In 2022, 30 years after its conception, everyone is talking about the Metaverse again. As we’ve seen with cryptocurrencies, each new wave of tech buzz is largely self-referential. A typographic treatment in this field should be applied accordingly.
For the Metaverse, this means you have the choice between going either dotcom-retro (as the late 1990s were the heyday of the Cyberspace concept) or contemporary avant-garde (as current visual trends on social media are reflected and amplified in Metaverse marketing).
Will the faces on this list become staples of virtual reality branding? Will typography still be significant in a audio-visual environment? Will we look back and chuckle at our naive imagination of the Metaverse? Buzz or not, what’s certain is that it’s up to designers everywhere to take the initiative and shape this new world in the best way possible.
by Rob Keller / Mota Italic
Monospace means code and code is the foundation for any virtual ’verse. So far, so good. Fip, however, looks like it’s coming straight out of the brand manual for a 1990s rave. With a bunch of subfamilies and variations (even closing the circle between transistor and typewriter in the “Rough” fonts), it’s cyber enough to radiate the right retro vibes for the Metaverse.
by Delve Withrington / Delve Fonts
Let’s face it: it can’t be all fun and games, even in a Metaverse. Sometimes, you need to resort to a clean, neutral choice. Tome Sans might be just that. A grotesque with geometric features (or the other way round), it looks classical but not dated. Ideal for your serious ventures in an unreal world.
by Ludwig Übele / LudwigType
This font is architecture. Its straight lines and geometric curves beg to be extruded into 3D Metaverse “type buildings”. Are you up to it? The typeface is free, so download Helsinki XXL and fire up your favorite CAD editor! If you then need a matching typographic suite for your stylish new Metaverse domicile, Ludwig’s original Helsinki font family is a natural choice.
by Jeremy Tankard / Jeremy Tankard Typography
Flowing and twisting like molten plastic, the strokes of Fenland suit the contemporary aesthetic of shiny rendered surfaces. Distinct yet functional, it wouldn’t look out of place in a colorful immaterial environment.
by Jonathan Barnbrook & Marcus Leis Allion / Barnbrook Fonts
Who’s populating the Metaverse? Granted, there might be AI entities in the distant future — in the near future, however, it’s just us—humans. And wherever humans try to organize themselves, there’s politics. Enter Bourgeois: this 2000s classic rose to fame in the 2010s as the “House of Cards” font and will be more than suitable for Metaverse politics. And for space travel, which is quite apt for our journey into this new digital world.
by René Bieder / Studio René Bieder
If you want the voice of reason to sound in the cacophony of the Metaverse frenzy, head over to René Bieder’s Rational. It’s a clean neogrotesque that looks technical enough for cyberspace and serves as a neutral typographic background for your digital adventures.
by Arne Freytag / Fontador
The Metaverse is still some kind of malleable primordial soup and it’s up to designers what shape it will take. If you fancy either steampunk or cyberpunk, Arne Freytag’s Manometer and Manometer Sans will help you create a matching typographic look for your personal cyberspace.
by Craig Eliason / Teeline Fonts
Whether you use Feneon to put up elaborate virtual neon-tube displays for your Metaverse venture or to illustrate some kind of “fingerprint” crypto topic, you are guaranteed to get some spectacular curves out of it.
by Jamie Clarke / Jamie Clarke Type
Is Rig Shaded too beautiful for the Metaverse? Its clean, layered 3D appearance is something you’d more commonly associate with printing or signpainting than VR glasses. For now, let’s assume that there will have to be signs in the Metaverse, too. If that is the case, we might as well opt for the prettiest display typeface available. There’s also a non-layered Solid and a plain Sans derivative for your convenience.
by Nils Thomsen / TypeMates
Digital, but with a human touch. Comspot radiates the flair of technology, both of the past and the future, and it would not only look great as an interface font but also as the friendly brand typeface of some shady Metaverse corporation.
by Moritz Kleinsorge / Identity Letters
I once called Compiler “an intermedia workhorse from cyberspace” and I stand by it. Just have a look at this technical humanist sans-with-some-serifs—it’s a must-have for anyone dabbling in Metaverse affairs.
by Luc(as) de Groot / LucasFonts
Both the nineties and the noughties can’t be thought without Luc(as) de Groot’s Thesis. It was and is ubiquitous. And for good reason. Thesis, with its subfamilies TheSans, TheSerif, TheMix, TheAntiqua, and many more, is still one of the largest superfamilies on the market. You can’t argue with its iconic appearance. Whether you want to use it ironically—indulging in those dotcom times—or just benefit from its masterfully clean curves is up to you.
by Mark Simonson / Mark Simonson Studio
Real life and virtual reality—there’s our new Digital Frontier. The Metaverse is essentially the Wild Wild West! Will the new gold rush will be sustainable? For good measure, you might want to resort to the Clarendon-style serif face of a virtuoso. Mark Simonson’s Etna wouldn’t look out of place on an Old-West “Wanted” poster and I’m sure it wouldn’t look out of place in a Metaverse saloon, either.
by Miriam Surányi / Schriftlabor
Here’s a strong-headed display neogrotesque that interprets woodtype-style quirks in a contemporary way. The Variable Font will allow you to make it even quirkier through animation. I’d happily see Margit become the face of the early Metaverse.
by Jesse Ragan / XYZ Type
The Aglet superfamily looks technical, and by technical, I mean totally cyber. Surprisingly, it’s easy on the eyes, too. Aglet is what I’d like to read in the head-up display of my virtual reality glasses.
by Toshi Omagari / Tabular Type Foundry
Finally, here’s a monospaced font from type design mastermind Toshi Omagari that emulates the look of Comic Sans—but for coding. The typographic equivalent of cat memes (hardly aesthetic but you can’t get enough of them), it’s almost like Comic Code was meant to illustrate the very idea of the Metaverse.
Johannes López Ayala is a designer, writer, and artist based in Germany. With a background in languages, he studied Industrial Design and Communication Design, worked in big-corp marketing, managed an art gallery, and eventually took to type. He completed the postgraduate Expert class Type design at the Plantin Institute of Typography, Antwerp, in 2022.
In addition to his professional work as a creative director at Tipogris Books and Brands, he has been teaching as a lecturer at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. Follow Johannes on Twitter and read his irregular type reviews at 366Fonts.
Other lists by Johannes:
Fonts for Books
Photo credit (header): Mediamodifier