What fonts are trending in design this year? From 3D typography to elegant serifs, our Envato experts give us their top font trends & predictions for 2022.
When embarking on a new creative project, selecting the right font requires a delicate balancing act between practical considerations – like readability – and the overall message, brand persona or visual style that you want to convey.
Paying close attention to the hottest font trends and popular typography can help guide your hand. For example, picking handwritten-style fonts can attract the attention of an audience that values authenticity and a human voice, while animated typography and experimental type can dazzle people with a one-of-a-kind personality.
What Fonts Are Trending?
So, what fonts are proving to be popular this year? We consulted our Envato experts to see what font trends they’ve noticed popping up so far in 2022, as well as their predictions for what’s to come.
1. 3D Typography
A designer’s choice of font is key when it comes to effectively communicating a message – and 3D typography can help your words work even harder. Adding an extra dimension to written messages both in-print and online, the 3D typography trend allows designers to play with shapes, images and emotions associated with certains phrases. Take the 3D type collection from ILOVEDUST for example, which adds Escher-inspired stairs to the word ‘escape’ in order to convey a sense of maze-like mayhem.
“While 3D typography has been around for some time, it’s now being integrated more seamlessly into designs,” explains John Kappa, Envato’s Senior Designer. “From vibrant bright and colorful elements through to hyper-realistic abstract designs, 3D fonts are here and they’re making things pop!”
Add tone and texture to your type with these 3D lettering packs and text effects from Envato Elements. BrandPacks’s metal collection takes the geometric sans-serif typeface Montserrat and gives it a reflective finish, Up-3D Text Effect by nathatype sees words lift off both page and screen thanks to its layered letters, and tiger fur lettering renders from cruzine is guaranteed to add a roar to your work.
2. Authentic Handwriting
Using handwritten lettering is the perfect way to add character to your creative projects. Whether you’re experimenting with elegant calligraphy or block capitals – handwriting can convey personality, authenticity, and charm.
“After the rise and rise of script and brush fonts, it’s great to see the trend take a more authentic turn,” says Envato designer, Taylor Conacher. “Mirroring more closely the genuine textures, imperfections and messiness of our own notes and scrawlings, the trend is perfect for adding that human warmth to your designs both on and off screen. A good handwriting font is an absolute must in your design toolkit!”
For example, clothing label Good to the People shares a message of inclusivity through the scribbled words and phrases on its packaging and labels. The handwritten letters convey the sense that each garment has been specially picked for the wearer, while the words themselves – skin, planet, future – communicate a commitment to sustainability.
To bring more organic elements into your work – from neutral colors and textures to free-form natural and botanical shapes – read up on our Back to Basics: Organic design trends blog.
3. Retro Fonts
While the retro revival has been in full swing for a couple of years now, retro typography is having a moment in the design world this year. So why are retro fonts back in fashion? Because they channel a sense of nostalgia, offer an analogue antidote to the modern world and align brands with an iconic aesthetic that’s likely to resonate with their audience.
Retro typography sees designers stepping back in time to take inspiration from a myriad of sources – from the Art Deco advertising elegance of the 1920s and 30s through to the sci-fi movies of the 80s. For example, this branding project for a 70s-inspired music event transports people to the days of disco through its use of thick, curvy letters.
Incorporate a sense of sweet soul music or LSD-inspired psychedelia into your next project with a range of 70s style fonts that can be found on Envato Elements, from the soft serifs of Regards and groovy ligatures of Dubbo to the out-of-this-world vibe of Naskle. Plus, add a touch of nostalgia with our round-up of vintage and retro fonts to embrace the retro graphic design trend.
4. Friendly Sans Serifs
Simple and straightforward, the friendly sans serif font trend turns functionality into an art form. More brands have been sending a clear concise message thanks to sans serifs, while at the same time adding that all-important human element. That’s right – if friendly sans serifs could talk, they’d offer you a cup of tea before getting straight to the point.
“Rounded, clean and modern, friendly sans serifs are an ideal choice for creating approachable and accessible designs,” explains Taylor. “Suitable for desktop interfaces as well as being mobile-friendly, these fonts are a great choice for large blocks of text as they’re easy to read at different point sizes. Experiment with increasing font size and weight to introduce a visual hierarchy to your text.”
From instructional information and easy-to-read app interfaces to minimal product packaging, sans serifs are being embraced by UI/UX designers and graphic designers alike, with Strawford from Spain-based creative agency Atipo offering a masterclass in this geometric font trend. From the soft curves of Steppe to an ultra-modern take on the Future font, these examples perfectly prove how san serifs can make a brand look approachable and accessible as opposed to the more formal, harsh sans serifs – we’re looking at you, Helvetica!
5. Animated Typography
Move over static typography, it’s time to get animated! This trend revolves around moving letters, animated words and creative morphing. Adding a dynamic element to any graphic design asset, animated typography is perfect for grabbing an audience’s attention.
Just as the 3D typography trend adds depth – quite literally – to written elements, animated typography offers up an opportunity to take a playful approach to your message and its meaning. Like designer Simon Eves’ rolling and rotating words that fill the screen or the more simplistic but equally effective approach of Yellow Vision magazine, which moves chunks of copy around the page to keep the reader engaged.
If you need a little inspiration to get you started, check out our kinetic typography blog post, which features a range of Envato Elements templates that will kickstart your animated typography project.
6. Experimental Type
While traditional typography is governed by a set of strict principles – such as sizing, sequence, consistency and contrast – experimental type delights in ripping up the rulebook and pushing letters to their limits.
“Experimentation with alternative characters and the playful distortion of letterforms always catches my eye,” says Envato’s UX Designer, Sean Feehan. “Used appropriately it can be effective at captivating viewers, however when used inappropriately it can be illegible and confusing. There is a sweet spot in the middle that I have been loving seeing of late!”
The sweet spot that Sean describes provides graphic designers with an opportunity to push the boundaries with distorted shapes, unusual materials and bizarre textures – like the 3D letters and shapes in the 2021 edition of the 36 Days of Type. Lately, we’ve seen creators experiment with positive and negative space, optical illusions, as well as jumbled, obscured and barely legible letters – whether static or animated.
The barely readable HG80 typeface has been designed to replicate liquid mercury and is a great example of how you can get weird and wonderful with words. On the other end of the spectrum, Farah Ali’s experimental Arabic and Latin typeface – Bateekh – is shaped from strips of sugar-covered sour candy.
7. Mix & Match
At the beginning of any design or branding project, the choice of typography is likely to be one of the first and most important decisions that you make. But what if you’re having trouble choosing? Then this font trend is for you!
Font pairings and combinations are an everyday part of design, and are designed to complement one another while still imparting their own sense of identity – like an attention-grabbing headline with easy-on-the-eye body copy. However, the mix and match trend takes things a little further to create eye-catching contrasts and daring duos – to be used on everything from product packaging to print or digital publications, wedding invitations and business cards.
To try this trend for yourself, check out the Charlly Font Duo by maulanacreative, which combines classic typography with awesome ligature, while Serfict Font Duo from vuuuds is social media and stationery-friendly with its swirling handwriting and silhouette block capitals. Moonery’s Paper Cut Alphabet looks like it’s been clipped from the pages of a magazine – making it perfect for collages, retro ransom notes or a friendly message.
Find your perfect pair with our guide to Dynamic Font duos, which features a range of complementary and contrasting combinations that are available from Envato Elements.
8. Modern, Elegant Serifs
From the smooth, swirling ligatures of Qastars to the stylish sophistication of Vegawanty, elegant serifs are being used by brands who want to convey old-school authority mixed with contemporary cool. And, because they have a handwritten quality without appearing hand-drawn, this font trend represents an excellent choice when it comes to making communications feel warm, personal and authentic.
“Modern, elegant serifs are my go-to typography trend,” says Taylor. “Sophisticated, clean and full of charm – this trend is perfect for elevating your branding projects and adding a touch of class. Pair with a simple sans serif for supporting copy to deliver an end result that is just perfect. I hope we’ll be seeing these modern twists on classic serif fonts for a while to come.”
Lending print and web projects a more elegant personality, modern, elegant serif fonts are beautiful when used for body type on websites and are an easier-to-read option compared to old-style serifs. Try the trend for yourself with the playful ligatures of Chemre by doratypefoundry, the swooping curls and swooshes of Atteron by Din-Studio and authentype’s calligraphy-inspired Magero.
For more modern takes on old-school typography styles, take a look at our deep-dive into the Best Elegant Script and Handwritten Fonts, which showcases the typefaces that are guaranteed to add a sophisticated spin to your work.
And that does it for the fonts we’ll be seeing in 2022! While you’re here, explore the future of graphic design with our graphic design trends blog, rounding up the top trends for this year and beyond.