Fonts have come a long way in 2016. From cursive fonts that successfully emulate that handwritten look much better than Comic Sans ever did, to practical designs that work well on the web, a huge variety of styles have emerged in the last twelve months. Join us as we look back on ten of the best, starting in no particular order with…
Kicking off our list is a font that took a quarter of a century to perfect. First drawn by Fontsmith founder Jason Smith at the age of 18, 2016 finally saw FS Siena getting shared with the world. With classical proportions and economical lines, this font is ideal for high-end brands that want to communicate both heritage and modernity.
Created by hand with a thick brush and black ink, Kust has a unique, distorted look about it that still remains easy to read. Originally drawn on hard paper, the 80 characters have a scratchy look about them thanks to flaky bristle marks the swoosh the letters into one another. Designed by fashion designer and painter Ieva Mezule, this set is completely free to download.
Another font set made by hand, Realist can trace its inspiration back to vintage movie posters. Furnished with bulbous serifs, the collection of characters come in two forms. The lowercase set are solid wordmarks, while the uppercase variant is populated with spacings that make the letters leap off the screen. With 279 glyphs, Realist is available to use on greetings cards, posters, t shirt designs and more.
The stylish serifs of the Ale House collection is a joint effort between designers Jerry Berg and Lavonne West. Great for logos and branding, this slab serif font collection has a clean, classical appearance that is still perfectly suited to contemporary projects.
This minimal, clean typeface was created by designer Sean Kane. Designed for a digital age, Sk-Modernist blends existing type sets such as Grotesk, Helvetica and Avant Garde. The result is a font with a simpler geometric style that has been optically adjusted using a mathematical system. Perfect for digital mediums, this font is also available to download for free.
With its smooth curves and round corners, Olivier Gourvat’s distinctive and modern font Univia Pro looks excellent on e-books, websites, apps, and other user interfaces. The font family offers 18 variations and nine weights plus italics, so it’s just as flexible as it is practical.
One for feline fans, Kitten is a brush typeface family designed by Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini, with illustrations by Isabella Ahmadzadeh. Taking its design cues from domestic cats, this typography set has a curvy and bold shape with letterforms available in three styles: regular, swashy, and slant. Suited to logos and display use, Kittens has 60 special ligature characters.
Illustrator Syed Faraz Ahmed is the designer behind this charming and whimsical handwriting font. Suitably named Stay Writer, this hand-drawn display font is reminiscent of a more old fashioned way of getting letters on the page. Upper case, lower case and special characters make up this free collection.
Monotype teamed up with Google to create Noto, an inclusive font that promotes global communication across borders, languages, cultures and time periods. Taking its name from ‘no more tofu’, a design term for blank boxes that appear when a site cannot display text, Moto is a universal wordmark that covers over 800 languages and 100 writing scripts.
Consisting of seven text weights, Palanquin is a Unicode-compliant Latin and Deanagari text type family specially designed for the digital age. Described by designer Pria Ravichandran as a superfamily, this is a versatile set that effectively balances typographic conventions yet still finds room to shine in its own right.