We are almost halfway through 2017 and it’s pretty easy to see what’s trending in the design world.
But in this post we are going to concentrate on one very important aspect of a design – Typography.
Poppie Pack, Canva’s senior graphic designer aptly explains what typography is – “Typography is the art and technique of arranging type and the aim of the game is to make your written language look aesthetically appealing and easily readable so audiences can absorb your message.”
With typography, if the message of the design fails to make an impact on its audience then purpose of the design fails. This means that typography binds the design and delivers the message.
And just like everything in life – from fashion to what we eat – typography too has a trend with unique characteristics for this year.
So what are the trends for typography in 2017?
- HAND-WRITTEN AND HAND-DRAWN
This is the most popular trend of 2017 when it comes to typography. You see it everywhere – on social media posts, product labels, web pages and visual logos.
Handwritten typefaces create a warm and friendly feeling like it has been written by someone and can guide the audience through a targeted user- experience.
Handwritten fonts add a personal touch to the design projecting approachability making the audience feel instantly comfortable.
- BIG AND BOLD
Friends is a design agency based in the US which uses big, bold type on their website.
Big spaces are the trend right now with more white space available which means that it needs big bold typography to balance the white space.
The same big trend is seen in images used in a design- often over-sized which requires a certain amount of balance and a jostle for attention by utilizing bold and big typography.
As the world goes more mobile, businesses are seeking the ever-dwindling attention span of consumers and readers by employing bold typeface to highlight important messages.
Big daring in-your-face fonts tend to grab the eye when the audience is scanning through the content.
So big and bold is definitely big in 2017.
Elixia is a typeface designed by Kimmy Lee and is built using hexagons.
A big trend which saw its rise in 2016 and is going strong this year is geometric typography consisting of smooth straight lines around square and circular shapes.
A very popular impression of geometric typography is the use of almost cube-like typeface which has seen its rise in the first part of this year.
Geometric typography is futuristic-looking, leaving a clean, clear and modern impression on the audience.
It is very popular on web pages as the sharpness of the typeface imparts professionalism and trust which is what businesses want their audience to identify about them in the digital space.
- OVERLAY OVER IMAGE
Lobagola Bed and Breakfast does a yellow color overlay with text on top.
Layering text over image is another extremely popular trend which started in 2016 and its popularity continues this year.
Text and image are the two most important elements of any design and with big-imagery on trend this year – it takes overlay elements to project the message of the design through text.
Text also helps balance the image. Layering text over images gives the design a cohesive feel and delivers a powerful message.
But the trick to creating a complete overlay design with text and image is to combine the two optimally. This means balancing the right image with the right typeface. Placement of text on the image is also vital as text which will cover up the main aspects of the image will look shabby and will not deliver the right punch.
- MIX AND MATCH
A lot of designs this year are seeing the use of different fonts used in the same design but they blend together beautifully.
Different fonts have different personalities and they convey a particular type of message or emotion just by the way a font is shaped.
A study published in 2006, indicated that serif fonts were characterized as more traditional in personality; sans serif fonts were perceived as more casual; and monospaced fonts were described as plain and dull.
Typographers often attribute personality traits to the typeface. For example, Baskerville is labelled as “boring or mechanical” while Roboto, developed by Google as a system font for the Android operating system, is described as “modern, yet approachable but friendly.”
Marketing professionals and designers will often use fonts which are appropriate for the design like hand-written typeface for fresh produce to give the design a more human approach while more modern typefaces are often used for technology start-up businesses to convey innovation and a more modern business feel.
The trend this year however, is to use a variety of fonts in a design. This is not restricted to using the same typeface in different sizes but combining two or more typefaces to create a complete blend in a design.
The skill lies in picking the right type of typefaces to use together without making the design look garish, incomplete or inconsistent.
With new devices emerging every day, content is consumed on various types of screens and the key to consistent design and messaging lies in using responsive typeface along with responsive design.
What looks great on a PC will probably look terrible on a smartphone screen as most elements need to change size or move around to fit the screen.
You’ve probably seen that happen with bold large typeface which creates a certain element of drama on your desktop but go view that on a smartphone screen and suddenly the other elements have moved to other places and you find yourself scrolling a lot more.
In a responsive design the typeface must be able to grow and shrink depending on user experience and the size of the screens of various devices.
The size of the font, layout and design of the web page and the spacing of each element in the design must be responsive to each other “to create an eligible legible text setting in each viewport.”
It comes down to choosing your fonts wisely. Avoid using too many typefaces. Multiple weights, small caps and condensed variants do best in different viewports according to Marko Dugonjić, founder and user-experience director at Creative Nights.
- VARIABLE TYPE
Image credit: Microsoft
As responsive design becomes more essential for design success, variable fonts is the flexible solution to online typefaces for responsive design.
The Open Type Variable Font is a joint developmental venture between Google, Microsoft, Apple and Adobe to develop a single font file which acts as multiple fonts. This means that you download a single OpenType font file and have the opportunity to play with different aspects of the font to create new ones like changing its height or shortening the descenders.
As Tim Brown, Head of Typography for Adobe Typekit & Adobe Type says” Imagine a single font file gaining an infinite flexibility of weight, width, and other attributes without also gaining file size — and imagine what this means for design.”
- WATERCOLOR TYPEFACE
Every-Tuesday runs tutorials for graphic designers and hand-letterers
The use of watercolor typography continues from 2016 and is still big this year.
It’s a great choice if you want to add a personal touch to your design and it often adds that fun-loving feeling in a design.
The watercolor typeface is seen everywhere, and is most popular with social media posts and in service-based business designs giving a soft, subtle and beautiful look to the overall design, with a touch of happiness.
This wraps up the 8 most popular typography trends in 2017. Knowing these trends will help you design your projects in the best way possible. Do you know any other typography trends which deserve a mention here? Comment and let me know.