Burger King's rebrand is an example of a trend in 2020 for nostalgic retro fonts with a handmade feel

Nostalgia is back as font trends go retro

Font platform Monotype’s annual trends report has just been released for 2021, and it shows big, tactile fonts are back.

From Burger King to Gucci, we’re embracing looks that nod to yesteryear and handwritten treatments that suggest a human touch.

Burger King's nostalgic rebrand shows how font trends are retro in 2020-21
Burger King's rebrand ditches the manufactured polish for a retro style.
Gucci goes handwritten for a personal connection

The resurgence of this style is not too surprising. Humans get nostalgic in times of stress. And in a period when we’re experiencing a new and profound kind of isolation, the handmade feel of these fonts brings a comforting sense of personal connection.

But just as the economy is showing signs of roaring back, our tip is to expect a fast shift to powerful, kinetic and streamlined shapes when the vaccine rollout finishes and our social confidence returns.

Some of the 11 themes outlined in Monotype’s report will continue to resonate if that happens – like going big or using striking colour inversions.

Big text and swaggering play with letter widths is likely to stay as we emerge from the pandemic.
Bold colour inversions are a font trend likely to stay
Bold colour experiments, with their bright positivity, are likely to continue as a trend.

But strong nods to the past or quaint hand-crafted “I made this” treatments? While we’re big fans of the aesthetic, we’re not so sure they’ll have a long reign beyond niche products.

Need help with a rebrand? We’ve guided category leaders and brash upstarts through the changes they needed to thrive.

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