Categories / Trend Reports
The Most Stunning Font Trends We've Seen in 2017
Kevin Whipps September 2, 2021 · 6 min read
Color FontsI kinda feel like a broken record on this one, because it seems like I write about this a lot. But here’s the thing: color fonts are a big deal. Try to deny it all you want, but the fact remains that the introduction of color fonts has changed up the game for the font world, and if you’re not on this train, you’d better get on quick, because it’s leaving the station and you don’t want to be left behind with the only thing left to give you comfort being your hobo bindle and the sad trombone music that follows you everywhere you walk. Too much? Maybe. Or possibly not far enough. Look, this color font thing opens up a huge amount of possibilities. I mean, essentially you can now turn any image into a font. And if you don’t think that’s cool, I don’t know what to say to help you see the truth. I mean, it’s right there in front of you, staring into your cold, dead eyes, trying to explain how awesome it would be to have an entire font made up of images of ghosts playing poker. Is that dumb? Or the smartest thing ever said? You decide.
Variable FontsLook, there’s a lot to digest with variable fonts, so let me start with the basics. First, if you want in-depth reading on the subject, go here. You’ll get some fascinating stuff that involves computer science, a whole lot of scientific terms, and the occasional appearance by an ocelot. I made up one of those three things. It’s your turn to guess which one. Here’s the skinny: variable fonts are ones that allow you to adjust both the width and the weight of any font within a two-dimensional space. Think of Futura. Right now if you want that classic you have to buy all the various weights and all that, from Futura Bold to Futura Book and all the other jazz. Variable fonts change that. You get one font: Futura. Then you can adjust the weight and width via sliders so the end result is exactly to your liking. What’s that mean? Oh so much, reader. Take an ebook, for example. What if you could adjust the weight of the text on the page, without adjusting the width? The entire page would layout the exact same way, but it would become more legible for some, while those of us who want thinner letters still have that option. And imagine how awesome that all would be with responsive design. This is revolutionary stuff here, and it’s hard to understate its importance. This is going to change your world, and it just might happen this year.
Hand drawn FontsThere are at least a bazillion fonts out there that anybody in the world can purchase and/or steal for various amounts of money, but there’s one thing that always will be unique: your handwriting. Me, I don’t do script, I do everything in blocky letters because I’m a child that hated cursive. But my wife has beautiful flowery handwriting that can also transition into something that fits at home perfectly on an architectural plan. And as lame as mine is and cool as hers is, they’re all different than whatever you fine readers are doing with yours. And they all can be fonts. Hand drawn fonts used to be a parlor trick, but now they’re functional things thanks to Fontself Maker and similar apps. Now anybody can make their own handwriting into a font, and some of the examples are gosh darned amazing. Heck, I could even turn my horrible scrawling blocks into a sellable font, and my skillset is comparable with the average chimpanzee, minus the stellar grooming habits. And it’s all come to a head this year, with a groundswell of great hand drawn fonts for all to enjoy. I’d say it was inspiring, but I suddenly have the urge to have a banana, so I’m going to go turn that dream into reality.
Watercolor FontsTwo things stand out for me. First, the hand-drawn nature of the designs. Some could fall into my previous 2017 standout category, but others veer more towards a brush stroke effect. And why not? They are made to look like watercolors, and therefore, a brush makes sense. So there’s that whole aspect of things. The second is one that I haven’t seen a lot of yet, but I’m guessing we will very soon. Take a watercolor font and make it a color font. Meaning, all of the gradients, textures and brush effects that you get when you put watercolors on paper are accurately depicted in the font itself. How amazing is that, right? Here is an example:
Fluid TypographyAgain, my technical know-how is limited to knowledge of Chevy trucks and the ability to put together a complex LEGO set, so a lot of these terms go over my head. But fluid typography is a pretty cool thing, and it’s changing up the game. In fact, let me have this guy explain it to you. Yeah, he lost me at “Hi, everyone,” but you probably got more of that than I did. The basics though are that, thanks to the magic of CSS, you can now set the font on a webpage to match the viewing device that it’s on. Is that amazing? Yes, absolutely. And it means that responsive websites have just one more advantage over the competition.
What’s left?Good question, H2 title. There’s still four-plus months left, and in that time I’m sure things are going to change for the better. How? Well, I’m no psychic, so I can’t relay that information to you quite yet. But what I can say is that I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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