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Top 8 Typography Trends of 2021 (infographic)

Words are symbols that have evolved over time to carry emotions, document history, and may even be one of modern civilization’s most powerful inventions. Even though we now have the power to work in digital and virtual worlds, the symbols that create our written language remain relevant. So, it’s no surprise that the art of typography has continued to have a powerful impact on design.

The team at The Word Counter loves words. So, naturally, they are drawn to the craft of arranging and designing letters to elevate the meaning of the words they form or to strike a chord with readers. So we aren’t surprised to see they’ve compiled a beautiful collection of typography design trends that emphasize and celebrate the art of typography.

As we begin 2021, we can look to these trends for stylistic inspiration for marketing, design, and other creative endeavors.

Overall Direction in Typography Design Trends for 2021

As we move toward 2021, typography trends are working on staying grounded with sober, easy-to-digest font formats that artfully impact. These trends employ evocative companion styles and themes that speak volumes.

While digital and graphic design trends born from 2020 are more expressive and pushing wildly against the boundaries, typography trends showcase a longing for us to trust and find truth in words and structures we know.

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that in 2020 we all were stuck in the confines of our homes. Type trends follow this lived experience in some way, sticking to their “home base” with established serif and reliable sans serif styles.

What’s truly exceptional though, is the finesse in which designers have weaved in elements alluding to the wide-ranging states of experiences we’ve lived. Some fonts are thin and airy, giving some room for pondering, looking at you svelte serif. On the other hand, we see rugged, brutalist lines of text commanding attention and order.

The 8 Typography Design Trends for 2021

The typography design trends for 2021 are a mix of old and new. Some of these trends are those that have worked in the past, some employ styles that have worked consistently for years, while others may just be born of the times. So here they are, the 8 top typography trends The Word Counter has predicted to be front and center for this new year:

Svelte Serif Fonts

This isn’t your usual stiff typewriter or newspaper print style serif. With sleek lines and tall lengths, this svelte serif is one of the most popular looks we’ve seen in type design. It combines traditional serif with a modelesque, airy look. More so, it gives readers some space. It’s not busy, it’s open and inviting.

Outline Fonts

Outline fonts demand transparency! Rather than obscuring a message, outline fonts leave some room for you to fill in the blanks. Strong letters sans serif and even svelte-like serif can both be used. This trend is best done simply with wide blocks of solid color or monochrome color schemes. The idea is that the words stand up on their own and there’s no misinterpreting that.

Evolved Brutalist

Brutalist style is a combination of approachable and military. This evolved version is a bit softer and friendly. Can we call it the suave working-man look? With heavy notes of masculinity, it is often paired with warm natural, organic hues.

Text Layering with Other Elements

Whether a simple object or a captivating photo that makes you want to jump inside, the art is is the placement of the text. Designers can play with words and layer them to pull you into the elements and story they are telling. It’s both engaging and invigorating, a mixed-media treasure.

Text-Image Blending

While text layering may be an old collage trick, text-image blending is the modern twist. Sometimes outline text is used in a way that engraves the words directly into the images. Other times the images float above the text, requiring readers to move pieces aside like a puzzle to uncover the meaning. The image and text are not separate, they are dependant on each other.

New Psychedelic

Who doesn’t love a throwback? In a time when social movements are on the move and research in psychedelics is seeing light, a throwback to the 70s seems fitting. Expressive, colorful, and full of free-spirited fun, the new psychedelic typography trend leans towards that iconic rainbowed color scheme paired with a fresh yet serious type. No melting lava-like letters here. Instead, we see the illuminating lavalamp glow in the background or trippy letters that are truly groovin’.

Bold Modern Serif Fonts

Serif alone is clean and casual, but make it bold and make it big to truly make a statement. With bold modern serif font, simple two-color contrasts are all you need to pair with this aggressively oversized trend. It’s simple and effective.

Cyberpunk & Vaporwave

In a world that felt incredibly dystopian, it’s no surprise to see this 80s trend emerging. A global pandemic, raging fires on both sides of the world, and even locusts swarms made 2020 a year to wonder whether or not we are living in a sci-fi fantasy. Pair that with the necessity to embrace technology in a way never seen before and the call back to futurized, darkly themed cyberpunk and vaporwave aesthetics just seems natural.

Typography Moving Forward into 2021

Typography doesn’t just make a visual design more interesting, it engages and ignites emotion. A font style can elicit trust. Text placement can challenge comprehension or guide readers to a particular message. Typography can influence decision-making and help hold your reader’s attention.

The Word Counter’s collection showcases that the trends for 2021 will work to engage readers to look closer for meaning. We will see dependable and classic font styles paired with expressive elements like oversized text-driven designs, transparent letters over emotive photos, and old-school, tried, and true decade-inspired pieces.


Read next: What Digital Marketing Trends Will 2021 Bring For Us All? (infographic)

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