If you’re looking to update your font book for the year ahead, consider this your ultimate guide to the most popular fonts right now and brand spanking new font trends for 2022. This has been a fantastic year for cool and quirky type, and as we look ahead to 2022 there’s plenty to get excited about in the world of type, from Arabian-style scripts to chunky retro display fonts.
To compile our trend report, we analyze search data to identify current font trends and emerging type styles, bringing you the fonts that will define the voice of brands, websites, logos, and print media in the near future. Stay ahead of the curve with this report on font trends for 2021 and 2022, and discover your next favourite font to use in your design projects.
Font Trends 2021: What Fonts Are Trending Right Now?
After a nearly write-off year for font trends in 2020, a unique and individualist spirit pervaded typography in 2021, with distorted and kinetic fonts being just two of the distinctive type trends that helped to give brands a unique voice in a crowded online market. The pandemic fostered a greater sense of locality for consumers as the work from home (WFH) community exploded, while continuing global anxieties led to more interest in brands that were able to offer genuine intimacy and connection with their customer base.
Distinctive and eccentric type styles continue to have traction in the post-pandemic world, but generally we’re starting to see a movement towards more subtle interpretations of the trend for quirk.
The downside of ultra-eccentric type is that style can often be at the expense of substance. Distorted fonts might look cool, but they can also be difficult to read on a small screen. For businesses looking to connect with a wider customer base, accessibility is at the forefront of their branding strategy. In the last couple of years, a range of global businesses, including Uber, Santander, and Badoo, have moved towards simpler, friendlier brand identities with type that reflects a more inclusive aesthetic.
Font Trends 2022: What Will Be Next Year’s Most Popular Fonts?
In 2022, we can expect to see a move away from illegible novelty fonts and towards type that is more honest, legible, and inclusive. As the online market becomes increasingly crowded, big brands are shifting towards identities that work better on digital platforms, and type plays a major role. Rounded sans serifs are welcoming and UX-friendly, while fluid, simple scripts and rustic serifs replace fussier serif styles.
Still yearning for an eccentric typeface? Retro styles are going extra chubby and huggable, while the (long-delayed) release of Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch is no doubt going to ignite a craze for all things 1950s and French—channel the look with quietly quirky fonts inspired by vintage journalism.
We predict the most popular fonts for 2022 will have an open and honest personality, with legibility and web accessibility a priority. Of course, that doesn’t mean style goes out the window. Quite the opposite—these font trends may be subtle, but they’re all supremely stylish:
- Rounded Sans Serifs
- High-Contrast Serifs
- Quietly Quirky
- Fluid and Simple Scripts
- Rustic Serifs
- Strong and Simple Sans
- Chubby Retro
We expect to see examples from all of these font groups across print, branding, packaging, and web design in 2022. Read on to explore these exciting font trends in detail and stay ahead of the type curve.
Font Trend 1: Rounded Sans Serifs
Honest, open, and inclusive, these rounded sans serifs reflect the shift towards fuss-free branding in 2022. Rounded fonts used to be the preserve of child-focussed products, but these more grown-up incarnations of the rounded type style strike the perfect balance between friendly naivety and geometric style.
Ideal for using across a wide range of branding projects, these font styles are also ultra-legible, boosting online accessibility for visually-impaired readers. Use them for logo design, apps, brochures, and ads.
Font Trend 2: High-Contrast Serifs
Taking inspiration from Japanese typefaces, these achingly elegant high-contrast serif typefaces bring a literary personality to print and web projects.
These fonts balance traditional and contemporary style, making logo and brand designs feel both timeless and cutting-edge, perfect for brands that want to look a bit older than their establishment date. High-contrast serifs also work beautifully for body type on websites, and are easier to read than old-style serifs.
Font Trend 3: Quietly Quirky
With Wes Anderson’s much-anticipated tribute to journalism, The French Dispatch, due to be released at the end of 2021, no doubt we can expect to see a wave of designs paying tribute to the rustic, mid-century character of its French setting. Anderson’s graphic designer Erica Dorn has created beautiful poster artwork for the film (featuring illustrations by Javi Aznarez), which are embellished with kookily hand-drawn type in a typewriter-inspired, serif style.
These quietly quirky font styles will help you to channel a cosy vintage style in your designs in 2022. Look for traditional serifs with subtle quirks. If the characters have a slightly hand-crafted wobble, you’re on the right track.
Font Trend 4: Fluid and Simple Script
A type trend that’s been brewing over 2021 is the use of very silky, fluid script fonts that blend elements of Art Nouveau with calligraphic style. These trending calligraphy fonts are beautiful and poetic, allowing you to incorporate artistic type into your designs.
In 2022, we’ll see these scripts become even more fluid and simple, with a strong Arabic influence in the styling. These display fonts can be used to embellish packaging, product photography, or websites, and look fantastic layered over photography. They are elegant and only sparingly cursive, making them more legible than fancier script styles.
Font Trend 5: Rustic Serifs
One of the biggest font trends for 2020 was carved, sculptural serifs which looked as if they had been chiselled from stone. While we’ve now reached sculptural saturation point, the serif trend isn’t going anywhere. If you love the look of sculptural serifs but are on the hunt for something a little more trend-leading, let me introduce you to the rustic serif.
Quietly elegant with a small dose of perfected imperfection, these serifs take their cues from European cafe signage. Informal and effortlessly pretty, they can be used to bring more character to print designs such as posters and book covers. They have a handwritten quality without appearing hand-drawn, making them an excellent font choice for communications that need to feel warm and personal, such as portfolio websites, resumes, or casual event marketing.
Font Trend 6: Strong and Simple Sans
After a year of distorted, novelty fonts, there’s no fresher breath of air than a strong and simple sans serif. These bold, impactful fonts are best used for headlines, and are the perfect match for corporate designs or layouts that need to get to the point quickly.
Team your bold, simple serif with high-contrast colour pairings such as black and white or acid neons to maximise its powerful personality. Sports branding, game marketing, technology branding or corporate websites will all benefit from the simple impact of a modern sans serif.
Font Trend 7: Chubby Retro
The power of nostalgia marketing has only grown stronger during the pandemic, with consumers increasingly turning to vintage-styled products and designs to feel comforted and content. While overly retro fonts can feel a little too gimmicky right now, fonts that subtly reference 1970s type styles still feel fresh.
We predict that retro-inspired fonts will also go super-sized in 2022, with chubby retro fonts being used to add a serious dose of cheer and optimism to logos, packaging, signage, and websites. If you’re looking for a font trend to put a smile on your face in 2022, these chubby retro typefaces will certainly lift your mood.
Conclusion: The Font Trends for 2022
After font trends in 2020 and 2021 prioritised eccentricity, the most popular fonts for 2022 will have a quieter but no less impactful mood. Legibility, clarity, and an open, honest personality will help consumers to feel welcomed and comforted by brands, particularly ones they might not have encountered in the crowded digital market before.
Despite the subtler mood pervading typography in the year ahead, there are still plenty of type choices that will bring personality and character to your designs. Chubby retro fonts bring a much-needed dose of optimism, while rustic serif fonts, simple scripts, and quietly quirky display fonts will bring warmth and friendliness to your projects, as well as a serious style hit.
Wondering how to use these font trends in 2022? Less is often more, so prioritise elegance and warmth over novelty styles. Your designs—and clients—will thank you for it!
Discover more popular fonts for web design and print projects on Envato Elements.
On the hunt for more font inspiration? Read up on what fonts are trending, our edits of the best font styles on the internet, and typography tips to help you make your type designs better than ever: