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Need help with this or other elements of website design for maximizing conversions? With the help of services like Google Fonts, web designers have a ton of freedom to get creative with new typefaces throughout their design projects. Learn about the 10 typography trends for web designers in 2013.
It was in my second to last semester of grad school when I took Typography with Professor Max Boam – if you are able to take him at the University of Baltimore, I highly recommend it – and it was around this time when my obsession with typography began. Both in print and, more recently, web, I have come to appreciate the dominating effect that it can have on overall design. And thankfully nowadays, with the help of services like Google Fonts, web designers like myself have a ton of freedom to get creative with new typefaces throughout their design projects. So, what are some new typography trends that I’m especially looking forward to this year? 

#1: Slab Serif

Slab Serif is my favorite classification of typography. It is bold, unique, authoritative, and familiar. Good for large headlines and announcements, it’s no wonder slab typefaces have made their way onto many a homepage. Slab serif typeface examples: Archer, Rockwell, and Museo Slab.

#2: Large Text

If you want to make an impact, try large type. While this has been common for headers in the past, it’s now spread to body copy as well, where 16 and 18 pt. type is becoming more prominent. For what reason, you ask? Easy – better readability on portable devices. Smart move, designers.

#3: Handmade Typography

Most of us want to be unique in our design and that’s perfectly okay for certain types of websites. Handmade typography can help a website feel friendlier and more intimate, like you’re looking at someone’s personal notes. Often seen on sites for indie films, small boutiques, or non-profits.

#4: White Space

Let’s be honest, this should be considered more of a rule than a trend… IT IS OK TO HAVE WHITE SPACE! Too much crowding around your text could make it unreadable and therefore ‘unenjoyable’ to your website visitors. Thankfully, some web designers have realized the power of white space and have championed it accordingly.

#5: Simplified Content and Typography

Going along with white space, one of the best ways to clean up your website is to simplify your copy and typography. Stick with one typeface with multiple weights; for starters, try picking a single header style and a single copy style and go from there.

#6: "Make it Look like a Book" Typography

I have to admit, there’s something comforting in this trend. We grew up reading books instead of reading screens and I think book printers and publishers were onto something in the typographic choices that they made.

#7: Typography in Place of an Image

Let the typography speak for itself. In an age when Google image search can provide you with all of the beautiful images you could ever need (or perhaps want), why not use beautiful typography instead? Some designers have begun to take advantage of this concept more so than others and it looks fantastic.

#8: Flat Design

Similar to the recent trend in web design, gone is the era of bevel, emboss, and stroke on type. As my old Professor Boam would say, “if the typeface were well done, stroke and other add-ons are unnecessary,” – well said, sir.

#9: Multi - Type

Sometimes it’s ok to use two, or three, or even four different typefaces on your website, as long as they’re complimentary and in no way clash.


#10: Vintage Revival

Vintage typefaces are coming back around for a reason: they make the viewer feel like they’re looking at a company that’s been around for a long time. Similar to fashion, what goes around comes around.

If you don’t find any of the above trends and examples to be mind-blowing or earth shattering, that’s okay. As Paul Rand once said, “[when it comes to typography] don’t try to be original, just try to be good,” – hopefully, at the very least, this post will inspire you to re-examine your own view of typography and take this element of your design strategy to the next level.

Need help with this or other elements of website design for maximizing conversions? Feel free to give us a shout at the office and we’d be happy to chat!