It’s no secret that typography can be incredibly powerful. Fonts evoke emotion and feeling, solidify branding, and help create eye-catching designs. But like any other element of design, font trends ebb and flow and change over time. Whether you’re a professional graphic designer, a DIY-er, or entrepreneur you need to make sure your fonts follow the trends. Want to stay on top of the game? Here are the hot new font trends that will be inescapable in 2018!
Geometric typefaces have been building in popularity for the past year. The geometric letterforms are completely without serifs or filigrees and are constructed of clean, straight lines and perfectly round circles. Geometric fonts are distinctly modern and work well for designs that evoke the flair of science, tech, and engineering. They often bring a futuristic vibe to a design, but don’t think they’re only for science fiction—a geometric font can bring a level of sophistication to any composition. Their clarity from a distance makes them particularly suited to branding, especially logos and business cards. 2018 will see geometric fonts bringing a bold, clear edge to a wide range of designs.
On the other end of the spectrum, handwritten and hand-lettered fonts continue to bring a homespun, casual charm to every design they grace. As wildly distinct as every person’s handwriting, each hand-written font is a unique snowflake. While hand-lettered fonts have been loopy and clean in past years, we’re seeing an uptick in more casual, brush stroke fonts that have a little more edge and feel as if they were plucked straight from the era of sign painters. Running the gambit from feminine scripts to more masculine, scratchy handwriting, we can expect to see a continued proliferation of hand-written type on posters and invitations, in logos and product design, and all over popular book covers.
The recent popularity of watercolor designs has moved hand in hand with handwritten fonts since they compliment each other so perfectly, but in 2018 the actual type is appearing in a watercolor style, as well. A watercolor typeface looks like it was created with a paintbrush using watercolors. While decidedly not an “edgy” choice, these fonts are feminine, dainty, and refined.
Vintage slab and script fonts
Decorative slab and script fonts have been carefully designed to show real character. They might feel rough and hand-drawn or evoke the ornate style of vintage signage. These typefaces have a classic appeal while still retaining legibility for web and logo use. Vintage slab or script fonts are particularly popular for businesses and brands that want their typography to feel contemporary and clean, while still leaning a little more “bespoke” or artisanal, like the fun, rough-hewn style of the CRMBS brand identity.
Helvetica and Helvetica alternatives
Will Helvetica ever go out of style? The debate rages on over whether the classic typeface, designed by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann in 1957, is boring or the definition of classic timelessness. Some say its continued popularity creates a need for more and more similar fonts that bring something new to the old standby. These fonts, like Neue Haas Grotesk and ARS Maquette share the clarity of the original but haven’t been used in a billion designs already. Others say why mess with perfection? Either way—Helvetica will continue to be a go-to typeface in every designer’s toolbox.
Creative experimental display typography
Some fonts are not meant to be workhorses. They may be downright unreadable for long paragraphs of text but can become a work of art when used as display fonts. Particularly powerful when used in advertising (like on posters or flyers), these fonts are custom-designed and crafted for one particular use. For good reason: the loopy, creamy letters on the “Melt like an ice cream” design could entice any passerby to stop and take a closer look.
Responsive fonts for web
While many type trends favor print, there are important typography trends that impact the digital sphere as well. Without a doubt, typography has a big impact on what your consumer feels and takes away from your website or app the first time they visit. It’s clear why responsive fonts are such a huge trend: the experience readers have with a website’s usability and responsiveness could make or break their decision to buy a product. The options for web designers have exploded in the past few years—thanks in part to Google fonts—but the best designs have the same hallmarks: large families that utilize different weights and styles, adaptive characters that respond to different screen sizes and resolutions, and of course, effortless readability.
In almost every aspect of design, the mid-century modern aesthetic remains very trendy—and that is absolutely no different for fonts. Why is this time period so fashionable right now? A popular theory says millennials, like every generation before them, reject their parents’ style in favor of the one their grandparents embraced. Whatever the reason, from Monotype’s Wolpe collection (inspired by legendary calligrapher and designer Berthold Wolpe) to loopy scripts and low slung sans-serifs, you can’t go far without stumbling on some gorgeous fonts and stylings that seem to have been plucked directly from the post-WWII era.
Refined serif fonts
The past year has seen a resurgence of beautifully ornate serif fonts. Rising in popularity as an elegant alternative to the clean serifs of web design, designers are once again appreciating the glamorous feet and decorative flourishes of a classic serif. Many have the wide stance that was popular in the sixties and seventies. These are a particularly solid choice for packaging design for high-end products since they communicate luxury and class better than almost any other style of font.
2018: A year of character-driven fonts
To say the world of fonts is expanding at a rapid rate would be an understatement. Look for designers pushing the boundaries and creating both truly distinctive works of typographic art, as well as workhorse typefaces for web that respond beautifully to the rapidly changing technology of our everyday lives. Whatever they create, we can’t wait to see what beautiful fonts 2018 brings.