2014 Trends in Design

Grant Nielsen's picture

With the fairly notable shift towards a more organic/handwritten style in typography of late, I was wondering what the general opinions on the style was. Specifically, what do you think of the success of fonts in the vein of Thirsty Rough or Voyage?

As a purely digital designer, I'm glad to have elements like these to design with; but as fellow typophiles/designers, do you think these trends have a decent shelf life for branding, or do you feel like it's a more fleeting trend?

Jørgen Brynhildsvoll's picture

I’ve seen a clear increase in the use of old calligraphic and semi-calligraphic flare-serif typefaces, especially the late 30’s face Lydian, but also the likes of Monotype Albertus, ITC Tiepolo and 2013’s Dragon. I’ve noticed these faces are often contrasted by popular contemporary geometric sans-serifs (amongst these, Lineto’s Circular seems to have become particularly popular). Just this week I’ve seen flare-faces used in Angel Olsen’s new album cover (Lydian) and a set of good concert posters by Kees Bakker (Tiepolo).

Stephen Coles's picture

Nice summary, Jørgen.

Grant, keep in mind that (like most trends) the organic/handwritten thing is just one of many and your experience will vary depending on region, design format, and field. Also, I feel like the popularity of analog/handmade things in general jumped maybe 4–5 years ago and has plateaued at a high level since then.

Stephen Coles's picture

Chromatic and faceted/3D families of layerable fonts are also popular of late. Examples: Detroit, VALUCO, Trend (name intentional), Frontage, Prismatic, Duotone, Festivo Letters, and Sutro Deluxe which is currently the Typographica nameplate typeface.

A few months ago, FontFont published a feature on the layer fonts in their library.

Stephen Coles's picture

do you think these trends have a decent shelf life for branding, or do you feel like it's a more fleeting trend?

I think anything with a lot of personality is prone to be associated with its time, so the handwriting styles (in particular the ones you mention) are not likely to be considered “timeless” 20 years from now. But there are always retro revivals of what was once novel and new (the chromatic wood type stuff, for example). The best typefaces from any of these trends will certainly be a valid choice at any time if chosen wisely and used well.

Nick Shinn's picture

I get ideas for typefaces all the time, not usually in response to trends.
I’ve been working on a concept for a couple of years now, for a face with a ridiculously small x-height.
Several other ideas are in the running, but that is what appeals to me most, unless it becomes a trend before I get it done!

JamesM's picture

> do you think these trends have a decent shelf life for branding,
> or do you feel like it's a more fleeting trend?

In most cases you don't want to use a fleeting trend, but most companies update their logos and branding periodically to reflect current trends. For example, Pepsi has updated their logo 10 times.

On the other hand, a fleeting trend might be totally appropriate for a company that needs to conform to current trends; such as a company that caters to the whims of teenagers. Obviously they don't want to change their logo every year, but other elements of branding can be revised frequently, especially if the branding is mostly online, which is easy to update as trends change.

Syndicate content Syndicate content