Baker Street Serif Font Trend 2016

Inspirations: Typography Trends for 2016

What’s hot in typography for 2016?

The widely circulated Creative Bloq predictions by Monotype’s Ryan Arruda explore “three select dimensions of typography from 2015 to reflect upon, facets that may inform design trends in the year to come,” including:

Will 2016 be the year of the serif comeback?
Arruda makes an excellent point that, as our digital devices and displays continue to improve, they can “increasingly handle the often more delicate, refined nuances of serif typefaces and smaller sizes…nuances that give serif designs their distinct personalities.” Many font-o-philes may have longed for a hearkening back to this print-worthy classic, while trudging through recent years of sans-serif domination and popularity.

Bookmania Serif Font Trends 2016

Bevista Serif Font Trend 2016

Garibaldi Font Trend 2016

Bajka Serif Font Trend 2016

Carrig Serif Font Trend 2016

Haboro Serif Font Trend 2016


Continued thirst for custom type
Is increased social awareness of well-executed type, including typographic stories in mainstream news, prominent brands unveiling custom typefaces, and the presence of type in daily life—on digital devices from watches to coffee makers—making type awareness part of today’s wider zeitgeist? Will design clients understand, demand, and appreciate more about the typefaces we use? Before you answer, consider these pop-culture worthy BuzzFeed typographic quizzes Arruda cites for your entertainment (“from the mildly academic to absurd”).

San Francisco Font Trend 2016


First-time typographers proliferate
With the caveat that “software does not a type designer make…Prototypo, Adobe’s Project Faces, and FontArk now put the promise of custom type more readily in the hand of designers.” While most designers have a huge amount of respect for the art of professional typography, ease of making those little tweaks a client may demand for just a touch more personalization on a project might be nice. If we’re willing to add yet another program or two to our toolbox, that is. Let’s be honest, though: who hasn’t always dreamed of trying to create at least one really beautiful, successful font completely from scratch?



On the other hand
Design Shack profiles three typography trends already hovering on the border of overuse. The type trio in question shows no signs of slowing in the 2016 year ahead—do you agree that these are omnipresent styles designers already hate to love (but can’t help themselves from loving just the same)?  Consider this from the devil’s advocate: would you reject Helvetica on the basis of popularity?

Retro grunge
These one-off custom fonts usually require a purchase, and play into the vintage-hipster-handmade, elaborate-but-uncomplicated moment going on. It’s purported that the key is moderation (doesn’t that sound like just the perfect New Year’s resolution in any case?) and realizing the hand-lettered chalkboard feel is already everywhere, and you’re going to be a part of it.

Ed's Market Font Trend 2016

Burford Serif Font Trend 2016

Sacro 2016 Font Trend

Gin Font Trend 2016

Sant Elia Font Trend 2016


Speaking of everywhere…this softer trend has been embraced hand-in-hand with the larger handcrafted craze. Clients want their projects to feel special, and watercolor typography that looks hand-painted is just the ticket in, ironically, lots of cases. Gender-neutral thick strokes or reverse use of a watercolor background paired with a solid typeface are a predicted twist on this trend for the year to come.

Freeland Font Trend 2016 Lid Font Trend 2016

Bambusa Font Trend 2016

Mila Font Trend 2016

Stackyard Font Trend 2016 Salt & Spices Font Trend


If used sparingly, can all-caps typography in fact be enticing? Design Shack calls out navigation elements and display typography as two worthy examples, and also brings attention to the versatility of lettering styles that can be used successfully in this format (wide, thin, and condensed, to name a few). And, for impact, “all caps can pair particularly well—as is the trend—with hero-sized imagery to create an engaging dominant visual.”

Brandon Grotesque Uppercase Font Trend 2016

Campton Uppercase Font Trend 2016 Pines Uppercase Font Trend 2016 Nanami Uppercase Font Trend 2016

Azo Uppercase Font Trend 2016

Frutiger 2016 Uppercase Font Trend

What to you hope and fear will happen with typography, and how it will influence your own design practice, over the next year?

A certain Santa Fe designer—and beloved typographic curmudgeon—we’ve had the joy of collaborating with has been known to say, “If you have more than 10 fonts in your library, it’s a sign…I don’t know of what, but it’s a sign of something.” It’s quite apparent he means it’s a sign of something bad. “How many do you need? How many do you use?” A valid point. So, we need to tack another New Year’s resolution onto our list and trim down (our personal current tally may or may not hold a couple of trailing zeroes on that number). Who else is guilty? Conveniently, Typewolf offers awesome lists of favorites…presented in groups of (you guessed it!) 10.

(For visuals: Examples in this post gathered from two of our personal favorite font shops, MyFonts and Hype for Type.)


This post was originally published on The Design Corps of Santa Fe blog.

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