The art of typography exploded around the 1950’s. The decade gave birth to an array of new and exciting typefaces, many that are still used to this day. After World War Two, optimism and hope flourished in consumers and businesses alike. Consumerism faced a massive boom, leading to marketing and advertising efforts as more design oriented. Colours and designs chosen for posters, magazines and billboards were reflective of the optimism that became rooted in society’s way of life (Dominguez, R., De Leon, P., & Apigo, R. 2014, July).

Posters and ads were designed with bright colours reflecting the new hope after the Second World War [Teenage Thunder Movie Poster], [1950’s Poster].

Many notable typographers from the decade were responsible for the major trends of the time. Hermann Zapf, a leader of the humanist movement, combined the characteristics of serif and sans serif typefaces to create an array of new and sleek fonts (Dominguez, R., De Leon, P., & Apigo, R. 2014, July).

The typeface for the signs in Toronto’s subway stations originally revealed in 1954, channels in the modernism of the mid-century along with retro style features that gave the city some visual identity it once lacked (M. 2011).

As consumerism grew, the demand for more modern typography became great. This had not only set the ball in motion for variety in type but allowed the process of photo setting to emerge (Dominguez, R., De Leon, P., & Apigo, R. 2014, July). The 1950’s became a defining point in its evolution as various movements based on type characteristics and design, in general, gained momentum.


M. (2011, August 7). Ttcposterslead [Digital image]. Retrieved November 12, 2016, from

[Teenage Thunder Movie Poster]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2016, from

[1950’s poster]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2016, from

Dominguez, R., De Leon, P., & Apigo, R. (2014, July 13). Typography from 1950’s to Present. Retrieved November 23, 2016, from