Typography trends for 2018, part 3: personality

What typography trends are forecast for 2018 and how can you use them?
Trend 3: personality
By Sarah Hyndman

Part 3 in a series of posts looking at typography trends that we predict will influence graphic design in 2018, and explaining how you can incorporate each trend into your work.

1. Vernacular2. Neutrality3. Personality4. Serifs5. Colour6. Variable fonts7. Fashion

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3. PERSONALITY

How to use this trend: choose a sans serif typeface with rhythm and contrast to give your tone of voice a visible personality.

Despite the continuing reign of the neutral sans serifs, change is in the air. The perfect geometric shapes are giving way to styles with contrast between the thick and thin strokes, personality and individuality, and sometimes a hint of history. Type Tasting research shows that letterforms with contrast are associated with content being more interesting or better informed.

Styles with a more calligraphic feel, which gives them a human touch, are coming back into popularity such as Antique Olive designed by Roger Excoffon in 1969. Also making a resurgence are grotesque styles influenced by the first wave of sans serifs created in the nineteenth century—these were originally designed as bold styles for headlines and adverts, influenced by signpainting traditions and the Didone style serifs of the era.


It’s Nice That use custom made typefaces based on early grotesque styles for its Review of the Year graphics. Jeremiah Shoaf from Typewolf has the Adrian Frutiger influenced Sharp Grotesk (below) by Lucas Sharp in the top 10 fonts that he thinks will be most popular in 2018.

Type collective Camelot describes Gräbenbach by Wolfgang Schwärzler as “inspired by early grotesque typefaces, borrowing details from brush painted signs. The typeface combines the sharpness of the digital design process with the warmth of hand drawn type.”

Typefaces with contrast between thick and thin strokes are not new in the digital world. The first font created for the Apple Mac system interface was Chicago by Susan Kare in 1984. It was originally a bitmapped face suitable for early low resolution screens then later developed as a smooth, vector-based version. In 1997 it was replaced by Charcoal (below). As these styles become a part of fondly-remembered history they are likely to be absorbed into future type styles as we look to the past to reinvent the future, a process described as ‘newstalgia’ by trend forcasting agency WGSN.

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Post 4 will look at the return of flared and serif typefaces.

FIND OUT MORE
Would you like to learn more about typography? Get in touch with Sarah here to book a Type Tasting workshop or event that teaches you about type trends through history and the psychology of typography with lashings of interaction, games and activities.

Sarah Hyndman is the founder of Type Tasting, she is a regular public speaker, researcher and the author of both Why Fonts Matter and How to Draw Type and Influence People.

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