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Typography Design Trends & Tips for 2018

From custom type to color fonts, we would like to share the biggest typography design trends as it relates to brand design with a sprinkle of practical tips we found in 2018.


Typography is so important in design, and it rarely is spotted alone. Typography can be defined as the art of visually displaying words. It interacts with other design elements around it, this can include images, drawings, the background, or more text. The use of color will also play an important role, making sure that the type you are designing has sufficient contrast from the background will be key for legibility purposes. If type is designed well enough it can stand alone in logos where no other icons or imagery is needed- it's a simplistic and almost retro trend since this type of design can go back centuries to the wooden and metal type used with printing presses.

Examples of typographic based logos:

From left to right- Fresh Community Center logo created for a mid-century modern reception hall, Ellie Brands logo, Ethos logo created for a hip-hop music festival


The way typography interacts with photography is also a huge trend that we have seen within the last few years. We see that type coming to life and playing a role in a "real-life" environment.

Examples of environmental typography:

From left to right- Tano Bistro ad created for November issue of Loveland Lifestyle Magazine, Fresh Community Center brochure cover design, Tano Bistro ad variation


When designing with typography it is very important to keep in mind the mood of your message and audience. Before diving into logo design we start with a theme board. We analyze all of the personality traits and values of a brand and determine what colors, patterns, icons, and fonts will set the mood. Below is an example from Donovan Energy's theme board. Since the overall goal of their brand is to power energy solutions we kept the color palette on the cool side to give feelings of water, technology, wind, and cleanliness. The typography was kept very simplistic with a sans-serif font that feels modern and appeals to all genders and age groups.


Finally, I want to address how to use typography as a design element when there are large amounts involved. There are a few terms to familiarize yourself with here. The first is kerning- by definition, the term refers to the spacing between letter characters, you can adjust this by adding or subtracting space, generally, you do not want to subtract but adding padding between can make the font feel more stylized (also a 2018 trend).

The next word I want to bring attention to is leading. According to, "the definition of leading is: the distance between two baselines of lines of type". This is so important to know and use when you are designing for sections or callouts. A great example of this would be the fall 2018 dinner menu Ellie Brands created for Tano Bistro...


Using typography solely in design, or even with minimal elements to accompany it is a great way to take a sophisticated approach. I think that it is also important to understand just how far you can go when using only typography in the design. So the first and possibly most important"don't" to remember is never use more than two to three fonts total in a design. If the logo is being used in the design those fonts do not count but use similar ones, so if the logo has a sans-serif font like in Tano Bistro's logo shown above, make sure that you are using san-serif fonts in the design/ body copy. Mixing too many types of fonts (script, serif, sans-serif...) will make your sophisticated design suddenly look messy and unprofessional even though your layout could be identical.

Overall if you take anything away from this blog post just remember that typography is more than just a font you select because it "looks cool" they have meaning and are a necessity to design and conveying a message.


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