Typography trends for 2018, part 7: fashion

What typography trends are forecast for 2018 and how can you use them?
Trend 7: fashion
By Sarah Hyndman

This is the final part 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 fonts / 7. Fashion

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6. FASHION FONTS

How to use this trend: use a fashionable font to appear on-trend, but be careful to stay ahead of the curve as fashions date as quickly as they appear.

Fashion fonts are ephemeral, often appearing on Instagram, street fashion and music apparel. In 2017 Cooper Black became a brief Instagram sensation and added a touch of 1970s nostalgia to slogan t-shirts. Kanye West took the lettering used by New York street gangs in the 1980s as the inspiration for his ‘Beazley Designs of the Year’ nominated Life of Pablo range.


The aesthetics of 1960 psychedelia and counterculture are becoming more popular, a trend that is predicted to gain pace in 2018. Emily Gosling explored the impact this is having on typography in the Fontsmith magazine Type Notes edition 2.


Brenda Milis, principal of creative services and visual Trends at Adobe, expects to see “lush, tropical and utopic-based alternate worlds – but with an intensity, an almost psychedelic twist. Our need for hyper-sensorial experiences blended with nature and the human imagination will permeate into artists’ work.”

Connie Birdsall from creative consultant company Lippincott tells Digital Arts that the “fantasy theme” will continue to be seen in branding choices, including the use of vivid colours, creating a sense of escapism from reality, as well as expressive and bespoke hand lettering and typography to match.


Hand-written styles continue to rule on Instagram, from handwriting-style typefaces to hand-drawn lettering and calligraphy.

New experimental typography

The geometric shapes and bright colours of the 1980s were highly popular last year and are still in vogue. However there is another theme reappearing from the 80/90s as technology enables web typography to come into its own and question conventions in the way that print designers were empowered to do thirty years ago. We predict that this year we will see more experimentation with typography, similar to the wave of boundary-pushing innovation in print design that led to debates about ugliness and aesthetics.

Neville Brody’s design work for The Face magazine (1981–86) paralleled the experimental ideas of the early 20th century of Constructivism, Dada and Bauhaus. Variable and colour font technology gives a platform for a new wave of experimentation into deconstructing letterforms and legibility.


The Face masthead and an alphabet by Josef Albers of Bauhaus from SF Moma.

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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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