Speaking to type designers Terrance Weinzierl at Monotype and Fernando Mello at Fontsmith for our How To Design A Typeface feature, it was undecided what typefaces are expected to trend in 2017.
Geometric sans serifs had its time in the limelight, and Terrance expects this to continue. Fernando believes its over for neo-grotesque and neo-geometric. Whatever the case, we’re still seeing casual brush script typefaces emerge, with a returned connection to human creations.
Here are some of the latest typefaces released by foundries or individual designers including Fontsmith and Monotype.
The typeface families in this feature aren’t free, but you can check out our feature of 42 free fonts if that’s what you’re looking for. We know they are 'typefaces' and not 'fonts', but for SEO purposes, we’ve chosen to use the word font in our headline. To download a bunch of typefaces, check out the 16 best font websites, including independent foundries.
Feel free to let us know if you’ve released a new typeface as we look to expand the list.
Image: Monotype's Masqualero typeface
Undeka is a modern sans serif typeface with simple geometric shapes. Inspired by the grotesk typefaces made in the early 20th century, Undeka keeps some humanist qualities, seen in letters such as 'a' and 'g'.
Over a year of hard work, Undeka has been created by Krisjanis Mezulis from the WildType Foundry – usually a great source for free fonts.
There are six different versions available – Light Italic, Regular, Regular Italic, Bold and Bold Italic.
Buy the Undeka Full Family for US$80 or separate fonts for $19. You can also use the Free Undeka font sample, which is limited to only 63 characters.
Early twentieth century type designer Berthold Wolpe designed five typefaces that were popular during the 1930s and 40s. Used on street signs and the front of books (Faber & Faber to be precise), Wolpe’s Albertus Nova, Fanfare, Pegasus, Tempest and Sachsenwald had been disregarded, until Monotype’s Toshi Omagari refreshed, restored and digitised all five in a mammoth three year project. The typefaces are now available to purchase for your use. The project is called The Wolpe Collection.
Here we feature Albertus Nova – what we believe is the most versatile typeface. It's derived from the original Albertus – a classic, authoritative and warm font has been used in the street signs of London’s Lambeth neighbourhood since the 1990s. Albertus was used as the opening titles for The Prisoner because it’s place "between somewhere old and new, and something classy". It’s a typeface for modern, global applications (such as video games) and has been expanded to include a set of small capitals and five weights.
You can buy Albertus Nova's individual weights at MyFonts for £42 each.
Toshi recreated each typeface using Wolpe's original drawings to ensure he kept their idiosyncrasies, even if it meant a little inconsistency he wasn’t used to. The typefaces were launched at an exhibition at the Type Archive in South London.
They each include angles and adornments that were removed, changed or condensed to accommodate the limitations of print typesetting in the 1930s and 1940s, but which are now all relevant for the digital era. Toshi has also created new weights, alternate characters and expanded language support.
We love how Monotype's Jim Ford translated his admiration for Miles Davis’ seminal 1967 album Sorcerer – specifically the track – Masqualero – into the creation of this eccentric typeface.
His Masqualero typeface reflects the contrasts, contradictions and complexities of the music into these bold letterforms. The dual-natured serif design has six different weights and italics, as well as Stencil and Groove display weights.
Use Masqualero for headlines, logos, packaging, signage, book covers and annual reports as well as luxury goods, publishing and mastheads.
Ford sees the typeface as a tribute to Davis.
“With the Masqualero typeface, there’s never a hair out of place,” said Ford. “It’s the black tuxedo or stiletto heels – it dresses up words,” he says.
Tazugane Gothic is a 10-weight humanist Japanese typeface family designed by Monotype’s Akira Kobayashi, Kazuhiro Yamada and Ryota Doi.
Tazugane intends to balance elegance, modernity and heritage references common to Japanese scripts, so it can remain relevant for years to come.
Tazugane is named after cranes from East Asia regarded as auspicious birds for their noble appearance and elegance in flight. They have been widely employed as a motif in works of literature and art.
The typeface pairs with Neue Frutiger and other san serifs, and a modified version to Neue Frutiger was included with the Tazugane release. The two typefaces work together for applications such as magazines, books and other print media, on digital devices, in signage and branding and corporate identity systems.
The complete Tazugane Gothic 10-weight family is available for £850. The Tazugane Gothic Body Text Collection, which includes Light, Book, Regular, Medium and Bold weights, is available for £510. The Tazugane Gothic Headline Collection, which includes Ultra Light, Thin, Heavy, Black and Extra Black weights, is also available for £510.
Dave Rowland’s robust display serif is intended to be loud and large – perfect for book covers, craft beer logos and magazine pull quotes.
Eroika Slab has a wide stance, tight spacing, flared stems and large x-height.
It comes in 10 different fonts, with the italics font characterised as "unorthodox" for its vertical serif cut-offs and foot serifs. All fonts feature old-style figures, automatic fractions and case sensitive forms.
Eroika Slab is created under Dave’s foundry name Schizotype, based in Thailand. It's available for £112.99.
FS Siena is deisgned by Fontsmith founder Jason Smith. It's an extension of Jason’s college drawings of Hermann Zapf’s Optima by himself and Kristy Radoeva.
The smooth connection of the 'h', 'm', 'n' and 'r' contrasts with the corners of the 'b' and 'p'.
The Between type family, designed by Akira Kobayashi of the Monotype Studio, draws on the crisp legible appearance of 20th century typefaces, whilst still possessing a warm and welcoming nature.
The name was inspired by the ability of the typeface to move between applications, making it adaptable and flexible. Akira compares the typeface to an egg – it can be prepared a number of different ways based on the need of the chef.
Between is envisioned for a wide variety of branding, including clothing brands for men, women and children, as well as fitness and automotive brands, and even food menus.
Designed by Alan Meeks and published this year, Astoria Classic Sans has eight different styles and supports 50 different languages.
Alan has designed many typefaces, such as Chalky, Falcon Script, Vatican and Pinot Grigio. Having been in the business for more than 30 years, including his role as type director at Letraset, Alan now works as a freelancer in corporate identity, packaging and type design. You can check out more of his work here.
The Astoria Classic Sans complete family pack is available for £167, and each style for £37.99 each.
Brazilian type designer Fabio Haag’s new typeface Sua is perfect for headlines and short text passages in a small size. Its clean shapes lead to legibility, and the slightly wide proportions dictate a calm reading speed.
Sua comes in seven different weights, and supports 81 different languages.
Fabio Haag established his first foundry in 2006, and worked as a deputy creative director in London for eight years, before starting his independent brand Fabio Haag Type, under which he has designed Sua and Lembra.
Although the medium weight of Sua is free to download, therefore it’s part of our Best Free Fonts round-up, other individual weights are £7.50 and the complete family pack is available for £35.50 or the basic pack for £23.