Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker

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Top Ten Type Trends

Let’s get right into some of the stuff that I have personally been seeing about lately.

  1. Hand Lettering.
    This trend takes out the audacious number one because it’s fucking everywhere. Earlier in the year I attended Typism, a conference dedicated to type making, drawing, designing and everything in between. Talent game was strong. A personal favourite of mine, Jess Cruickshank is phenomenal, her work ranges from scratchy to flowing and elegant. You may have also heard of  Jasmine Dowling , she has had some serious press in the last year or so around her hand lettering style. Good Type is an amazing place to get some serious type inspiration, they celebrate all types of type (see what I did there?) not only do they love the finished piece but they love the process too! They act somewhat like a submission forum to better connect the type and design community around the mutual love of good typography. They have also just released a book! Yay!
  2. It Looks Just Like FUTURA.
    So I feel like Futura has just had a massive comeback, similar to that of a band who said they were going to give it all away but then decided to do a revival tour. I’ve consulted House IndustriesYou Work For Them Foundry & Font Shop and have found several typefaces that look like cousins to the 1920’s babe, Futura. Code Pro owns the same level of boldness and is similarly striking, dense and has the same geometric nature that we’ve all come to love. Brandon Grotesque feels like a softer younger brother to Futura, sharing similar stroke weight and density but featuring a roundness that seems more inviting than the sharp edges that occur in our feisty first child. Neutraface was inspired by American architect Richard Neutra, who’s modernist style embodied clean and crisp with an uncompromising functionalism. This type face holds all the linear love we crave without loosing a distinct human vibe.
  3. Textured Type
    We all think wood type is the bees knees right? Letterpress has raised its Hydra like head once more in a wave of textured, distressed fury, unrelenting in its course to bring back the wood grain. Little Peach Co does incredible things on a commercial level, using a 1965 Heidelberg Platen press to get the goods but employing a more modern way of plate making either polymer, lead or magnesium you get what you want, how you want it but in a way that looks and feels authentic. Creative Emporium is a studio in Brisbane dedicated to the art of letterpress, their main arsenal is a press called Victor; a British Autovic (circa 1940s) and a 1970’s Heidelberg.
  4.  Type In A Box
    Just type. In a box.
  5. Type Weave With An Image
    HereHereAlso HereCheck This Out Too, and Another One
    I think I have an entire pinterest board dedicated to it.
  6. Type On An Image
    This is different to type interacting with an image, this is more like this or something a bit more experimental but can be functional to your layouts.
  7. Experimental Type
    I’m a bit fan of what Stefan Sagmeister (and Jessica Walsh!) does with type, some of Sagmeisters’ video expression of typography is incredibly inspirational but also encourages us to interact, observe and be involved. More experimental type can also add something interesting to an otherwise structured layout, playing with unexpected textures can induce certain feelings in your work, it could add something conceptually to a piece or enhance unity.
  8. Sans Serif Web Fonts
    Kapra Cervo Lato Montserrat Open Sans are good examples of highly legible type faces suited for web. Due to their open counter spaces and large x-heights these typefaces are good at smaller sizes and for larger bodies of copy.
  9. Art Deco Inspired
    I have felt the strong presence of art deco type face lately. A case study I recently attended for the branding of The New Inchcolm Hotel, a beautiful boutique experience new to Brisbane, saw their sub-branding of The Socialites Bar as an exquisite tip of the hat to Art Deco eleagance and glamour. Even though Couverture Chocolate has been around for a little while, it still sparks in my mind as one of the most beautiful word marks I’ve ever seen. While hanging about in Folio Book Store today I noted a number of books that featured a harking back to 1920’s like Speak EasyDroll Pranks for Rich Boys and was also excited to find a book titled Brisbane Art Deco!
  10. Decorative / Chromatic Type
    When we talk about “chromatic type” or also commonly known as layered type, we’re meaning a typeface that has multiple layers that make up that typeface. William H Page still remains king of the chromatics, check out these specimens. They look like they could have been made yesterday. The colours are modern, the layout is funky and cool. I’ve been seeing a lot of decorative type lately, Jessica Hische was instrumental is getting everyone excited about fancy letters again, this self initiated venture lead her to designing an amazing set of books for Penguin. Let’s have some fun! House Industries Photo Lettering website and now app lets you check out the tasty type and have a play while you’re at it.

So there we have it. Have some thoughts? Disagree? Agree? Leave a comment.

amy crow