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Sexy, Bold And Experimental Typography

Sometimes typography is all you need to communicate your ideas effectively. Graphics can support the type or type can support the graphics, but to deliver the message precisely, you need to make sure your type is strong enough, your design is distinctive enough and the composition is strong enough. The results are sometimes crazy, sometimes artsy, sometimes beautiful, but often just different from things we’re used to. Thus, designers explore new horizons, and we explore new viewing perspectives which are what inspiration is all about.

This post showcases over 70 examples of sexy, bold and experimental typography. Some examples are typographic posters, some are typographic illustrations, and some are just sketches with type. In any case, you will hopefully find some inspiration for your future works.

Feel free to check out our previous typography-related posts:

  • Breathtaking Typographic Posters1 with over 50 typographic posters designed by artists across the globe. We feature Oriental, Iranian, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and Russian typographic posters as well as a number of further references,
  • Typography In Motion2 presents some excellent examples of typography embedded into movies and videos,
  • The Showcase of BIG Typography3 with over 35 examples of big, “loud” and yet elegant typography in web design.

So what can be achieved out of simple letters and symbols? Please be patient, some screenshots are huge.

Sweet and Cute Type Link

Sweet Sixteen Link

Typography with a sweet taste of sugar. A nice composition, an excellent execution. Sometimes not that much is needed to make the type look tasty. The typeface used below is Cutiful.

Beauty of Typography - This Day in Type — Participate! - am besten bewertet/Horton -- July 16, 2007 -- Cutiful

Dive Deep4 Link

Hand lettering by Ray Fenwick, cutting out by Dan Mogford.

Beauty of Typography - DIVE DEEP5

Scarlett Link

An illustration created by Nik Ainley. Notice how well every single letter (e.g. “l” and “s”) fits in the composition.

Beauty of Typography - Shinybinary v2.1 - Art and designs of Nik Ainley

Newstand Cover for Computer Arts issue 1396 Link

Alejandro Paul’s Affair typography from Argentina: typography dominates in the composition, the swirly headline is just breathtaking.

Beauty of Typography - Newstand Cover for Computer Arts issue 1397

17.06.2007 Link

Created by Michael van Laar using Freebooter Script.

Beauty of Typography - This Day in Type — Participate! - am besten bewertet/Michael van Laar — June 17, 2007 — Freebooter Script

Aphrodisiac Dessert8 Link

Dessert type for a dessert announcement.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!9

FitzGerald Album (Extended Play)10 Link

Nothing can beat old-style-typography. Nothing.

Beauty of Typography - FitzGerald Album (Extended Play)11

Rally12 Link

Apparently, typography can be used for a number of purposes. Typographical Motorsports: simple yet interesting.

Beauty of Typography - Rally13

Tina Colada14 Link

It is worth a discussion if “overlettering” actually helps to deliver a message, but the type looks nicely. And the choice of colors is impressive.

Beauty of Typography -15

More ink is coming16 Link

Impressive lettering by Ale Paul.

Beauty of Typography - more ink is coming.jpg17

cim_organic18 Link

Sunny, flourish motif for a fresh typographic composition. Designed by Ryan Katrina19.

Beauty of Typography - cim_organic20

Empire Link

The attention to detail is remarkable. Designed by Theo Aartsma.

Beauty of Typography - Empire

Eichholtz21 Link

Beauty of Typography - Eichholtz22

Arabic Typography

Beauty of Typography - 4039-555-638

Elegant and Sexy Type Link

Climate Change ‘Co2’ ideas23 Link

Simple idea which uses only the power of typography. Impressive posters do not need to be colorful.

Beauty of Typography - Climate Change 'Co2' ideas24

Αnapodi Klosti Poster25 Link

Poster for a experimental performance installation. The main lettering is based on PF Beau Sans. Unusual: thin font transform into a thin thread.

Beauty of Typography - Αnapodi Klosti Poster26

qp logo27 Link

In this logo “q” and “p” belong together. Nice concept, nice colors.

Beauty of Typography - qp logo28

Tony Rohr29 Link

Similar idea as in the previous one, but a different execution.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!30

JG3!31 Link

Slick and sexy, colorful and strong. Notice how beautifully both letters intersect in the middle of the image.

Beauty of Typography - JG3!32

CMYK Lovers33 Link

Well, that’s A LOT of letters. Vibrant colors meet 3D-typography. Available as a desktop wallpaper. Designed by Guilherme Marconi.

Beauty of Typography - Wallpaper of the Week #1 | Abduzeedo - graphic design | design inspiration | design tutorials34

Poster in the city of Amsterdam35 Link

Dutch graphic design at its best. Interesting typographic construction which captures attention by its structure and attracts by its vibrant colors.

Beauty of Typography - poster in the city of Amsterdam36

Requiem Link

Strong, dirty and grungy typography is also possible. Craig Shields manages to get impressive results combining grunge and type.

Beauty of Typography - Requiem

BBB37 Link

Designed by Stefan Lucut. The loog looks very modern and powerful, however, at the first glance it is not clear what the red thread stands for. Nevertheless, very original composition.

Beauty of Typography - BBB38

Strong and Bold Type Link

Typography39 Link

Nicolas Alexander combines typography and retro. Notice how elegant the line starting in the letter “G” goes through “R”.

Beauty of Typography - Typography40

2008 Calendar Link

Expressing feelings via colors and type. A very clean and beautiful design by Jonathan Davies.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!

Bckyrdflw Promo41 Link

Well, this one is hard to overlook. Andrew Dyjak’s poster can be read without vocals vowels. Lovely colors, cropping and, of course, type.

Beauty of Typography - Bckyrdflw Promo42

Statistics Table43 Link

Strong, bold and extremely expressive. And it is just a table!

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!44

The Well of the Saints A1 poster45 Link

A1 Graphic poster produced by John McDermott. Simple, strong and sexy. Sometimes two colors and a bold typeface are enough.

Beauty of Typography - The Well of the Saints A1 poster46

Breaks logo47 Link

A distinctive treatmeant of letters which perfectly fits to the message a poster wants to convey. Designed by Zoltan Szalay.

Beauty of Typography - Breaks logo48

Nik Ainley49 Link

Nik Ainley strikes again. Lovely typographic work where letters don’t just convey the message, but are also functional: their form suggests the second message which is transported with the artwork.

Beauty of Typography - Shiny Binary50

Benno Wissing51 Link

Dutch Typography by Benno Wissing. It looks very modern, but it was created in 1963.

Beauty of Typography - Benno Wissing52

Film Poster53 Link

Colorful and distinctive. Each color stands for a different movie which participated in the festival.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!54

Experiments with type Link

A2 Link

Beauty of Typography - A2

Crumpler – ABC

Beauty of Typography - Crumpler - ABC

American Graphic Design55 Link

Beauty of Typography - American Graphic Design56

The Make Lounge57 Link

Beauty of Typography - The Make Lounge58

Moctezuma: James Brown59 Link

Beauty of Typography - Moctezuma: James Brown60

Dog Type61 Link

Sometimes typography is used to deliver a message in a quite, well, unusual way.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!62

Lead Us Not Into The Future

Beauty of Typography - Lead Us Not Into The Future

»R« letter sketches63 Link

Beauty of Typography -64

Blik x Drez65 Link

Beauty of Typography - Blik x Drez66

A Stitch Up – Corktown Tavern – Base67 Link

Beauty of Typography - A Stitch Up - Corktown Tavern - Base68

Cubix Rube

Beauty of Typography - Cubix Rube


Beauty of Typography - supervision

Palawa Poster69 Link

Beauty of Typography - Palawa Poster70

seis [cartel]71 Link

Beauty of Typography - seis [cartel]72

Wishes73 Link

Unusual type treatment which makes the wishes quite distinctive from the “usual” crowd.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!74

Rasterfeld Event Poster75 Link

Beauty of Typography - Rasterfeld Event Poster76

Personal Geocode

Beauty of Typography - Personal Geocode

Cubix Rube Soft

Beauty of Typography - Cubix Rube Soft

font_code77 Link

Beauty of Typography - font_code78

Experimenting with s79 Link

Beauty of Typography - s80

accept | adapt | evolve81 Link

Beauty of Typography - accept | adapt | evolve82

fac04_flyer_a83 Link

Beauty of Typography - fac04_flyer_a84

Doblette – Taller Tipografia (uy)85 Link

Beauty of Typography - Doblette - Taller Tipografia (uy)86

Bold type87 Link

These letters are really hard to read. Is it the purpose of typography? Well, it’s definitely an experiment. Cute, fat and bold type in use.

Beauty of Typography -88

Extraverage x The KDU89 Link

Pattern is used to create letters.

Beauty of Typography - Extraverage x The KDU90

Visual Lexicon v 2.1 Metamorphosis91 Link

Beauty of Typography - Visual Lexicon v 2.1 Metamorphosis92

Type Area93 Link

Beauty of Typography - Type Area94

Wim Crouwel: New Alphabet book95 Link

Beauty of Typography - Wim Crouwel – New Alphabet book96

Nederlandse Postzegels 197197 Link

Beauty of Typography - Nederlandse Postzegels 197198

Askul99 Link

Beauty of Typography - The Leading Package Design Blog: Askul100
Experimental Jetset: SMCS Invitations
Beauty of Typography - Experimental Jetset: SMCS Invitations

Triple O’s101 Link

Sometimes type doesn’t look like type at all.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!102

TypeNeu103 Link

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!104

88. Geometric Type105 Link

This type is quite freaky. Dutch Graphic Design.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!106

89. YOLO107 Link

A (really) striking poster designed by Martin Fewell from Manchester, UK.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!108

100. Best time of my life109 Link

Disturbing yet powerful. This poster delivers the message effectively.

Beauty of Typography - FFFFOUND!110

Recycle111 Link

Usually typography is used as a foundation for symbols. In this artwork it is the other way around. The yellow circle in the middle of the composition may be too striking, but it may be the designer’s intention. Designed by Satoboy.

Beauty of Typography - RECYCLE112

Chaumont, festival international de l’affiche, version longue – Etienne Mineur archives113 Link

Beauty of Typography - Chaumont, festival international de l'affiche, version longue - Etienne Mineur archives114

Last Click Link

Colours Clock115 Link

Designed with the sole intention of not over complicating the design. Designed by Richard Shed.

Beauty of Typography - Reloj Richard Shed116

Holding type117 Link

These flocked magnets looks pretty sweet.

Beauty of Typography - M118

Spaghetti Dinner Poster119 Link

Beautiful integration of type into a photo.

Beauty of Typography - Spaghetti Dinner Poster120

Matias Ignacio en crema121 Link

Ok, now it’s time for a coffee break.

Beauty of Typography - Matias Ignacio en crema122

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 /2008/02/25/breathtaking-typographic-posters/
  2. 2 /2007/11/19/monday-inspiration-typography-in-motion/
  3. 3 /2007/10/15/the-showcase-of-big-typography/
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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

  1. 1

    Eric Shoemaker

    May 12, 2008 7:36 am

    Very cool!!

    Check out Typography Friday!

  2. 2

    This is one of your best type post yet smashing mag! Thank you.

  3. 3

    In the Bckyrdflw Promo description you say “vocal” but I think you mean “vowel”.

  4. 4

    Ahhh, nothing like some typography to get one going on a Monday :D.

  5. 5

    Please, stop to write answers like: “wow! it’s so cool! Thx! ” It’s so stupid.

  6. 6

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 12, 2008 3:28 am

    @Greg: thanks, you are right. Corrected.

  7. 7

    This a long post.. I suggest you to split into some pages inside the single post.

  8. 8

    @Ben: it’s not so hard to scroll down.

    Excellent article, though some of the designs are way too cluttered and legibility becomes an issue. In my book that can’t happen in typography, even if it’s experimental.

  9. 9

    YOLO was my fav. so touching and striking !

  10. 10

    Marc Dandoy

    May 12, 2008 4:10 am

    Yes, I liked Yolo too. It’s very remarkable.

  11. 11

    “Dutch Typography by Benno Wissing. It looks very modern, but it was created in 1963”
    Something is missing nowadays: swiss design was in fact a reaction against the classic rules… what happens today with all these Helvetica–Frutiger–Müller-Brockmann copycats is terrifying. Knowing the basic principles of design is a must to break them. Remember: using Helvetica doesn’t make you a great designer.
    Yours sincerely,

  12. 12

    look the attractive prices campaign of british airways. It´s a great show about how tipography can do with a good idea behind. Grate post, I luv tipos….

  13. 13

    Absolutely fantastic and inspirational post – one of the best so far!

  14. 14

    Vinícius Fragoso

    May 12, 2008 5:53 am

    The first entry on Strong and Bold Type, the “Good Morning Stranger” one was inspired on a brazilian local novel, I guess, or at least it looks like. I just cant remember the novel’s name, since I was a little boy at the time, but i’ll look for the name with my older friends, and then I post a video or image with the novel’s logo ;D

  15. 15

    This list is incomplete without Si Scott’s work, so here’s his website:

    Great list here! Great work smashingmagazine!

  16. 16

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    May 12, 2008 6:25 am

    @Joanne: thank you; Si Scott has been featured twice in our previous posts.

  17. 17

    beautiful article

  18. 18

    awesome post.. you should get all this in PDF format..

  19. 19

    Love ’em!

  20. 20

    that’s very cool … i like it …!


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