Depending on when you were born, grunge may or may not have been familiar to you. But those who grew up surrounded by this subculture were the kids and teens who used to listen to Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Nirvana. They probably wore flannel shirts and combat boots. And you probably know them collectively as: Generation X.
What exactly is grunge?
The word ‘grunge’ was a term used for something repugnant or dirty. In the early 80s, a growing number of bands in Seattle were mixing some elements of metal and punk in their sounds. But as they were just beginning, they didn’t have money to ‘clean’ their recording.
Deciding to leave it as is and just turn up the volume during performances, ‘grunge’ was the term given to their ‘unclean’ sounds that consisted mostly of distorted electric guitar, heavy bass, and drums. Aside from Nirvana and Pearl Jam, other well-known bands of that time included: Soundgarden, the Melvins, Green River, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney, and The U-Men.
Grunge in today’s culture
The deep, anguished lyrics have inspired musicians to remain true and authentic to their sounds. Nowadays, bands and solo artists all take inspiration from the generation that promoted non-conformation, rebellion, and independence. Thanks to grunge, people who feel misunderstood or broken will have something they can relate with.
Fashion was another industry where grunge had plenty of impact. In the 80s and 90s, fans of the bands donned whatever their favorite singers did. Hence, the Mohawks, chains, ripped or cut-off denims, studded belts, and the combat boots.
Graphic design during the grunge generation intentionally used ‘lo-fi’ (low fidelity) images and elements. For album covers though, this was more of a necessity rather than to make a statement. Still, the ‘look’ caught on and soon, designers were using distressed lettering along with collages, and murky photos. Pretty much anything that looked intentionally ‘disharmonious’ or chaotic.
Iconic Grunge Fonts
Whether you grew up in the 80s or not, there’s no doubt that the underground culture then produced some of the best music, fashion, and fiction people still enjoy today. And on that note, here are some cool grunge fonts to add to your collection.
1. Alpha Rough
Inspired by vintage styles, this handmade font from Maghrib features rough textures and uneven lines for that effortless hand-drawn effect. Includes 42 silhouette objects to make your finished product unforgettable.
2. Autogate Stamp
Embrace the past in this rustic and rough script by Letterhend. With stylistic alternates, ligatures, and multilingual support, it’s a timeless addition to any toolkit.
Hand-drawn using cut Coke cans, this font oozes personality with every letter. Pack contains texture brush pack in PNG for creating badass logos, headers, posters, etc.
4. Black Ground
This all-caps font with uneven lines and edges will give a rugged vibe wherever it’s applied. Access all Glyph variations using Adobe apps or Corel Draw.
Three fonts (vector lettering in AI), 32 transparent PNG shapes, and 24 hi-res grunge textures: all these brought to you by Cruzine.
6. Ocela Typeface
Featuring 4 vintage styles – Regular, Grunge, Inline, and Inline Grunge – this old-school typeface is what you need to create stunning headers, titles, postcards, posters, and more.
7. New York Font
Whether you’re making an image quote or a children’s book cover, you will love the style of this modern script by Vuuuds. Includes alternate glyphs and beautiful extras!
9. Blocklyn Font Family
More than a masculine font, this font family by Design Panoply is big, bold, and badass. With 4 styles to choose from plus two 3000 x 2000 pixel PSD mockup templates, you can easily deploy them in industrial, musical, food, or sports themes.
If you need something big that will quickly draw attention, then you’re going to need this set that includes a whopping 18 custom display fonts!
Rock to your own rhythm when you use this bold brush typeface by Rahardi Creative. With standard glyphs and ligatures, your posters, t-shirt designs, and invitations will surely stand out from the crowd.
12. Bhavers Typeface
A little faded to give you genuine vintage feels, this condensed typeface by Ilham Herry is handmade to fit any project you have in mind. With BONUS badges you can edit, this font pairs well with other lettering for more flexibility.
13. Rocknroll Font
This is for those who rock harder than anyone else – introducing Cruzine’s custom font in 3 versions: Subtle, Medium, and Hard.
14. Highbinder Display Font
Inspired by prohibitionist era typography, Vintage Type Company gives you a display font perfect for logos, posters, titles, headers, mock-ups, and more. With a BONUS vector object pack, you’ll feel like a high roller yourself once you’ve made the purchase.
15. Quipley Font
More than a textured typeface for music album covers and band shirts, this all-caps sans from Jamie Bartlett will also look amazing on children’s book covers, cafe logos, and motivational posters.
16. Neato Serif Rough Fonts
Quirky, playful, and textured, Adam Ladd brings to you this hand-drawn serif with a charming letterpress style. With stylistic alternates, swash characters, as well as standard and discretionary ligatures, it’s going to be great addition in your toolkit.
Tugcu Design Co. presents this brush font you can use in sports, urban, industrial, and thriller themes. See the alternate versions of some of the characters by toggling the Caps Lock.
Create the perfect rustic vibes using this gem from Medialoot. Available in 3 styles – Clean, Rough, and Rough Shadow – its subtle serifs and angled crossbars will blend seamlessly into your works.
19. Bold Riley Font
20. Handters Typeface
This display serif with a practical ornament pack will suit either timeless, vintage projects or modern, light-hearted themes.
21. The National
Hustle Supply Co. gives you this ultra condensed type family featuring Clean, Aged, and Oblique styles, for a total of 12 fonts you can show off in branding, advertising, or packaging designs.
22. Heubeul Vintage Typeface
With just the right texture to give off a handcrafted, fresh appeal, this highly detailed font by Wandery Supply contains Rough and Vintage versions for logos, posters, t-shirts, etc.
23. Kicking Horse
This product from Greg Nicholls features a total of 4 styles you can mix and match, or use on their own. With rounded edges and a classic, weathered look, you’ll be using these slab serifs for years to come.
24. Fierce Font SVG
Created with acrylic paint on transparency film for a level of detail you just can’t get anywhere else, this brush script caters to the rebellious, punk in you that’s been waiting to paint the town red.
25. Stencil Grunge Font
For when you need the perfect badass font for military, industrial, or graffiti purposes, this stencil grunge font by Pashabo would be your new go-to. Pack includes 6 high-resolution grunge textures, plus letters in TTF, EPS, and PNG versions.