Like everything in the 2020s so far, typography has evolved – like, a lot. 2021 saw a return to comfort by means of nostalgic 1970s fonts while the world didn’t know what was going on. 2022 saw means of defining a decade referencing the 1990s and art nouveau which are leading the way to the maximalism and creativity of 2023.
First let us look at a few trends inspiring the exciting fonts of the year.
It’s Custom Darling
Software innovation is allowing graphic designers of all levels to create new fonts. Newly launched font design software Glyphs 3 for example makes designing custom fonts more intuitive and accessible for designers.
Custom fonts are great as each speaks with a certain tone of voice and communicates specific values, and a custom font can express nuances that an off-the-shelf font cannot while serving to differentiate a brand in a crowded marketplace.
Keep It Simple
The surreal tone of 2020 and 2021 led to many an experimental and almost non-designed-designed letterform. This is due to tone down.
Dyslexia and Bilingual Friendly
Moving on from crazier design fonts, inclusivity is encouraging campaigns to choose fonts that are more legible for those with learning disabilities and those for whom English may not be their mother tongue.
Bearing these factors in mind, here are some of 2023’s most popular fonts.
Clean, round and very legible, axifroma comes in 20 weights plus matching Italics for each weight. Recommended for branding, posters, headlines, display, presentation materials, websites and logotypes, Axiforma is a paid-for font and should not be confused with the similarly named Axiforma Free Font.
- Pangram Sans
If there was a font most akin to the Girl from Ipanema it would be Pangram Sans. Tall and lovely the font displays a great balance of creativity and distinctiveness. Developers Mat Desjardins and Valerio Monopoli have taken this free-to-try geometric sans to a whole new level with a fully variable slanting, from Reclined to Italic. It also includes support for the Cyrillic Alphabet.
The fun one. Possibly the world’s first truly limited edition typeface, Boke! is a condensed, bold, sans serif typeface inspired by a box of old classic woodblock type lying dusty in the studio. Quick! It will only be in the hands of 50 designers in the world.
Designed by Simon Walker, Lovechild boasts 485 total glyphs, including a wide range of foreign characters, making it compatible with dozens of foreign languages. It’s giving us medieval, romantic realness.
- New Paris
The French, and Paris in particular, are known for their iconic typography. From the handwritten stop names at Metro stations to the beautifully written menus outside cafe terraces, the Parisian font is charming by means of its curves. Rooted in the tradition of the 18th-19th century French typefaces, NewParis is distinguished by high contrast between thick and thin strokes.
- FS Ostro
Named after a southerly wind that blows over the Mediterranean Sea, FS Ostro is a warmer interpretation of letterforms with their roots in colder, stark Modern typefaces. Designed by Monotype.
Rustic is the word. Inspired by the serif typefaces used in editorial media in the 70s and 80s, gazpacho’s morphology of the letterforms makes it ideal for logos, while its large x-height makes it great for headlines with tight leading. Its high contrast and very simple and recognisable shapes also make it highly readable on small, long texts.
A modern take on art nouveau, Dahlia was designed by Jérémy Schneider. This display serif typeface is useful for headlines or short to medium-length texts. Its atypical curves and refined details create a sense of rhythm and timeless elegance, and its counter forms are highly expressive.
- TT Travels Next
TT Travels Next is an alternative, and more radical version of the TT Travels family that emerged at the Mail.ru Design Conf x Dribbble Meetup in 2020 in Moscow. Designed by Kseniya Karataeva, it’s a trendy and modern wide display sans serif for use in different sets, be they print or web. It also has an exaggerated closed aperture, low contrast, noticeable visual compensators, and a harmonic combination of soft and sharp shapes.
Inspired by late 19th century’s gothic typefaces from broadsides, Flexible by Art Grootfontein is a versatile uppercase typeface available in eight widths and eight heights. Plus, it uses variable font technology to allow designers to play with each letter height and width easily.
We hope this list of fonts has inspired your branding as we roll into 2024.
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