The current era of Web design is extremely visual. People are increasingly drawn to websites that are rich in videos and images, but most of them do not realize that they are also attracted to typographic design. Web users are reading more than ever, and they can thank typographers and designers for this trend. The effectiveness of a written statement is heavily dependent on typography, and this is something that Web designers are keenly aware of.
Web Typography Developments in 2014
The year 2014 has been a boon for Web typography. In August, the iPhone app Typendium was released for the benefit of typographers, Web designers and anyone interested in fonts and typefaces. Typendium comes close to being a mobile encyclopedia of typography, and its content includes the history and influence of some of the best-known fonts.
Typendium was not the only major Web typography event of 2014, there was also Dyslexie, a new Web font designed to help readers who live with dyslexia by presenting them with an online typeface that is truly easy for anyone to read and understand. Dyslexie, which features slightly cursive slants and bold baselines, is now available as a free download.
Everything Old is New Again
Just about every year, Web designers are treated to new trends in retro typography. Old typefaces are adapted to the Web, and existing fonts are improved to match reading and design trends. The old-fashioned and retro look of certain Web fonts tends to pay tribute to important eras in graphic design. Take, for example, Microsoft’s shift to the Metro design that is now standard on the user interfaces of its operating systems, mobile apps and Web properties. Metro pays tribute to the Swiss school of graphic design from the 1950s. New retro fonts in 2014 include Metropolis 1920, which draws inspiration from the skyscraper and Art Deco revolution of the early 20th century. There’s also Distractor, a typeface that evokes the letterpress era of printing posters that promoted musical concerts.
Typography as Branding
Domino’s Pizza underwent a major graphic design overhaul in 2014, and the pizza delivery giant went as far as to create its own typeface that accentuates shadow and fill effects. This new font evokes the bold lettering used by neighborhood pizza shops to attract customers.
In early 2014, the venerable New York Times revamped its popular website, and the redesign included some typographic variations. To guide readers through the new look of NYTimes.com, the newspaper publisher chose a FF Enzo for its explanatory headlines, but it stuck to NYT Cheltenham for news story titles and kept a neutral stance with the classic Georgia typeface for text body.
Internet search giant Google was another major brand that created a new Web font in 2014. Open Sans is the name of the new font, and it seems to borrow some elements of Microsoft’s Metro school of design. By introducing its own distinctive Web font, Google is resorting to the tried-and-true strategy of using typography for branding, which is something that Web designers should keep in mind as we head into the middle of this decade.
2015 is an exciting opportunity to experience new typography in your existing or new web efforts.