What’s better than a typography trend report? How about a typography trend report assembled by some of the most trusted experts in the field?
Cue the 2023 Monotype Type Trends Report, which was released to the masses today. We look forward to this equally thoughtful and robust collection of examples and analysis of the year’s hottest type, and the 2023 issue does not disappoint. Their roundup includes a few continuations of trends identified in their 2022 report like the “Mix-up” trend, while introducing some new additions you’ll have to read on to discover.
“Type is a gateway to an entire conversation around technology and today’s trends,” Monotype Creative Type Director Terrance Weinzierl said in a press release. “This report is an educational collection of work that fascinates and excites us and, most importantly, represents a ripple coursing through the ocean of design. Through these 10 trends, we provide perspective of how our daily life is impacting letterforms.”
So let’s get down to it! Within the ten trends laid out in the compendium, Monotype reports that playful will continue to be a big visual theme, while the creative industry’s growing focus on diversity and inclusion can also be felt in today’s type trends. Motion and 3D typography are seeing a boom as well, with even static letters appearing as if they are moving.
Check out a breakdown of the trends below!
1. Match Maker
The “Mix Up” trend is all about more is more— “Why use three colors when you can use thirty?” says Monotype. “Mix Up” reflects the way our culture continues to value diversity and inclusivity in all forms, including typography.
2. Smart Grid
The “Smart Grid” trend takes the idea of a grid as an organizing principle and then softens the corners and angles with selective curves, adding a human element and warmth.
This bold graphic style akin to letters found in comic books features outlines and shadows, often tilted, skewed, or curved into perspective. “It’s explosive in form and color,” says Monotype.
4. Super Sober
In direct contrast to the “Mix Up” and “Superhero” trends is the austere “Super Sober,” popular in startup and lifestyle spaces. Its simplicity and minimalism is meant to create a sense of calm and zen in an otherwise noisy landscape of competing brands, apps, and notifications.
5. Making the Cut
“Making the Cut” sees the cutting and removing pieces from letterforms to create a crisp, angular look. Monotype mentions that the incorporation of exaggerated ink traps are prevalent within the “Making the Cut” trend.
6. Pixel Play
This nostalgia-fueled trend takes inspiration from the look of ’90s computer renderings and first-generation video games. “Just because the construction is reduced to simple squares doesn’t take away from the complexity or sophistication,” says Monotype. “A crude restriction can force perseverance and increase creativity.”
“Flux” encompasses letters in motion— or those with the appearance of being in motion. Movement is critical to grabbing the attention of the 2023 consumer and viewer, which is where variable fonts and animation come into play.
8. Volume Up
Type envisioned as 3D models is everywhere thanks to ongoing advancements in technology and tools that are hitting us at breakneck speed. “Volume Up” is Monotype’s term for this phenomenon, as we continue to see renderings of glossy, chromed-out, and textured letters we feel like we can reach out and touch.
Organic, blobby letterforms aren’t going anywhere, and the psychedelic, playful “Liquify” trend prioritizes vibes over readability.
10. AI Painting
It wouldn’t be a 2023 trend report without a mention of AI. “AI will change the art and design world; we just don’t know exactly how it will pan out yet,” says Monotype. Artists are already dabbling in AI Land, with controversy around these tools also on the rise.
The full report can be found here.