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There’s a lot more to type than Times New Roman and Helvetica. In the next year, designers will be spoiled for choice.
Stylish fonts are at the heart of every great design—but what’s stylish one year may not be stylish the next. Trends come and go. With that in mind, what typography will be big in 2022?
Well, there is no crystal ball to make such predictions. (Though, wouldn’t it be great if there were?) To create this list, we combed through search data, the latest agency projects, and the latest trend types for insights.
Fonts as a Reflection of the Times
Fonts are as much about our cultural, social and even psychological tendencies as they are about design. So, no wonder, as pandemics continue to shape the world around us, types feel some side effects.
For example, retro styles that offer comfort in uncertain times are still popular. However, next year they will have a generally cleaner and less fussy atmosphere, which makes the type for branding and display feel both nostalgic and up-to-date.
Scroll down to unpack the biggest font trends for 2022, which include:
- 1930s sans serif
- mixed width
- Liquid display
- Simple serif
- friendly grotesk
- Mincho serif
- Readable retro
- very thick
1. Sans Serif 1930s
This soft, engraved sans serif doesn’t stand out too much Gatsby Art Deco decadence; instead, they took cues from the later phases of the Jazz Age.
This relaxing sans serif font would make the perfect companion for branding products or a serene upscale lifestyle. Use it in place of an elaborate serif style for the simplest of luxury, and mix it up with a soft, understated color palette.
2. Mixed Width
The newest of our 2022 font trends, mixed-width typography has a simple graphic appeal that makes it a bold and beautiful choice for a variety of designs—packaging, book covers, etc.
Choose a chunky sans serif style to maximize font legibility, and choose a high-contrast color palette to make your message stand out.
Mixed width fonts are naturally fun, so use them for projects that need a little more distinctiveness.
3. Liquid Display
Flowing display fonts are romantic and subtle—if it looks like your typeface has been dipped in water, you’re on the right track—making it a natural fit for informal designs, as well as fashion or lifestyle brands.
Combine it with sepia color photography and a seventies color scheme to play up the relaxed nature of this gorgeous typography.
4. Simple Series
To keep your serif fonts on trend next year, traverse a middle ground between serifs and sans serifs, keeping the serifs themselves (the extra elements at the ends of the letterforms) barely visible.
This simple serif font is very versatile and can be used for a variety of projects—website design, magazine layouts, etc.
Serif suggestions on sans serif styles will make sure your typography stays elegant with ease.
5. Friendly Grotesk
The Grotesk typeface is a sans serif font with a bit of quirk and humanism. The term “grotesk” comes from a German word meaning “from the cave”, and refers to the general acceptance of this type of style in the early 19th century.
Once considered primitive and, in some cases, downright ugly, now grotesk is some of the most widely used and appreciated typeface by designers.
If a serif font isn’t going to cut the mustard for your minimalist project this year, try a friendly grotesk for size. Open and highly readable, this humanist sans serif has an easygoing personality that makes the design feel more accessible and welcoming.
Look for a grotesk style with unique character, bold weight, or low x height to increase the friendly factor. This typeface is perfect for kids branding or other designs that need to feel more enthusiastic than elegant.
6. Mincho Serif
The mincho serif takes cues from the old Japanese type style, with its high-contrast binding and calligraphic look. The modern wave of mincho fonts is very understated, and while their Eastern origin isn’t particularly obvious, they have a calm and collected feel that feels distinctly Japanese in tone.
Mincho serifs are not only beautiful to look at, but also incredibly easy to read, making them an excellent serif for use on websites or signage. They also have intellectual personalities, making them suitable for book design, or typesetting in general, where their subtle elegance is enhanced in simple black and white.
7. Retro Readable
Increased awareness about online accessibility issues is having a welcome effect in the world of types. At one point, a new, barely-readable font was seen as a necessity, but this illegible typography just isn’t going to cut it on sites that require greater convenience for visually impaired users.
Include simplified, easier-to-read incarnations of some of these funkier font styles. The readable retro font retains the essence of this throwback type style, but gets rid of unnecessary excess. Slimmer and thicker, they blend vintage and modernity to strike just the right nostalgic tone.
One of the most prominent examples of retro type that can be read in action is the new &Walsh brand identity for a vertical farming company Lots.
Retro-infused typography helps the product feel approachable and delicious, with a serious dose of fun. Expect to see this identity fuel more readable retro typography in the months to come.
8. Super Chunky
In 2022, brands will continue to look for more ways to stand out in a sea of competitors. The bold, super-chunky type is catchy and memorable, and looks very effective on a large scale.
Use it in packaging designs instead of graphics or illustrations, and team with strong high-contrast colors to maximize impact.
For extra style points, use these bold shapes as individual graphics for backgrounds or icons. Characters mix with carefree styles to bring more fun and individualism to type-based designs.
Cover image via Purple Moon.
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