More than a few of the fonts we see in logos, banners and headings, and on posters, look as if they’ve been worked over with a sander. Sharp edges have been replaced by slightly rounded ones, and in some instances, the edges have been rounded off to the extreme. Rounded fonts are not only popular; they have become ubiquitous.
How long will this popularity last? Perhaps as long as flared trousers, red polyester slacks, or kidney-shaped coffee tables. Perhaps indefinitely. Who knows? Perhaps, like the flavor of the month, they will disappear, only to return at a later time. Perhaps they will simply become passé. Perhaps they will remain popular for many years to come.
Throughout the 20th century, rounded fonts have experienced ups and downs in popularity. Their popularity reached a peak in the 1970s and 80s, after which they fell from grace – although not all of them did.
In the 1970s, sharp corners were not to be tolerated in many areas of the design world. Tables and fonts were but a few of the things that fell victim to sanding machines. Even paper, especially in notebooks and journals, featured corners that were rounded to some degree.
While by the end of the century, the rounding frenzy had for the most part died down, and rounded fonts have become more popular than ever; due in part to the advent of the social web.
It wasn’t for technical reasons that the rounded font experienced a comeback. Contemporary TV screens and computer monitors have never had a problem showing sharp corners. It is rather a case of the rounded font being more in tune with the personal characteristics of the social network.
Rounded fonts, with their warmer, softer feel, have come into favor with many of today’s startups. Even a number of newer, yet more firmly-established enterprises, such as Twitter and Skype, have forsaken sharp-edged fonts in favor of those having rounded edges.
The resurgence of rounded fonts has also made its mark in a current trend in web design. The intrinsically poorer legibility of the rounded font has been offset by the use of larger font sizes and bright color schemes on pale backgrounds. There is nothing at present that prevents the use of rounded fonts in web design, and a variety of these font styles are now obtainable in large numbers.
Here is a popular selection of high-quality rounded font designs that you can download for your personal use free of charge. The range from bold to light. Most, as you may agree, are better suited for logos and headers than for use in body text.