WOBURN, Mass., Feb. 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Monotype, a global leader in type and technology, has released its highly anticipated fourth annual Type Trends Report. The report, curated by Monotype Creative Type Designer Jordan Bell and Creative Type Director Damien Collot, identifies ten trends in type and brand design set to shape the wider cultural zeitgeist of 2024—including AI-inspired surrealism, ’90s and Y2K nostalgia for raves and grunge, and the comeback of classic serif fonts. In addition to the identified trends, the report reveals the enduring creative inspiration that type and brand designers find in nostalgia for music subcultures—a thread that runs throughout this year’s trends and is explored through the innovative art direction of the report itself.
Jordan Bell, Type Designer at Monotype commented, “In this, our fourth Annual Type Trends Report, we found a movement away from the trend of cuddly, squishy, empathetic fonts that many brands and creatives embraced after the alienation and stress of the pandemic. This year, in a time that can feel nostalgic for the digital simplicity of the pre-smartphone, pre-AI world, we see designers returning to the heritage and comfort of more traditional serif fonts, and also finding new creative inspiration in ’90s and early ’00s scenes like grunge, jungle, and early rave culture.“
The ten trends are reimagined by Monotype as worn vinyl LP covers, connecting each type trend to a specific musical genre—from jazz to reggae, ’90s hip hop to punk, and UK rave music. The imaginary vinyl cover art was created using Midjourney AI, a creative process that itself reflects the tension between nostalgia for the old analogue world and our immersion in a new AI-infused digital age.
Ibrahim Gharib, Designer at Monotype, who led the art direction of the report, said, “Producing this report, we wanted to shine a light on the powerful influence of music on type—and at the same time mirror the way that designers and brands are using AI to unlock surprising new ways to be creative. The result is an imaginary but deeply nostalgic visual dreamscape, where modern design trends are connected to the cultural experiences of the past while simultaneously being reshaped by the concerns, hopes, and creative tools of 2024.”
Monotype’s report references examples of creative work from around the world, unpacking ten emerging trends that demonstrate a curious duality at the heart of our rapidly-changing world—from the rise of new technology, like generative AI, inspiring surrealist fonts; and type that challenges expected design norms such as legibility; to the counter resurgence of serif fonts that convey comfort, nostalgia, and heritage values in a time of unprecedented change.
Among the trends included in this year’s report are:
Perhaps in response to the somewhat chaotic tide of AI-generated art, Everythingallofthetime sees designers rise to the challenge to use all of the typefaces, textures, and technology available to them in a single design. The name of this trend was inspired by comedian and musician Bo Burnham’s tune, “Welcome to the Internet.” This trend is notable for its maximalist patterns and surrealist themes—from randomly-generated alternate glyphs to shapeshifting fonts. AI learned design from humans — are we now learning design from AI?
From Barbie to Saltburn to Mean Girls 2, nostalgia is officially back with Whatever, a trend that encompasses a broad spectrum of styles from nihilistic grunge to colorful pixel play. Reminiscent of ’90s rave fliers with big bold fonts, digital gradients, and drop shadows, this resurgence of retro typefaces capitalizes on a broader wave of Y2K nostalgia currently infusing music, fashion, film, and design.
In what could be seen as a reflection of global cultural and societal issues, from sustainability and climate change to social justice reform, designers are sparking aesthetic disobedience with De-form. De-form is a trend that marks a bold departure from “blanding” and the “clean aesthetic.” Typefaces in this trend are distorted, often arranged so tightly that each letter competes for space and attention, challenging design conventions such as legibility.
Defined by type that surprises the viewer with bold detail, Quirk is an emerging trend that finds a balance between a brand’s desire to be different and the customer’s comfort. Subtle quirks provide a little something to catch the eye, while still being firmly rooted in the familiar forms of solid, stable, sans serifs. The fluid, loopy nature of music captured within a customized font for a personalized song platform is just one example of Quirk’s rise in 2024.
After several decades of brands transitioning to minimalist sans-serifs, we are now seeing the Return of the Serif. Against the backdrop of ever more complex surroundings and hyper-speed change, brands are returning to the comforts of classic tradition with typefaces that pay homage to their legacy while simultaneously looking to the future.
Damien Collot, Creative Type Director at Monotype, commented, “Type is both a reflection and a catalyst of the cultural conversations that shape our everyday lives. In this, our fourth annual Type Trends report, we wanted to explore what type tells us about culture and the world in 2024. Against a backdrop of break-neck speed innovation and social change, we found seemingly opposing concepts being combined by designers, influenced by both future possibilities and nostalgia for the past, perhaps heralding a new, more contradictory era of creativity.”
To read the full 2024 Type Trends Report, visit: https://www.monotype.com/type-trends-2024.
Monotype creates brands that matter with type, technology, and expertise. The company partners with leading foundries to deliver the broadest inventory of high-quality typefaces in the world.
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