The Typography of the Next Decade

By 2015, when Google and Facebook pivoted to geometric sans serif logos within a few months of each other, minimalist aesthetics had reached a saturation point, both online and off

Among Peak Minimalism’s alleged merits were its implication of transparency: the spareness of brands stripped of clutter and ornament felt trustworthy, as if excesses in style were a middleman between consumer and company that had been stripped away. In the later half of the 2010s, however, oversaturation led geometric sans serifs to grow somewhat stale. The same attributes that once signalled approachability and friendliness began to read as sterile and impersonal as they grew more and more ubiquitous, particularly among large corporations and tech companies.

Didones represent a complete about-face from the design ethos of Peak Minimalism. On a technical level, Didones and geometric sans serifs are more or less total opposites: serif versus sans serif, intense stroke contrast versus none at all, tall ascenders (letters like “h” and “t”) versus short ones. But there’s also a more extensive rejection of the 2010s aesthetic at play. Against the no-frills, cheerfully pared-down look of Google et al, the use of Didones in the context of marketing feels downright luxurious, whether that sense of luxury is applied to a mattress or a vibrator or even a first aid kit. It’s worth noting that in addition to the clear generational dynamics at play — the majority of these brands appear to be marketing towards young people primarily — the new Didones seem to appear most often alongside brands that market towards women, be it Dame, Modcloth (a women’s clothing retailer), Flesh (a shade-inclusive makeup brand), or Kirsten Gillibrand’s brief presidential bid.

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