In this blog, Splash Effect’s Graphic Designer Naré takes us through some of the trends in typography that you should keep an eye out for this year. Whether you’re a typography junky or you’re not sure why everyone hates comic sans so much, this blog post is for you.
GEOMETRIC DESIGNS & COLOURS
If you didn’t see this one coming, you’ve likely taken a six month hiatus from 2017 or didn’t read Danielle’s article for design trends, but this one is 2017 in a nut shell. Geometric shapes, gradients, and vibrant colours have literally taken over this year and the trend continues to immerse itself into type. Pro tip: it can sometimes be difficult to execute a more complex, curvy letter with geometric shapes (take the letter R, for example); consider using contrast (hello two-for-one trends) by pairing the geometric shapes that form the letter, with a very simple sans-serif outline to ensure your message is not only visually appealing, but also intuitive.
Serif fonts aren’t something most people gravitate towards. They tend to be used for practical reasons more than anything as the serifs (the little strokes that stick out from different end points of letter) provide the eye with an imaginary guiding line when reading long documents of text. It’s why it’s almost always used for books: it keeps the reader reading the right line as opposed to a word above or a word below. But as an up-and-coming trend in type today, those serifs are being transformed into unique and eccentric designs that add character to whatever content it is being used for. Use this trend in your work to create a classy, authentic statement.
For anyone that’s interested in the history of fonts and typography, you’ll understand how this one is breaking a lot of stereotypes. This trend has been in play for years, but it hasn’t been correctly executed until now, but you can see so many contemporary examples with a quick Pinterest or Google search of Typeface Combinations. Sans serif fonts were created for different reasons than serif fonts; tall fonts were created for different reasons than short and wide fonts, and as you can imagine the differences go on. This trend has captured the essence of contrast to break down or differentiate various levels of hierarchy. Use this type trend when you want to highlight pertinent information, but still include other accompanying information.
Similar to mixing and matching fonts, the purpose of this trend is to provide contrast in the strokes of individual letters. In fact in a number of these types of type, certain hairline strokes are completely omitted leaving room for the law of closure to work its magic. This essentially means that the surrounding shapes, or in this case strokes, allow us to form a continuous letter even though it doesn’t act exist (aren’t our brains incredible?). The idea of contrast is a major key in typography right now and fonts like Zefani, Nouvelle Vague, or Lust Display Didone pack an impactful punch, especially for websites. A simple “Hello” in each of these fonts makes for a beautiful and memorable homepage.
This trend is actually a little harder to execute, in fact a lot harder, but it’s impact is unmatched – quite literally. This impact style of printing is a huge #tbt to the days before digital type was a thing, and like many things from the past, its making a major comeback. It involves setting type manually letter by letter, inking the letters, and rolling the substrate across the letters. This trend has (thankfully) been made simpler today for those wanting to simulate the look through custom and decorative fonts. This is huge especially for local artisan coffee shops today, who hand stamp each of their cups with their own custom made stamp. It makes for a rustic, yet chic look (not to mention it’s totally Instagrammable)!
This trend is the personal touch look, without having to personally touch it. This trend saw a rise in 2016 and is definitely holding strong well into 2017. It allows for a natural flow in type that’s reminiscent of comfort and a humanized look. So much of the world has entered into the digital space and a bold, handwritten font is just the thing you’ll need to soften your website or social imagery to make yourself inviting. It’s especially trendy when overlaid on an accompanying image.
Consider this trend a Splash Effect exclusive – you won’t find it on any other trending list, but we’ve got our eyes peeled, and this is going to be a big one (we’re basically telling you about Jimmy from Degrassi before he turns into Champagne Papi). I’ve personally seen this trend everywhere lately and it’s executed so well and cleanly that you almost don’t realize the text is actually not continuous. Use this trend in your work when you want a really modern and edgy look that attracts attention. It’s not ideal for long text, but the impact it has on a short word or two is extraordinary.
More than anything this is a trend you should follow to exceed your users’ tablet and/or mobile experience. The solution to varying screen sizes and resolutions until this point was known as responsive design, where type size shrinks at certain breaks in the web design.However. we’re not here to tell you any of the old, boring stuff – we’re here to tell you about the trends, and fluid typography is the new kid on the block. Responsive typography changes at set breakpoints; fluid typography resizes to match every scale width and height. When writing or editing code, viewport units (vw for the width and vh for the height) are what allow your text to display fluidly. In your html line, you would specify your font-size as 2vw, for example and your font would continuously scale smoothly to set the default font size to 2% of the viewport width (or the screen). If you wanted something displayed bigger further in the code, such as a heading (h1), you could identify that line of code as 3em (em being the unit of measure for the viewport). This would then display that heading as 3 times larger than the default of 2% (so 6% of the viewport). It sounds complicated at first, but for anyone looking to create a truly effortless UX, this becomes a major game changer!