Typography is all around us. From this article, you’re reading at this moment to the commercial design of your favourite brand. It is the life-giving spirit of creative works, be it logos, billboards, brochures, or signposts.
Beyond what the eyes see, every used typography originates from strategic thinking. Creative designers strategically use fonts to show a brand’s personality. It conveys the intended message to the target audience.
As a graphic designer, it is customary to look forward to new typography trends yearly. New font styles mean you’ll be able to create fresh, exciting, and different designs. Old typography makes your work obvious and fails to catch the maximum attention.
This is why designers shy away from using conventional elements. To beat this, they follow the trends to know what new font and style emerge. This article brings you some of the typography trends for 2021 that are a must-have. But before then, let’s find out what typography means.
What Is Typography?
Typography is an art. It involves text arrangement in a way designers consider the most effective to communicate a brand’s personality and message. It is mostly used to make the chunky text seem legible, and improve its visibility.
There are various kinds of typography styles because of the creative way designers use typefaces and fonts. Aside from experimenting with typography, designers use it to bring texts alive.
Through the years, there have been various names for typography. Some of the more famous ones are fonts, serif, sans serif, typeface, cap line, and baseline. Others are ascend, leading, X-height, foot, and stroke amid others.
Designers have access to a vast range of typefaces. With typography generators’ invention, you can get fonts online at zero cost. This array of choices avails you the opportunity to pick what’s best for your design and send your message better.
What Is the Importance of Typography?
Since the inception of typography, creative minds have used it in ways that best appeal to them. Non-creatives often wonder why typefaces are essential if they are just numbers and letters at the end of the day. Here’s why:
- It Conveys a Brand’s Personality and Message
As mentioned earlier, using typography creatively brings graphic designs to life. To this end, when creating a brand’s logo, designers choose fonts that enhance its personality. A good example is the big, and bold letterings rock bands use.
It represents their loud music and the big and daring nature of rock bands. If it’s a website for eCommerce with children’s toys as their business, you’ll see comic fonts. For an old company like Ford, you will see classical typography. The list goes on.
- It Helps Brands Stand Out from the Crowd
A brand that wants to be unique and stand out from the crowd will rely on typography. To achieve this, graphic designers use different serifs or typefaces to make it exclusive to the company. This way, customers will not confuse two brands with each other.
- It Influences Customers Buying Decisions
Creatively using typography can compel people to buy from a brand. This is why companies are particular about the fonts used on their website, logos, and marketing materials.
But keep in mind that merely using a particular typeface for your design will not always yield the wanted result. Thus, as a graphic designer, you must stay abreast of the typography trends, and current preferences of creatives, brands, and customers.
8 Vital Typography for 2021
As a graphic designer, the following are some of the must-know typography trends for 2021:
Designers used this typeface in 2020, but it was not very common. This year, handwritten fonts will be immensely popular with several creatives going for it. Why will it be must-have, you may ask?
The handwritten font has a loose human feel that appeals to several people. If you’re a small business owner or you have a dating site , this will make you look approachable. At the same time, it will give you a professional look, but nothing too corporate.
Using this typeface for your designs will make you seem more humane to your customers as a business owner. If you’re aiming for a traditional and welcoming feeling, the handwritten font will help you achieve it.
Large scale organizations shy away from this font for its playfulness and less corporate look. However, those who want to take a friendly approach with their customers can use it.
There are several samples of this typography online. You can expect the ones with bold and grungy lines to be among those in high demand. You can easily use them with foil and watercolour textures. They also work well with feminine designs.
Image Over Text
One of the typography you can expect to trend in 2021 massively is image over text. The typeface has already garnered attention from several graphic designers. If you look at some website designs, they have colourful images over their lettering.
Image over text is a new style; designers use it to showcase images within the text. As the viewer looks at the bold letters on the top side of a webpage, the picture overlays it or stays by the side.
Depending on who the designer is, the image may surround the text. If you aim for a visual effect, you might want to go with the picture over text typography. It is usually colourful and used mostly by makeup brands.
If you’re designing a book cover, you might consider using this typeface. When designing with this typography, ensure you do one of the following:
- Add contrast
- Make the text part of the image
- Move with the visual flow
- Obscure the image
- Place the text in a box
- Include the text in the background
- Add the appropriate colour and a colour cast
- Shift the image to the side
- Maintain simplicity or go big
- Include a vertical rhythm
- Add a dynamic effect
- Implement perspective rules
- Input a hover effect
- Add spiciness with parallax effects
The year 2021 is the time of colours. Pigmentation will play a key role in graphic design, especially for those who own small businesses. Using a colourful typeface will add life, vibrancy, passion and energy to your visual work.
Don’t be too surprised when you see designers and brands moving away from the traditional black and white. They will embrace rainbow-like looks in a bid to stand out, and look different from their competitors.
Avoid loud colours, especially if they don’t match your brand’s message and personality. Those who will embrace colourful fonts are those in the cosmetics and art world. It’s about attracting customers and not turning them away.
Highlighted Lettering Style
This typography is relatively new but will get some buzz this year. Designers who use this style emphasize an element, and its message. Currently, there are several variants of this typeface.
Graphics designers use simple highlights to separate letters from the background. Those who favour animated highlights use it in place of the preceding. By headlining words, the creator draws the viewer’s attention to them instantly.
The highlighted lettering style is best for short words. To effectively use this font, you should:
- Have a headline with a drop shadow. You can do this by sampling colours from the background image.
- Include hard-outline shadows. It would give your design a vintage look.
- Use vertical texts by rotating the headline letters or stacking them in the old-town square signage style.
- Use typography controls to adjust details.
- Mix different typefaces to add an accent.
Animation of fonts is a type of kinetic typography, the technical name for moving texts. It is an animation technique used to mix motion and letters when expressing an idea using video animation.
The designer presents the text to evoke the intended emotion or idea. Although it has been around since 1959, in 2021, kinetic animation will slowly pick up, and keep rising. There will be more moving letters and more interactive designs.
Fonts animation are usually eye-catching, and they enrich a user’s experience. When creating graphics with the typography, pay keen attention to speed. You don’t want to have a design that moves so fast, a viewer can’t comprehend or appreciate it. It should not be too fast or too slow; being moderate is critical.
Since the rap star and fashion brand owner, Kanye West, used this typography, it has gained traction. We expect it to keep rising in 2021, with most graphic designers turning to it to make their message stand out.
As the name implies, repetition fonts involve the same words or phrases’ recurrence in a simplified manner. It is quite useful and popular among small business owners and artists.
If you’re worried about confusion, be rest assured that it is a non-issue. All you have to do is trust the text and not bother about imagery. It is so enticing that it makes a strong visual statement on its own. The viewer’s curiosity will help them decipher the message with ease.
Serifs are so typical that you’re wondering why it made this list. Or maybe they’re not, and you’re reading about them for the first time. Whichever it is, serifs are not going away in 2021, and designers will still use them.
Creatives love the font for its extra little strokes, and it is beloved in the business world. Government offices favour it too. This year, graphic designers will use it for web projects, making it more available than before.
Serifs will appear in different lettering styles spotting thicker strokes. To enhance readability, leave adequate space between two serif letters. Feel free to experiment as much as you like with them until you find your unique style.
In the same way, fashion brands keep reinventing vintage styles with a modern twist, vintage fonts will remain in 2021. What makes this typography unique is the emotional response it evokes in the viewer’s mind.
It creates a nostalgic feeling and takes people back to the decades when it was popular. Graphic designers working with small businesses looking to connect with their audience will use a lot of this typeface.
The vintage font is standard among hospitality businesses, restaurant owners, and wineries. When working with this typography, create contrast from the text colour to the background design. Ensure the typeface is easy to read no matter the size, and the viewer’s device.
What Else Can You Expect?
Asides from our eight must-know typography trends mentioned above, you can expect to see cutouts and overlays. It will be popular on websites and print marketing materials, and they are perfect for including patterns and images.
Expect variable fonts with dynamic settings for width and height. With this typeface, the key to making it work is ensuring you don’t tweak it too much. They are suitable for any device, which is why we expect them to trend this year.
Significant, bold texts with opposing colours will grow in 2021. Those who want to emphasize words and grab the reader’s attention will go for this font. It’s more like a vast “SALE” sign but bolder and more colourful.
Font mashups may be tricky, but designers will go for it. It is playful, eye-catching, and an excellent line between art and chaos. When creating it, try to be as transparent as possible to ensure the readers understand the message.
Glitchy text effects, rounded and simple sans serif, left-aligned typography, and fonts’ outlining won’t be left out. While everything under this head won’t be as popular as our eight, they will make a considerable impact.
As much as we’ve presented to you must-know typography trends for 2021, you must remember to pick what works for you. Another significant consideration is what the brand you’re designing for wants; what spreads its message.
The year might be beginning, but it is not too late to get on the typography trend train. Experiment as much as you want, spread your wings, and let your creative side fly.