that explains why the match works.
Meet the Matches
I imagined design applications (e.g. a menu, newspaper, poster) that also allude to activities the typefaces would enjoy if they were people: a wine tasting, dinner and a show, or a lecture. All 20 successful pairings appear on a “Meet the Matches” page to serve as a standalone reference.
Process sketch designing specimens
I began by writing dating profiles for typefaces, specifically experimenting with the balance between personified narrative and typographic fact. These dating profiles double as type specimens, showing each face’s weights and styles.
Process sketch choosing typefaces
I chose typefaces that came from different time periods, had a variety of inspirations, and didn’t overlap in classification. Also, I made sure to pick workhorse typefaces that I thought young designers would have access to through their schools.
To promote Type Connection in the student community and celebrate the site, I designed an exhibition at Maryland Institute College of Art to coincide with the launch.