Fonts that typify a decade

pixelpyro's picture

I realise this isn't an easy question and doesn't really have a correct answer as such but I am designing some pages for the following decades 2000, 90's, 80's, 70's, 60's and 50's and would like to use a typeface that is commonly associated with each decade.

A font/s that is recognised within advertising or design trends or some pointers as to what would work for each decade would be very much appreciated. As mentioned I realise that it is impossible to say this is the 50's but if a common theme exisits that would make that visual link for each that would be great.


Geoff Riding's picture

Here's a few from the groovin' 70's to begin with;

Harlow 1977/79
Octopuss 1970
Tango 1974

pixelpyro's picture

Thanks Geoff - thats the ticket, much obliged

Norbert Florendo's picture

Part of the problem is to use faces that were indicative of the decade but have fallen out of style, thereby invoking an era.

Geoff's suggestions are good for the seventies.
Though Bottleneck was released in 1972, it is strictly sixties in style.

For the fifties you can use anyone of several Frisky Style typefaces.

But then again, you are talking about American styles aren't you?

pixelpyro's picture

Hi Norbert, thanks for the response

The pages are film orientated both UK and USA, I appreciate what you are saying re falling out of fashion but I think that is part of the beauty (sort of retro feel).

And thanks for the suggestions - again a couple of good ones there exactly what I was after.

hrant's picture


claes's picture

60s: Avant Garde, Ad Lib
70s: Cooper Black, Bookman Swash
80s: ..not sure, Chicago, maybe?

Si_Daniels's picture

60's Helvetica
70's Helvetica Flare
80's Helvetica PostScript
90's Helvetica Grunge
00's Helvetica Neue

Celeste's picture

50's : Craw Clarendon (Blue Note Records style)
60's : Leslie Cabarga's Peace or Love/Cooper Black ("Pet Sounds", obviously)
70's : Pump Triline (discoooooooooo !…)
80's : anything by Neville Brody (FF Tyson, FF Typeface, Arcadia, etc.)
90's : Trixie
00's : Zuzana Licko's Base Monospace

fontplayer's picture


Very nice. Bookmarked. Here's one that isn't commercially available anymore (not-so Bright Ideas) but is similar to Mojo, Peace, and Fillmore, called Groovy.

dezcom's picture

Somthin' fishy lookin' about that font :-)


fontplayer's picture

Funny you should mention it. Actually I would have like to get a straight line at top and bottom, with the same effect but wasn't sure how to do that, and didn't want to get too side-tracked.

dezcom's picture

Cooper Black was early 60s U.S.; AG (or Standard) was mid to late 60s with Helvetica chiming in at the end.
80s were an ITC bonanza with Benguiat and company Cheltenham, Clearface, Lubalin Graph.


dan_reynolds's picture

I love your list, Si!

cerulean's picture

To the best of my recollection, people used a lot of Optima and Eurostyle in the 80s. But for nostalgia, you want Pac-Man fonts like Shotgun and Bauhaus.

dezcom's picture

Si forgot Schmelvetica from Chester :-)


pattyfab's picture

For the 2000s I'd suggest fonts like Foundry Gridnik, Din and its many imitators, basically any of the new grotesks.

For the 70s in addition to the groovier fonts suggested above, I'd add fonts like Bauhaus or Broadway or Chalet (even tho it was created much later).

Don't forget about Candice for the 70s either...

JudyG's picture

2000s the work of Joshua Darden

fontplayer's picture

I'll add Nick Curtis' Space Patrol for the '60s. Sort of George Jetsonish. Back when the future was where we were going to solve all man's problems with science.

typequake's picture

Just remember to keep it 1960s, not 1960's; '70s, not '70's.

Stephen Coles's picture

Unless you're the New York Times.

pixelpyro's picture

Hi all, Apologies for not responding for a while been on holiday.

wow thanks for all of these very much appreciated some great suggestions here will have some fun with these

any more welcome...

thanks again

pers0n's picture

Sorry to bump an old thread, but I was searching for something like this.

I would add:

50s - futura
60s - bellbottom fonts
70s - ???
80s - computer type fonts, ones that look like something on a DOS screen
90s - any typewriter font that looks grungy
2000s - Trajan for movie titles, Vag Rounded for web

alanvitek's picture

oh wow, i have to agree with claes.

cooper is definitely THE 70s typeface. I know I wasn't around then, but when it comes to relating what I know of the media, cooper hits the nail on the head.

...and I really don't enjoy how Applebeas adopted it for their new menus. well, at least new down here in the dirty south.

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