Type Tasting's Sarah Hyndman predicts the typeface of 2018

8 January 2018

Combining predictions by trend forecasters for 2018 with survey results, Type Tasting’s Sarah Hyndman has identified Goudy Cursive as the typeface that encapsulates the mood and visual themes for 2018. This was announced at a tasting event when Hyndman presented the typographic face of 2018 served four ways: as a cocktail, confectionery, scent and sound. She created the evening in collaboration with a perfumer and a sound designer.

Trend forecasters predict that sensorial experiences, mindfulness, intense flora and visual psychedelia will be dominant in 2018. The selected typeface Goudy Cursive aligns with these and pairs with Ultra Violet – Pantone’s official colour for 2018.

Last year saw bold and brave colours inspired by the 80s, a quest for nature and greenery, and the search for authenticity in light of political shocks and fake news. It was also a year in which people made choices to prove their personal autonomy and were empowered to speak up rather than stay quiet.

In 2018 visual trends are predicted to reflect a desire for alternative utopias that are lush and tropical with a near psychedelic twist according to Brenda Milis principal of creative services and visual trends at Adobe (speaking to Digital Arts). Edible flowers will add new shades to food and beverages. Hues of purple, blue and fuchsia complemented by turquoise and hot pink are set to dominate colour palettes across visual arts and fashion.

Sensorial experiences will continue to be in demand, and immersive events have spread from theatre to dining, art galleries and beyond. Artistic mediums are now interactive, edible, sniffable, touchable and thought provoking.

It is a time of “newstalgia”, this is the process of looking to the past to reinvent the future according to trend forecasting agency WGSN. In the home typography will continue to be popular as furnishings and framed art as a way to tell your personal story according to Tobi Awodipe for The Guardian.

Pantone’s colour for 2018 is Ultra Violet. This has been chosen to represent “originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking”. Purple is a symbol of counterculture, non-conformism and artistic brilliance, and has also been selected to reflect mindfulness and meditative spaces – as a refuge from today’s over-stimulated world.

How do you match a typeface to a colour?

By running a survey: 175 people took part in an online Type Tasting survey matching typefaces to colours. Ultra Violet is found to sit between the curvilinear Century Expanded Italic and the formal Edwardian Script, both of which are at the more delicate end of the typographic spectrum.

Why is Goudy Cursive your pick for the typeface of 2018?

Taking the survey results as a starting point, the provenances of different typefaces of an appropriate style were cross-referenced with the predicted themes for 2018. The selected face, Goudy Cursive, was designed by Frederic Goudy and inspired by Arts and Crafts – a movement that stood for craftsmanship, romance and that advocated economic and social reform. These decorated and romantic styles were later adopted by psychedelia and the counterculture movements of the 1960s and 70s, making a perfect link to mood for 2018 predicted by both Pantone and trend forecasters.

Font Pairing

Pairing Goudy Cursive with Icone by Adrian Frutiger adds an on-trend flare serif. Flared or glyphic styles are becoming increasingly popular this year as they provide a compromise between the modernity of a sans serif, and the warmth and personality of a serif typeface. These styles are a “reaction against the cold, sterile neo-grotesques like Helvetica” says Typewolf’s Jeremiah Shoaf.

For a more neutral pairing, the geometric sans serif Poppins would be a good choice because it conveys modernity and optimism through its large x-height and round shapes, but has a dash of non-conformity in its slightly off-centre counters.

A classic and historically accurate pairing would be to combine Goudy Cursive with Goudy Old Style, both of which share a similar aesthetic as the same designer created them. Using a serif typeface for body copy has been shown in research to convey depth of knowledge.

What are the typeface trends for 2018?

Some type styles are ephemeral, lasting a short time as a fashion and we are continuing to see type with vernacular references to a specific time or place. Flare serifs and serifs are becoming increasingly popular, as are styles influenced by the personality-packed grotesque sans serifs from the nineteenth century. Two big developments in type technology will have huge impact in the near future: flexible fonts and colour fonts. The technology that enables colourful emojis to be embedded in flowing text has made it possible for multi-coloured and multi-layered fonts to be available as running text on the web. Although not yet supported by all platforms it is likely to be soon – so expect 2018 to be a colourful year.

Sarah Hyndman has put together a series exploring type trends in 2018, which can be read here on the Type Tasting blog. Type Tasting is an experiential type studio, which creates events and workshops that teach you about type trends through history and the psychology of typography with lashings of interaction, games and activities.

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