Art Deco is probably one of the most recognizable art movements of the 20th century, and there are some amazing Art Deco fonts as a result of the movement. Its style is distinctive and unmistakeable, with aesthetics that instantly recall images of the Roaring 20s, black and white Hollywood glamour, and smoke-filled jazz halls.
Art Deco: An Unforgettable Chapter in 20th Century Design
Art Deco originated between World War I and II. Eager to showcase its industrial design mastery, the French government planned a decorative arts exhibition in 1912. Yet, World War I delayed this scheduled 1915 event by a full decade. Finally held in Paris in 1925, the “Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes” attracted over 16 million visitors from April to October. Countries across the globe participated in this grand celebration of modern design. Importantly, this event birthed the Art Deco movement we celebrate today.
Art Deco’s Influence: Beyond Art and Into the Fabric of Society
Art Deco, known by various names like Jazz Modern, Streamline Style, Modernistic, and Modern, marked the 1920s and 30s. It mirrored the industrial development of the evolving world, signifying progress and vitality through its refined simplicity. Its impact touched everything – architecture, art, fashion, graphic design, product design, film, photography, and transportation.
Influences of Egyptian, Aztec, and Native American art elements characterized Art Deco design. Sophistication and simplicity became paramount, preferring sharp angles and straight lines with minimal ornate details. However, Art Deco was far from simple; its use of parallel stripes, sunbursts, bold curves, motion lines, geometric shapes, and aerodynamic forms exuded luxury of the time.
Considering the subsequent Great Depression, this luxury feels ironic. Despite severe economic adversity, the design movement stayed strong, symbolizing resilience, wealth, and the aspiration for a quick return to magnificence.
The 20s signaled an era of transformation. City populations swelled, the transportation sector advanced beyond the days of horse-and-buggy, and buildings morphed into monoliths symbolizing a prosperous industrial age. During this Machine Age, typography started mirroring this modern, industrial, and somewhat futuristic design aesthetic. As is typical of Art Deco style, the typography carried a distinctive Egyptian influence, presenting letterforms akin to contemporary geometric hieroglyphics.
The Dawn of Art Deco Typography: A Timeless Legacy
While some consider Paul Renner’s 1927 release, Futura, to be the first Art Deco type design, most will agree that A.M. Cassandre’s 1928 Bifur marked the beginning of Art Deco typography. Cassandre’s designs became the most influential work of the Art Deco movement in typography. Commissioned by Charles Peignot, Bifur featured the quintessential elements of Art Deco, an innovative exploration of letterforms that were geometric in their architecture while openly embracing the avant-garde – purely for the hell of it.
Bifur showcased a minimalist design. Its heavy strokes formed its core structure, while thin strokes filled in the gaps.
Intended for posters and display use only, Bifur’s release came with a 16-page brochure. This guide informed graphic designers about the do’s and don’ts with the typeface. Interestingly, one page repeated the line, “THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO USE BIFUR,” emphasizing the point.
Indeed, Bifur’s release stirred controversy. Being the first of its kind posed problems, particularly in engraving the design for printing and publishing. Even Peignot, despite conceding Bifur was not a financial triumph, highlighted the freedom to take risks in those times.
In retrospect, that risk was well worth it. Cassandre’s work opened doors for innovative design. Art Deco typography enjoyed popularity until World War II and had a brief comeback during the 1960s.
Today, Art Deco typography is still incredibly popular. There’s a timeless quality about its design, one that’s clearly reminiscent of bygone days, yet one that still carries a contemporary flavor. There are a number of beautiful Art Deco type designs available through YouWorkForThem, and we want to highlight a few of our favorites.
Waverly CF Font
Waverly CF artfully marries Art Deco’s classic feel and rhythm with refreshed, streamlined letterforms, embodying an aesthetic perfect for dynamic artwork and attention-grabbing logos. Delight in its thoughtful letter width variations that create a captivating rhythm. Exemplifying broad linguistic adaptability, Waverly CF supports both Latin and Cyrillic scripts and enhances your typographic palette with a rich selection of swashes and alternative letterforms. With this font, you’re not just typing—you’re orchestrating a typographic symphony.
Naive Deco Sans-Serif
Naive Deco Sans by S&C Type is a layered sans serif with a classic Art Deco style. It offers its hand-drawn letterforms with double or triple lines, and also provides the font’s decomposed lines so designers can craft uniquely layered combinations.
Transat from Typetantic Fonts is a geometric sans serif with a decidedly cool 1930s flair. It got its name from the common shortening of “Compagnie Générale Transatlantique,” a company that operated transatlantic ocean liners. Transat is contemporary and timeless, a fresh take on a beloved style.
CocoBiker from Zetafonts is a contemporary type design reminiscent of the symbol-style typography Cassandre himself became known for. Cocomat is geometric and runic in its architecture. CocoBiker has an undeniable hieroglyphic flair that harkens back to the Art Deco era.
La Decorateur for Adobe Illustrator
If you’re looking for the perfect design elements to pair with some of these fonts, take a look at La Decorateur for Adobe Illustrator by Guerillacraft. It features a pack of ornamental pattern brushes with a beautiful hand-drawn appearance, rich in Art Deco design flair. Art Deco Brush Collection from YouWorkForThem is another must-have set of tools for Art Deco design projects. This vector brush collection makes it easy to apply the charisma of 1920s Hollywood to any design.
Experience Timeless Elegance with Our Collection of Art Deco Fonts
Almost a hundred years later, Art Deco design is still the bee’s knees. Guys and dolls are drawn to its appeal, and as history has shown, it’ll never fully drift out of style. At YouWorkForThem, we celebrate this timeless design movement by offering an extensive collection of art deco typefaces.
With over 20 years of experience in licensing fonts, stock graphics, and tools for Adobe Photoshop, our mission is to provide the most usable and affordable design resources while remaining accessible and easy to work with. Our selection includes art deco typography, art deco type, and art deco text styles, as well as art deco script fonts and the best art deco fonts available.
We’re proud to have served numerous renowned corporate clients such as Apple, Amazon, Delta Airlines, Whole Foods, and Coca-Cola, who appreciate our attention to detail and commitment to design. Our art deco font lettering styles cater to a diverse range of design needs. As well, our easy licensing and instant downloads make the process hassle-free.
Explore our extensive range of art nouveau font styles at YouWorkForThem and take your designs to a new level. Remember, we’re here to ensure you have the best experience possible with our fonts and stock art. Should you have any questions or needs, don’t hesitate to reach out – we’re always available to help!