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Get in on the psychedelic design trend with these groovy typefaces

Want to get in on the psychedelic type trend? We made it easy, by finding 20 groovy typefaces you can use right now.

Illustration by Anita Goldstein.

Profile picture of Rebecca Strehlow

12.21.2021

7 min read

Psychedelic fonts are everywhere this year–from the lettering on Lorde’s album Solar Power album to the global fast food chain Burger King.


And who would’ve guessed psychedelic typography could be so versatile? It’s loud, bold, and trippy—the complete opposite of the “less is more” mantra of mid-century minimalism. In fact, psychedelic type was first inspired by even earlier artistic movements from the early to mid-20th centuries–the flowing curves of Art Nouveau, the stylized graphics of Viennese Secession (Gustav Kilmt, anyone?), and the dreamlike quality of surrealism. The psychedelic period itself was dominated by famous artists like Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Bonny MacLean, who created poster designs characterized by swirling colors, bold contrasts, and groovy fonts in the movement’s epicenter, San Francisco.


Today, these iconic styles are not only evocative of hippie counterculture and classic rock music, but they also represent opportunities for expressive experimentation. Once used for print ads and posters, psychedelic letterforms add a refreshing twist to modern-day design, infusing brands with personality and helping them stand out both in print and on the web. (Try knocking out the color in the black and white for a modern approach that makes the type the focal point.)


Want to jump on the bandwagon? We’ve assembled 20 of the best psychedelic fonts so you can make your next projects even groovier.


20 psychedelic fonts



1. Plinc Superstar


This psychedelic font from House Industries is a bold sans serif script designed by Dave West in the 1970s. Described as “juicy” and “full-bodied,” the glyphs also come in a shiny version, giving the font a sense of luxury and three-dimensional roundness. This flashy font works best for logos, clothing designs, and poster work.


Screenshot: House Industries.



2. Plinc Banjo


Another House Industries font from Dave West, Plinc Banjo manages to merge the Wild West with hippie counterculture. This rounded, high-contrast serif font is reminiscent of a saloon on the American frontier, but with a 1970s twist. It’s a great choice for logos, large and medium-sized headers, and poster designs for psychedelic brands with a retro twist.


Screenshot: House Industries.



3. Cooper Nouveau


Cooper Black is a longstanding font with a cult following–in fact, it’s come to refer to an entire typographic genre and even has its own short documentary. Cooper Nouveau, designed in 1966, is Dave West’s contribution to the Cooper family. This version takes the already bold and playful font and gives it a plumper figure and smoother, more generous curves. This friendly typeface is simultaneously confident and relaxed, and it works well for logos and image captions.


Screenshot: House Industries.



4. Cheee


Cheee, along with the two fonts that follow, are featured in the Psychedelic Psampler by Oh no Type Company. Cheee is an all-caps style marked by a contrast between thick and narrow strokes, with extreme thin lines that bulge outward dramatically at the top and bottom. Smortius, the particular weight of Cheee featured in the Psychedelic Sampler, is particularly 1970s. Exaggeratedly bottom-heavy, it’s instantly evocative of bell bottom pants.


Image courtesy: Oh no Type Company.



5. Eckmannpsych


Also featured in OH no Type’s Psychedelic Psampler, this typeface is heavily inspired by the psychedelic era–but with much earlier roots. It’s a trippy take on Eckmann-Schrift, a typeface designed by German painter and graphic artist Otto Eckmann in 1899. While Eckmann’s own typeface was based on a blend of Japanese calligraphy and medieval font design, Eckmannpsych’s exaggerated curvature, contrast, and flare make it unmistakably 1970s.


Image courtesy Oh no Type Company.



6. Hobeaux


Another psychedelic font by OH no Type, Hobeaux draws influence from Hobo, an earlier typeface with a different spelling but the same pronunciation. James Edmondson, who designed Hobeaux, was inspired by Hobo’s Art Nouveau roots, lack of straight lines or right angles, and soft curves. Using Hobo as the foundation for his ideas, he created his own modern interpretation–one that’s simultaneously a nod to the past and a vision for the future.


Image courtesy: Oh no Type Company.



7. Gela


This psychedelic font grew out of an Instagram sketch posted by designer Lewis MacDonald of Polytype. MacDonald was inspired by the funky typography of the 1970s, but wanted to add his own touch. “I tried to move away from '70s pastiche territory and develop something more original," MacDonald says of the evolution of Gela. "I introduced sharp, precise details, and took a playful approach to contrast—meaning the difference between heavy and light strokes in a glyph, and where they're placed.”


Image courtesy Lewis MacDonald.



8. Dreamland


Designed by Jim Parkinson, Dreamland grew out of the top-heavy lettering of early to mid-1900s showcards. The typeface has a casual, easygoing feel thanks to its rounded lowercase letters. With four parallel lines comprising each stroke, the font appears like a series of rainbows and is unmistakably retro. Use this font to accompany images for a sleek and trendy old school style.


Screenshot: Fonts in Use.



9. Funkydori


Funkydori is an homage to 1970s bell bottoms and flared sleeves. For designer Laura Worthington, it’s reminiscent of an era that brought her great joy, when disco balls and black-light posters reigned supreme. Embellished with thick swashes and tails, this typeface is confident, extravagant, and optimistic. Use it in places where you want to grab the attention of your viewers, whether it’s a marketing headline or the title on your homepage.


Screenshot: Laura Worthington.



10. Art-Nuvo


Art-Nuvo is a modern take on the Art Nouveau style of art, architecture, and design in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A rough psychedelic font, its rugged, organic lines make it appear hand-drawn and give it a carefree feel. It’s a great choice for music artwork, poster-style visuals, and experimental website designs.


Screenshot: Free Design Resources.



11. Spicy Rice


If you’re looking for a more subtle psychedelic font, you may want to consider Spicy Rice. This Google Font isn’t quite as embellished as other psychedelic fonts, instead striking a balance between 1970s whimsy and online readability. Both casual and celebratory, this font is an exciting choice for holiday festivities, summer pool parties, and other events, and works great for both headers and medium-sized copy.


Screenshot: Google Fonts.



12. California Sunshine


This psychedelic font is inspired by the surf, skating, and music culture of California in the 60s and 70s. The font’s wavy lines seem to undulate on their own, evoking a sense of motion. Not only is this trippy, but it also resembles the waves of the Pacific or rippled reflections in water. California Sunshine makes for compelling psychedelic logotype, and it works well for retro brands in the surfing, skating, or music industries.


Screenshot: Envato Elements.



13. Ginchiest


“Ginchy” is a 1930s slang term meaning “the pinnacle of cool,” and that’s exactly what this psychedelic font is. This script typeface boasts whimsical flourishes and a retro aesthetic. Ginchiest is a great choice for an upbeat, energetic logotype with vintage vibes. Try adding drop shadow for an even funkier feel.


Screenshot: Da Font.



14. Mustardo


Mustardo is a script font with confident strokes and a retro finish–exactly what you might imagine on an old school bottle of mustard. The flared slashes and playful, rounded strokes take this font from vintage to funky. The commercial version of this typeface comes with a wide range of alternates and ligatures so that you can play around with the lettering and create your own unique style.


Screenshot: Stereo-type.



15. Psychedelic Caps


This font may be tricky to decipher thanks to its all-caps lettering, but that just makes it all the more psychedelic. The letters of Psychedelic Caps appear as perfectly aligned blocks, with flat top and bottom strokes and minimal kerning. The result is a visual delight that looks more like an image than a word. Trippiness trumps readability here, so this font is best used for 60s and 70s style logos.


Screenshot: Da Font.



16. Victor Moscoso


This typeface is based on the 1960s psychedelic poster lettering of Victor Moscoso, a Spanish artist best known for producing psychedelic rock posters, underground comix, and print ads in San Francisco. In 1966, Moscoso started his own company, Neon Rose, and created his own poster series that became some of the most recognizable images of the psychedelic era. The Victor Moscosco font is a tribute to these posters’ iconic letterforms.


Screenshot: Da Font.




17. Bad Acid


Designed by The Scriptorium, Bad Acid takes its inspiration from Rick Griffin, an American artist and one of the most famous psychedelic designers of the 1960s. Griffin drew on influences ranging from Native American culture to the California surf scene, and he’s best known for designing posters and album covers for the Grateful Dead. That makes this font a great choice for brands and logos with a 1960s rock vibe.


Screenshot: 1001 Free Fonts.



18. Mojo


Created by Jim Parkinson for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1960s, this font is a true relic of the psychedelic era. The style was strongly influenced by the Viennese designer Alfred Roller, a prominent figure in the Viennese Secession movement. This font was used widely in the 1960s by poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, and Wes Wilson. Evocative of the decade’s classic rock, this typeface is best used in large display sizes on print posters and signs, on invitations and flyers, and for band and music logos.


Screenshot: Linotype.



19. Glassure

Glassure is an experimental typeface by Halfmoon Type marked by a whimsical combination of smooth and wavy lines. The design mimics the pull and curl of the glass sculpture making process. Its unpredictable curves are a visual delight and are evocative of marbled colors and blown glass. This typeface prioritizes creative design over readability, so it’s best used for logos and other large-scale type design.


Screenshot: Creative Market.



20. Shrikhand


This psychedelic font, available in both Latin and Gujarati characters, is named after a thick, creamy Gujarati dessert. Designer Jonny Pinhorn lived in Ahmedabad in the Indian state of Gujarat and worked for Indian Type Foundry, which heavily influenced his own design philosophy. This font is inspired by the colorful, hand-painted lettering on the streets of Gujarat, and its Latin characters are an homage to the curvature of the Gujarati script. Its rounded lines and bold, hand-drawn style make it a great choice for vintage and retro brands.


Screenshot: Google Fonts.

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