Top Font Trends of 2016
I’m a sucker for fonts, I always have been. Maybe it initially grew from my love of books, but there’s also just something pleasing about the forms of letters. We may not notice it, but font choices play a major role in how we understand written communication. Serif fonts can make us see a message as traditional and reliable, while modern fonts are understood as forward-thinking. Font choices can tell us a lot about how a company’s message is meant to be read. By extension, I think watching overall font trends in both design and social media reveals how we, as people in general, want to be perceived. I try to watch these trends pretty closely, not only to try understand and predict new fashions, but also for a view of how designers, channeling the spirit of the times, are choosing to communicate visually. Here are the three top font trends I’ve found in the first half of the year.
While not altogether new, it seems like this font trend has exploded this year. At the time of this writing, the hashtag #handlettering on Instagram has over 1.2 million posts and climbing. In the the psychology of fonts, works like these often evoke a personal and earnest vibe. If that’s a consequence of our private lives becoming increasingly more public or the need to express connection over a fragmented digital world, I can’t say. Though one thing is sure, from brushed type to looping expressive letters, my daily feed is full of deliciously handcrafted letter-form experiments.
Another related trend that’s been on the rise is multi-font compositions. In these, different font styles are combined in one design. According to traditional design rules, mixing more than two different fonts is highly discouraged, but many designers are creating compelling type experiments that test the rule. Display fonts mix with both serif and sans serif typefaces in some of the best examples. In a world where influences come from so many sources it’s not hard to see why this approach is on the rise.
Another way designers are breathing new life into type is by rendering words in 3D compositions. Whether floating in indefinite space or set as sprawled jam on bread, these computer rendered scenes interject letter-forms into believable representations if our daily lives. I’ve really only just started seeing this trend start to spread its wings and I’m hoping with the rise of affordable 3D printing solutions it’ll only continue to grow!
What are some of you favorite font trends or new typefaces? Let me know in the comments below!