The typographic revolution

Display fonts enjoy a unique position at the cross-section between graphic design and type design. The relative luxury of designing characters to be used at scale – and all the fine, beautiful detail that this enables – is uniquely rewarding for any designer with a passion for the style and form of individual letters.

What’s more, display typography is now entering a particularly exciting period in its development, and not just for type designers. The discipline is becoming increasingly accessible and rewarding for graphic designers and studios alike to indulge in – whether creating a bespoke font to add a unique, stylish twist to a project, or designing a fully-operational typeface to take to market.

Of course, a traditional background in typography will inevitably help a designer create strong characters. But classic type design doesn’t always play a terribly big role in mainstream education, and creatives will often start out studying graphic design before falling in love with the process of crafting type specifically.

For many type designers, the ultimate challenge is to create a brilliant typeface for text. In a lot of ways, it’s the opposite of designing display type: doing so presents the unusual task of creating something at a large scale that will only ever live in small sizes. The queen of this was always the old-style serif, and for many designers it’s a real passion and pleasure to work on that style of type.

For the most part, text faces still remain the domain of traditional type designers. But display type is becoming a more level playing field, a trend that began with the advent of more easily accessible type design software in the 80s and 90s. This simplified the creation of fonts greatly, and the market quickly filled up with interesting, but fairly useless stuff. Looking back at some of those typefaces now – and especially the display typefaces – it now seems like a playground almost without boundaries. It was in the wake of this period that display type lost some of its good reputation.

But while one could easily call this experimental period a curse, it was also a blessing. As the overall quantity of typefaces increased, the number of good, well-thought- out typefaces also increased proportionately – and more importantly, it also enhanced the overall awareness of font design in general.

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.