Typography trends for 2018, 7. Fashion

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

This part 7 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. Neutral & universal3. Personality4. The return of flares & serifs5. Colour fonts6. Variable fonts7. Fashion / 8. Trend forecasters


6. Fashion

HOW TO USE THIS TREND: Use fashion-led fonts if it is important to be on-trend. Be careful to stay ahead of the curve as fashions date as quickly as they appear, and may not be appropriate for projects with a longer life-span.

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.

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 psychedelia
The aesthetics of 1960 psychedelia and counterculture are making a return across fashion and design, 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.” Trend forecasting agency WGSN lists “psychotropical” as one of the four main consumer behaviour trends for Spring/Summer 2018. What does this look like? “Exotic, bright and printed, from high-definition digital nature prints to mixed prints of plant and animal hybrids–from peacock feathers to psychedelic camouflage”.

Art Nouveau
The influence of psychedelia on typography is most likely to appear in social meda and fashion circles. Its visual style has its roots in the Bohemian, hand-painted styles embraced by artists from the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements at the end of the 19th century. Looking to type styles from the past can help to inform the trends of the future.


Last year saw Cooper Black become fashionable on Instagram. A typeface from a similar era and a dash of Art Nouveau personality is Souvenir, designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1914 (loosely based on an authentic 1905 typeface). It combines friendly curves and rounded terminals of a hand-drawn style with the formality of a serif typeface.

More contemporary faces with a twist of the surreal are Bohemia, Hawthorn and Biblon:

Turning perception sideways is Opposit by Good Type Foundry, a reverse contrast sans serif reminiscent of Zipper typeface used on David Bowie’s 1971 Hunky Dory album cover.


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.