2010 in review: The year in fonts

MyFonts.com released its monthly newsletter today—and perhaps predictably, a look back at the top fonts of 2010.

Some of them were fanciful …

… while others were clean and spare …

A couple felt nostalgic …

… while two others were decidedly hand-drawn and modern:

But what struck me about the top fonts, as a collection, was how positive and optimistic they all seemed. There wasn’t a single grunge or distressed font among the lot.

I started wondering: To what degree do typefaces reflect a society’s mood? Is there a direct, measurable correlation between current events and our visual representation of language?

I found evidence of a course at Cuyamaca College that posed that very question, but I wasn’t able to find any large-scale sociological studies. (Maybe because interpreting the “personality” of a font is too subjective, and thus not quantifiable?)

In any case, my curiosity is piqued. I can hardly wait to see what the top fonts of 2011 will say about the year, in hindsight.


  1. I’m happily browsing through some of your older posts (can you feel your ears burning?) and gasped when I found this. Typography! Heaven! Your interpretations are fascinating. Do you remember the over-used ‘Bleeding Cowboy’ and ‘Angel Wars’? Last years’ crop do indeed look more clean and sunny to me too. I’m off to investigate the fonts website for some happy font geekiness. 😀

    • Ha! I didn’t remember “Bleeding Cowboy” until I saw it. Ugh. Bad memories there …

      Anyway, I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog. You’re very kind to comment — and now that I know there’s at least one other font freak out there, I’ll keep posting about typography. 🙂

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