Minimalist UI Design (Part 2) - Minimalism With Typeface Trends
When someone says "minimal typography", what typeface do you visualize?
Maybe it’s Helvetica. Or something that looks a lot like it, with plenty of medium width, simple strokes that come together in a highly-readable sans serif.
Of course, this would be the textbook definition of typography for a minimalistic design. But it doesn’t have to be the only definition.
When the rest of the framework is stripped down to the most basic of designs, a more trendy typography option can serve as the message and the dominant element. Vintage or retro grunge type and stacking type are time-honored designer favorites. When used right, they can add a spark to a minimal style.
Flat File uses a striking serif - ITC Caslon No. 224, to be precise. The type is roughed up, giving it a slight texture that feels both artsy and a critical component of the content. Simple scrolling effects contribute to this minimal aesthetic, because everything about the site is so easy and comfortable.
While Exoskills looks nothing like Flat File, it also combines a simple aesthetic, navigation and feel with bold typography as a dominant element. Multi-level stacked typography is popping up in a lot of designs. That’s because it provides an interesting way to display information in readable way. As an added bonus, it also creates just the right hierarchy, telling users what’s important.
This combination of eye-catching typography in a minimal design is a great option for design projects that need to convey simplicity, harmony and organization. It also serves as a starting point for designs that lack other elements or that want users to focus on reading the message on the screen. Be aware of size when it comes to this text-heavy style. On smaller devices, it’s important to watch the sizing of responsive typography – particularly with more complicated typefaces – to ensure readability remains intact.
Tips for Using Typeface Trends
- Use trendy typography for a specific purpose such as a logo or headline
- Complicated typefaces, such as vintage grunge, often need to be displayed at larger sizes
- Don’t grab a new typeface just because it’s cool; it should match the mood of the project
- Not all trending typefaces will work with minimal, styles that lack long tails, swashes and flourishes are the best options
Typeface trends can evolve and change quickly. Use this technique only if you are a constantly tweaking the design, because you would end up with something that looks dated. By applying a type trend to a very specific part of the design, such as in the hero image or main navigation, you can easily use a trend while it’s popular and change course when needed.