Trends in typography in the digital environment

As marketers continue to figure out the true value of their web presence, a new buzzword has emerged as part of their content strategy and it's called 'smart content'.

Typography is a powerful visual medium that develops a personality, conjures up emotion and sets the tone of a website.

People spend up to 11-hours looking at electronic media, according to a LinkedIn article written by Dibyajyoti Kalita, and the popularity and constant development of digital devices – including iPads and mobile phones - have given typography an important role to play in the digital realm.

With the improvements made to digital devices over the years, ass the resolutions become that much sharper and the type becomes easier to read on the screens over devices, there is the precedence for brands to keep up with the times and push the limits of typography in order to appeal to their users, customers and readers.

With new technologies emerging every month of the year, all designers should have a very strong grasp of the basics when it comes to typography. However, it is very easy to miss new information because there is a continuous influx of information.

This only means it is necessary to keep as up-to-date and aware of the news surrounding these updates.

Choosing a typeface is an integral part of every web design project, and with thousands available on numerous hosting services, it is important that you choose the right one for both your website and your brand – as it will need to suit your brand identity.

We are going to look back at some of the most popular trends in typography from the last year, and where they were used the most:

  1. Responsive

    With technology emerging in all size screens, there is a need for both design and typography to be responsive.

    This need for responsive design has come about because users tend to look at websites and other online media from a number of different devices, including tablets, their laptops and their mobile phones, all of which have a different screen size.

    Because of the variety of different digital devices, the need for responsive typography has grown in leaps and bounds, but it also puts forward a number of challenges for creators as they need to keep in mind the numerous layouts in order to avoid distortion on each of the carious devices.

  2. Retro and Vintage Typography

    This year, designers went overboard – in a good way – with vintage and retro typography, and I am sure you noticed that it was almost everywhere you looked.

    This kind of typography is old-style, grungy and elaborate, but also comes across as hipster with a custom look, making very interesting visuals.

    One of the downsides of these fonts, are they most of them are custom made and not easily accessible – or free. The majority of the very interesting styles that really stand out, are custom, single use designs, which do not have extra characters or styles, making them quite limiting.

    However, even though there are a few difficulties with these kinds of typefaces, they are very flexible in terms on usage across numerous devices and can be used to really make an impact when users lad your website.

  3. CAPS everything

    What used to be associate with shouting at a reader, has now becomes one of the most popular trends around: CAPS.

    Over the last year, CAPS typography has become increasingly popular as a way to highlight a certain message. However, there are instances where it can go wrong.

    For example, there are certain typefaces that are not appropriate for all-uppercase formatting, and sometimes it can be hard to read. But that has not stopped this kind of typography from being used and, in most cases, used well.

    The most popular reason CAPS is used, is because it gives maximum impact with minimal effort, and can look beautiful if used with thin and condensed typefaces (although wider typefaces can work effectively, too).

  4. Conclusion

    2016’s typography trends will be taken over by a whole new set of exciting trends in 2017, but it is always important to look back and reflect on those who made it to the top.

    There is no doubt that there will be some exciting new typography trends to come next year, and it will always be interesting to see how designers adjust and adapt them to suit the various types of digital devices.