Welcome back to our annual series covering trends emerging in 2023 in the world of graphic design, typography, and web design. Today, we’re reading the future of typography. Stay ahead of the curve with these six trends that will be making headlines this year.
Here we are again on the serif or sans serif pendulum. Well, it appears that in 2023 we’re swinging back into the world of serif fonts being popular. For those who may not know what that means, a serif is the decorative bits at the end of letters that you won’t find in the text of this blog. We try to keep it clean here, no matter the trend. Think the classic look of Times New Roman vs the modern look of Arial.
So reacquaint yourself with all those elegant fonts from a few years ago, since they’re coming back in a big way. Of course, the return of any classic from years past almost always comes with a twist. Check out the next item to see just what that twist is this time.
Even with the return of classic serif fonts, we’re going to see a lot of customization in typography this year. Unleash your inner experimental artist and make some tweaks that are wholly your own.
We’re already seeing the rise of flared characters, distorted letter forms, handwritten touches, and the insertion of characters like emoji and nonletter symbols in place of letters. This sort of thing is best used sparingly, because losing readability in favor of form is a cardinal sin of typography, but feel free to try some new things as you slap text across your designs.
With the continuous rise of 3D design elements across the last few years, it’s no surprise that 3D text elements are rising with it. This year, if you haven’t already, get on board with depth, volume, and mass when using text in your designs. Make an impact with words that look like they can, well, make an impact.
Adopt the clay look that’s growing in popularity. Use shadows and repeated, layered text. More than anything, if you’re looking to grab the attention of a distracted population, give them something different. Reach out and grab them with something that looks like they could reach out and grab.
Don’t cry when we say this, but this vintage trend includes stuff from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. Yeah, the ‘90s are vintage now. The good thing is, if you’re familiar with the artistic trends of the ‘90s (think Saved by the Bell title card), you’ll feel right at home jumping on this trend.
Also bundled up in the wacky designs of our youth are groovy designs, pastel colors, and neons. Whatever decade you decide to emulate, just make sure you do it clearly and you do it well. And be prepared to embrace the text styling of early internet decades, as they’re coming back, too. We’ll talk more about that in the web design entry in early February, though.
We know it sounds a little contradictory, but trust us on this. Minimalism and boldness can exist simultaneously—harmonically, even. If you recall our previous entry where we talked about anti-branding, this sort of buddies up with that trend. Look for single color text in a simple style, a lot of white space, and options where a single style choice dominates a design.
This stands in stark contrast to the gonzo patterns and styling of the vintage trend going on, but if this series teaches us anything, it’s that these diametrically opposed styles can stand together in the market and do just fine. That’s the beauty of trends. There are so many you can jump on that you’ll never be at a loss for inspiration.
Lastly, we’re embracing colors. Look for the jewel tones and shimmering elegance left over from last year’s Art Deco trend. Shaking up the common color pairings is hot this year, too. Look for contrasting colors and strange combinations, even just in one letter or character as in the customization that’s popular this year.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! Have fun with your brand colors. Try pairing them with something unexpected to surprise people into taking a second look at what you’re offering. You may be surprised what you end up loving when you embrace the wild world of color.
Whether you’re going corkscrews and neon or white space and serif fonts, there’s something for everyone to play around with in this year’s 2023 typography trends. Stay tuned for the final entry in this series where we will be covering web design trends. They’re sure to include some of the trends discussed here and in the first entry. That’s the beauty of knowing what’s on trend. It can help in all areas of design!