Just like fashion and architecture, design goes through trends. Technology plays a part in that. For example, when Photoshop first introduced the ability to create drop shadows and other more frivolous effects, including psychedelic twirls, some designers used those effects heavily.
Designers now tend to use those effects with more subtlety and, we like to think, sophistication. Font usage can also date a design. There are some beautiful fonts that, because of their uniqueness, speak of a certain era. I can see why trends keep coming back, because it is hard to resist using some of these fonts just because they remind us of an earlier time.
But sometimes it’s possible to break the rules. I just finished a technical sales sheet, and managed to get away with using an older font (Bauhaus) by using it mostly in the headers. It works because it is similar to the font used for the company’s logo.
I love it when it works to break the rules, and if we can do it often enough, maybe we’ll help bring back that font’s popularity!