As designers, we use typography to communicate with our audience. It’s not just a case of plonking words onto a page which will hopefully be read! It’s about strengthening the message so that the reader engages.
Typography plays a crucial role in conveying a message or purpose of a design or brand. It can be used to recall an emotion or reflect a certain time or event in history. Here we take a look at some of the emerging trends for 2021 and what we can expect to see over the next 12 months.
- Animated fonts
- Standout letters
- Custom fonts
- 3D type
1. Animated fonts
Animated fonts have been around for a while – you only need to look at Saul Bass’s film sequence titles for ‘Psycho’ ( https://youtu.be/aj6aBuC1Lb8 ) to realise that moving text isn’t new. However, with the age of social media, i.e. the ‘Tiktok generation’, getting peoples’ attention is proving more challenging.
Animation is more engaging – it quickly captures your attention and stops you in your tracks, or at least from scrolling! More and more brands see the value of video/animation to create compelling content to share with their followers and build on consumer relationships.
Check out the examples below by clicking on the images.
2. Standout letters
Creating wordmarks or logos with individual letters which stand out from the rest of the word is a great way to add personality to a brand, whether that’s with a simple icon or using the letters within the words. It can be a playful, subtle way of illustrating what the brand is. If done well, it should support the visual message without causing distraction.
A fine example of this is Herb Lubalin’s ‘Families’ logo:
Designed by Peter Varsvali
3. Custom fonts
Designers are increasingly using fonts which have the appearance of looking hand-drawn or manipulated in some way – this, in turn, can add a sense of individuality and charm. You only have to look at the drinks market to get a taste of the varied designs that are out there! Lots of bold, colourful, daring designs that are exciting, fresh and full of creativity.
It’s a style that’s definitely here to stay and works well across social channels. Check out the work we created for the Duerr’s’ Kim Joy campaign:
4. 3D Type
As technology moves forward, we see more advances in 3D typography. Typestyles that you literally want to grab a hold of and pick up because they look so real – chunky shadows which give the illusion of the words leaping off the page. There is no end to what you can imagine! This style of typography, teamed with animation, will be a real front runner in 2021.
We all know that design is subjective and that following design fashions is a risky business – design trends come and go. You could probably guess that when one year ‘bold and colourful’ is trending, the next year it will be ‘subtle and subdued’ that is on-trend. So whilst it’s important to stay abreast of what’s current and appealing, it’s more important to stay true to a brand’s core values.