Fonts that will be in fashion in 2021
These popular fonts for designers are often one of the most important parts of the design process. A carefully chosen typeface can be the cornerstone that brings a design together, giving it that modern, contemporary look, while maintaining clarity and readability.
In this article, we look at 20 creative typefaces that are exciting right now, from our students at Shillington to the broader creative industries, and likely to have a big impact in 2021. Some are new, some are established classics, but all of them have the potential to really make your design sing.
They are modern and classic typefaces for commercial use
Designed by the Swiss typeface design team and sold exclusively through their own website, Euclid is considered the “ultimate geometric”. Constructed from elemental shapes and monolinear lines, it is a rigorously functional typeface that is extremely minimalist, but at the same time surprisingly beautiful.
Looking for a geometric sans serif that’s a little less stark than Euclid? Designed by Hannes von Döhren and inspired by handwritten advertisements from the 20s and 30s, Brandon Grotesque has a true sense of warmth and humanity. However, at the same time optically corrected, the geometric shapes (seen, for example, at the acute angles of “A”, “V”, “W” and “Z”) offer a very high degree of clarity. and readability.
GT Haptik is a grotesque geometric monoline typeface designed by Reto Moser and Tobias Rechsteiner with an intriguing twist: its capital letters and numbers are designed to be read blindfolded, simply by tapping (i.e. haptic). It is available in seven weights and 21 styles, and alternate characters, as well as proportional and tabular figures, are included with each style.
Starting life as a Galaxie Copernicus optimization for a Spanish newspaper redesign, Tiempos eventually became an independent family in its own right. Times Text is perfect for copying the body, with its shorter cap height, risers and descents that allow for tighter line spacing without sacrificing readability. Times Headline allows for great flexibility, to prevent text from looking too awkward at large sizes, while Times Fine, which was designed specifically for National Geographic, offers a refined and elegant cutout of Times Headline for greater sharpness.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a monospaced (fixed-width) gothic typeface that’s completely square. Designed by Mark Simonson, its style is reminiscent of Gothic wood types but more geometric. This makes the characters charmingly different and perfectly aligned, even when used in different sizes.
A sans-serif family from the Process Type Foundry, based on the concept of ‘implicit geometry’, Colfax circles feature circles that are almost but not quite perfect. Named after a street in Minneapolis’ hometown, designer Eric Olson, this is a professional type typeface that is elegant but in a fairly straightforward and unassuming way.
As the colloquial name suggests, Alright Sans is another modern, unpretentious sans serif that strikes an appealing balance of stark, serious, and warm. With its open structure, shorter-than-normal capital letters, and large x height, this versatile font works great on all types of media, both large and small.
Another elegant font from Hannes von Döhren, Supria Sans takes the utilitarian clarity of Swiss-type design and gives it the subtle curves and fine details you need to feel playful and fun. In addition to the vertical version, the family also contains an italic calligraphic style and a smaller oblique style for each weight.
Although Times New Roman was believed to have been drawn for the British newspaper The Times in 1931 by Victor Lardent and Stanley Morison, some type historians believe that it was based on earlier work by American industrial designer William Starling Burgess. To celebrate its fifth anniversary, the Colophon Foundry recreated the Burgess typeface, based on Times New Roman Bold and Bold Italic mid-century Photostat cuts, and distributed it digitally in Open-Type (.OTF) format. This transitional serif typeface is available in two weights, regular and bold, each with matching italics.
Adelle is a slab serif created for heavy editorial use, yet flexible enough to be considered truly multipurpose, especially on the web. Most importantly, its unobtrusive appearance and darker color allow it to perform well in continuous text, even in unforgiving environments.
Based on a typeface originally commissioned for Los Angeles clothing brand Nasty Gal, Mabry draws inspiration from both 19th century grotesques and early 20th century geometric sans-serifs. The result is a nice hybrid that is both neat and mischievous.
Designed by Oswald Bruce Cooper and released by the Barnhart Brothers & Spindler type foundry in 1922, Cooper is a truly classic typeface. Expanded by Bitstream into a full series of rounded-edge text faces, this is a font whose popularity we expect to continue strongly throughout 2019.
Originally created by Christian Schwartz in 2009 and inspired by mid-century modernist design, Graphik has become an instant classic. With a rational grid composed of nine weights in eight different widths, this font is designed for maximum flexibility in communication. The intentional clarity and wide range of widths allow it to act as a central design element and in a supporting role; in editorial design, corporate branding, video and broadcast design, websites, applications and user interfaces.
Inspired by serif typefaces from the 70s and 80s, such as Trooper Roman, GT Super was designed by Noël Leu, with the help of Mirco Schiavone and Reto Moser, and launched in 2018 via Grilli Type. It takes the expressive and idiosyncratic nature of calligraphic movements and translates them into stable and typographic forms, to create a typeface that is authoritative and impactful.
Cotoris is a beautiful sans serif glyph that includes ligatures and small capital letters for advanced typography. It is particularly useful when a touch of elegant and feminine design is required. Published by Dharma Type, which was founded by director and type designer Ryoichi Tsunekawa in 2005.
French printer Lucas Le Bihan is known for going the extra mile to create truly impressive fonts, and Self Modern, launched through his Bretagne foundry, is no exception. This beautiful serif typeface is available in text, normal, and italic styles.
GT America is positioned as the missing link between the American Gothic of the 19th century and the European Neo-Grotesk typefaces of the 20th century. Designed by Noël Leu and Seb McLauchlan, it takes the best design features from both traditions and applies them to widths and weights to ensure they perform optimally. It is available in 84 styles.
An attractive neograsible sans serif designed by Adrian Frutiger and released by Debeny & Peignot in 1957, Univers’s appeal remains strong more than six decades later. That’s a testament to how its designer imposed strict discipline on the entire series, from light to dark, condensed to extensive. As a result, any version of Univers can be mixed within one word with another, without sacrificing visual uniformity.
Pitch is nothing less than a love letter to the typewriter, an analog anachronism that has nonetheless been idolized by younger generations, for whom it represents a tantalizing bridge to the past. This monospaced slab serif, designed by Kris Sowersby and published through Klim Type Foundry, is available in five weights with matching italics.
Designed by Laurenz Brunner and released through the Lineto type foundry, Akkurat is a sans-serif typeface that has long been popular with print designers. But recently it also started to be used on the web, and we are not surprised. After all, this ingenious retrofit of a 19th-century grotesque provides plenty of character and expressiveness, but is still beautifully legible in a variety of sizes.