Monotype’s annual Type Trends Report features ten of the most exciting, cutting-edge trends in graphic design and typesetting, and we’ve got all the insights you need to make your next project a standout. Here’s what you should know about the year’s top trends.
MIX AND MATCH TYPEFACES
Designers are looking at unexpected pairings to convey messages of change, creativity, motion, and liveliness. A vibrant mix of different, random-seeming fonts, tied together by similar weights and color palettes, can visually represent a sense of controlled chaos, diversity, and life itself. On the other hand, loopy, curvy fonts bring a gentler sense of calm and organic style, while simple, two-typeface pairings create just enough variety without distracting.
Typefaces designed with a grid structure have been evolving over the past few years. Monotype calls the latest evolution of this trend the “Smart Grid”: typeface where the sharp, computer-age geometry of grid-based font is combined with half-circles and quarter-circles. The end effect is a futuristic, sleek style that softens the harsh edges and evokes a cooperation between organic life and machines.
Typefaces that use distorted perspectives, shading, or strategic outlines are seeing a big resurgence this year. Think old-school “comic book” fonts: bold, attention grabbing text, often in all-caps, with a burst of energy. These typefaces are all about making audiences sit up and pay attention, creating a sense of urgency and power in every letter.
SOBER AND AUSTERE
The exact opposite of the bold “superhero-style” fonts is the trend of calm, minimalist, austere type. This text uses neutral colors – usually simple black and white – along with minimal word and clean fonts to create an overall sense of calm. Its quiet sophistication can help the branding stand out from busy surroundings, keeping the focus on images and products instead.
Looking to transform a simple, straightforward, serif font? This trend is all about taking the basics and giving them a makeover – or a “haircut,” as it were. Rather than simply using a standard, sleek font, designers “cut out” segments of each letter, creating an edgy, modern effect through the power of negative space. The cutouts transform basic typeface into something with more motion and visual interest, particularly when paired with bold, striking color palettes.
The digital age has seen its fair share of typefaces that utilize the blocky geometry of the pixel. This trend is set to continue well into 2023, creating text that is both playful and modern-feeling. Depending on the context, pixel-inspired fonts can be colorful and fun, with a vintage videogame aesthetic, or modern and edgy, with the addition of carefully crafted “glitches” for a sense of surprise and attention.
TYPE IN MOTION
Creating the sense of motion on a still image is the natural evolution of how print and digital have become so intertwined. That’s why kinetic and variable fonts are having such a moment. They offer a constant sense of shift and surprise, catching viewers off-guard and demanding their attention. The sense of motion they create evokes a feeling of urgency and forward thinking – key to standing out in the crowded media landscape.
The use of 3D technology is opening the door to more possibilities in typeface. With improvements in computer graphics and print, not to mention expansion in AR and VR, designers are creating more innovative and multi-dimensional text than ever before. Today’s 3D text includes more textures and colors, mimicking luxurious real-life qualities. We’re seeing “illusion” fonts, flexible type, “balloon” styles, and much more.
Typeface that seems to be almost “liquid” on the page is bursting back into fashion. Associated previously with the “psychedelic” styles of the 1970s, it’s back in new and creative forms. The organic, smooth shapes create a sense of relaxed, go-with-the-flow unpredictability and novelty – just be sure that the “liquid” is still clear and legible!
AI LETTER DESIGNS
As AI finds its way into every corner of communications and design, some designers are experimenting with having AI create typefaces. The result – at least with current AI technology – tends to be “collage” styles, clearly showing how the AI draws upon existing letter forms and “pastes” them together to create something new. It’s still in the early days, but certainly worth keeping an eye on for all of you that are using direct mail marketing.
In fact, be sure to check out our Direct Mail Masterclass.
TREND ALERT: EMBOSSING
When it comes to printed pieces, one type style that should be on everyone’s minds is embossing. Embossing uses heat and dies to create a raised, tactile lettering effect. It can be combined with other processes for colored, textured letters – the possibilities are truly endless An embossed piece creates a feeling of something “special,” whether it’s an invitation, a business card, a certificate, or something else you want to be sure people remember.
Talk to the Priority Team about your options for adding any of these type trends to your next project.