Great design combines stunning imagery, powerful color theory, and great typography. As an artist turned designer, I’m always looking for new, innovative ways to incorporate words into a visual medium. But how do you stay current in the ever-changing design world when there are so many trends and styles? This is a brief guide to current typography trends.
These have always been a personal favorite of mine. I find the mathematical nature of geometric fonts quit pleasing. One trend with these symmetrical typefaces is the use of triangles. They’re everywhere! Double-u’s are now double triangles, Y’s have turned into martini glasses, N’s have a wedge instead of a high heel, and they all invoke the feeling of Burning Man and the southwest. It’s a very cool take on a sleek style.
I remember the days of handwriting and penmanship classes. Now, it’s all emoji’s and lol’s. Luckily, the design world is bringing back a bit of nostalgia in the form of handwritten fonts. These are great for portraying a feeling of being down-to-earth or grass-roots. They give a somewhat humble appearance that can make your design feel approachable and friendly. They might even cause a resurgence of the letter-writing variety.
The artist in me is torn on this trend. Watercolor fonts are all the rage in the stationary world (if there is rage in the stationary world). These fonts can add a soft, artistic approach to your design without you having to ever actually pick up a brush. I’m only slightly offended. I do appreciate how this is getting designers to think outside the box when it comes what typography can be. It’s the perfect combination of the traditional art world with modern graphic design. This can bring an artsy, hand-crafted feel to your work. Personally, I still prefer the craft in analogue form.
Vintage Slab and Script Fonts
This trend is every hipster’s dream come true. Think of craft beer, mustache combs, and every artisanal restaurant you know. These fonts have a lot of beautiful intricacies and detail that lend themselves very well to hand-crafted businesses. They are fantastic for breweries, restaurants, bakeries, and anything that wants to demonstrate a sense of labored skill and craftsmanship.
Layering Type within the Image
Picture a person in a boardroom, walking in between the first and second line of your type, or a car driving between in front of the first letters of your logo. This is the “layered” effect and this trend has been big this year. It’s a great way to show modernity and dimension by having your words become part of a scene, instead of just laying on top of it. I really enjoy this trend as it requires a bit of wit and intention, but done successfully it can really bring a design to life.
These are just a few of the many typography trends we’ve seen this year. Some are stronger than others, in my humble opinion, but they push the boundaries on what typography can be. It’s a great time to be a designer, take risks, and take your text from just words to inspired art. I can’t wait to see what will be big in 2019!