What kind of impact did digital/social media have on fonts?

Adam Ladd
Adam Ladd Posts: 257
edited June 1 in Type Business
Basically, just curious looking back a bit if there was a noticeable impact/opportunities in font business at the onset of the digital era (maybe 2000-2010-ish I'd guess)?

I was driving through an old part of town and noticing some "older" fonts in use on signage/branding (cooper, papyrus, etc). It just reminded me how "fixed" physical/printed items were before digital.

I guess there's just a conditioning now with the fluidness of digital, and I wondered if when brands really started to leverage digital outlets for communication if it helped drive more experimentation and adoption/licensing of fonts, or willingness to change more frequently (because it’s maybe “easier” to change).


  • John Butler
    John Butler Posts: 266
    The biggest effect I’ve noticed social media having on fonts is the sudden prevalence of Hoefler Text in Facebook reel captions.


  • Adam Ladd
    Adam Ladd Posts: 257
    ... for those who sold fonts in the rise of digital, did it seem like there was more frequent purchasing compared to before digital?

    I'm curious if there was a change in how often brands were willing to change/update fonts because digital allowed for more flexibility/less commitment (although may still impact identity system investments if changing too often).
  • Mark Simonson
    Mark Simonson Posts: 1,672
    edited June 4
    TikTok used Proxima Nova as its default for a few years (2020 until last year, when they commissioned a custom font).

    I don’t know if social media specifically has had much effect on font sales for me (other than netting a big license from TikTok), but on-screen use of fonts (the web, apps, etc.) certainly has compared to when print was where fonts were mostly used.
  • lorcand
    lorcand Posts: 4
    I would say that Söhne has certainly had a 'visibility lift' by being widely used in Medium posts (paired with Source Serif Pro). It is also used by OpenAI on its website, which has been pretty high profile :-) 
  • John Nolan
    John Nolan Posts: 47
    Nice essay, Nick. Thanks for that.