Slanted’s Yearbook of Type highlights the design zeitgeist through 158 fonts

From gothic to modular, the German publishers treat us to an extensive array of the best typefaces out there today.

29 November 2019


Never fear type enthusiasts! Slanted’s Yearbook of Type (the fancy edition) is here once again to round up the best of a bunch of type designs from the past few years. Here at It’s Nice That, we see a multitude of type designs come and go like the sunrise and the sunset. Variable, condensed, outlined, gothic, modular – we could honestly go on for a long time – there are all sorts of typefaces coming out of the most, and least experienced designers today. It’s never been easier to design, publish and distribute a typeface. In this latest, colourful compendium, the generous people of Slanted treat us to an extensive array of these contemporary gems, presenting a unique overview of today’s design scene and what they have to offer.

This year, the Karlsruhe-based publishers decided to have an open call for entries, asking its international audience to submit their designs and writings. With over 400 pages of contributions, from Tokyo, The Philippines, Sweden, Poland and Mexico (to name just a few), the fourth yearbook of type offers a comprehensive overview of some of the most interesting typefaces out there today. With an introduction courtesy of Pedro Amado, assistant professor at the University of Porto, the book opens with a problem facing more and more graphic designers today: How to choose the right typeface for one’s own precious design?

These days, typefaces and all their different design quirks can completely change a design through the slightest of changes. As our critical eye deepens due to the over-saturation of images out there, in turn, making the right decision to set one’s design apart from the crowd is also of greater importance. Luckily for you guys, this year’s Yearbook of Type navigates the current design-scape for you, exemplifying a variety of great stuff in specimen form for you to peruse at your leisure and, of course, according to your design needs.

GallerySlanted: Yearbook of Type 2019/20

One of Slanted’s editors and graphic designers Clara Weinreich tells It’s Nice That: “There are three tendencies that can be well observed in the typefaces of the book.” First, contrary to its predecessors, this year’s Yearbook of Type documents the industry’s improved language support systems. Typefaces that were originally designed in Latin, Greek or Cyrillic alone are increasingly extending into Arabic, Thai, Devanagari and Hangul, for example. “This promises a cosmopolitan approach to writing and language that simplifies international communication bit-by-bit,” says Clara.

Secondly, the publication highlights the influx of modern display typefaces that seem to be popping up in all corners of Instagram recently. This year saw the highest amount of display type submissions “which may not inspire us with their glyph expansion technical details, but rather with their creativity and novelty,” Clara goes on to say. With today’s vernacular at the heart of display typefaces, on the other hand, when it comes to web optimised fonts, new technology is at the core. Thirdly, the book covers the development of such fonts including the ever-popular variable font as well as other animated or 3D type which is always pleasing to the eye.

In terms of what makes a good typeface in 2019, Clara evaluates: “a strong development towards typeface families”. With a variety of styles along with good language support, the Slanted editor-cum-designer explains how this versatility makes the user’s choice in typeface a lot easier, not to mention more attractive. As for next year, Clara predicts the further development of language expansion in large font families, a further boom in display fonts and, hopefully, an increase in the visibility of typefaces from emerging type foundries and even unknown designers. Other than that, she finally adds: “I’ll be surprised and hope to see many new inspiriting trends in type design again.”

GallerySlanted: Yearbook of Type 2019/20

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Slanted: Yearbook of Type 2019/20

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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