Case study: One week typography course, Mumbai, India


By Sarah Hyndman

Client: Ecole Intuit Lab, Mumbai, India
Duration: One week
Participants: 60 year II and year III students
Read an interview with the students

A week long course for second and third year students at a graphic design institute in Mumbai.

The overarching theme for the week was to explore how typography creates an emotional connection by evoking mood, creating trust and conveying personality. The structure of each day included lectures, creative sessions, individual feedback, experiments and group discussions. Information was underpinned by scientific understanding and results of Type Tasting surveys and experiments.

The course culminated in a final project to design the packaging for a product created to indulge a mood. An invitation to deliver the monthly Master Talk provided an exciting opportunity to connect with the Mumbai design and typography community.

“Instructive and fun… Thank you for your professionalism and your teaching skills” Yan Garin, Director.
“It was awesome taking part in the experiments and listening to really cool theories”
“Opened my eyes up to the power of typography”
“Why isn’t typography always taught this way?”

A full report on the course coming soon, to be written by the students, see below for full course details.


Watch a 3 minute edit of the Master Talk given by Sarah Hyndman at the end of the week to industry leaders and students.

“Sarah it was wonderful session. Students will learn lot from your way of expressing types” Sarang Kulkarni, co-founder of Ek Type type foundry.

Read more case studies.

Course outline
One week Type Tasting typography course with Sarah Hyndman
The overarching theme for the week is to explore how typography can create an emotional connection by evoking mood. Participants consider the experience of the type consumer as they investigate the potential for type to communicate personality, create trust, feel more authentic, and how this is influenced by the context and the audience.

The structure of each day includes a lecture, exercises and demonstrations, creative sessions, individual feedback and group discussions. Information is underpinned by scientific knowledge and the results of Type Tasting research. Participants take part in experiments throughout the week and compare their responses to established results so that they are involved in the discovery process.

Day 1
The aim of the first day is to reframe participant’s’ idea of typography by showing that it is surprising, fun and woven into every aspect of their lives—not just confined to the design studio. Type is presented in a new and unexpected light with experiments and exercises that invite them to explore it viscerally and intuitively. Themes are introduced that will be revisited throughout the week, culminating in a final project.

Day 2
We experience the world with all of our senses, so it is vital for designers to design with the full sensory experience in mind. It has been proven that the more senses we engage the more authentic an experience feels, the more impact it has and the more memorable it is. The second day of the course is spent learning about the science of sensory type and revisiting type history through the medium of charcoal and sound.

Day 3
On the third day we explore in depth how we communicate by using typography, starting with the science of how the brain responds to type. We look at visual codes in more depth, and participants take part in experiments before comparing their responses with established results. Topics include trust and context; perception of cost; typeface personality from first impressions to what your choice of font might reveal about your personality.

Day 4
The day begins with a presentation of work that has used typography brilliantly. Participants are shown what the D&AD New Blood Awards experience is like from a judge’s point of view and discuss four projects in detail. We return to the main theme of the week and explore six moods in detail, one element at a time. The final creative project is to create the packaging for a product to indulge a mood. This is briefed in and the students begin by creating thumbnail sketches and initial ideas. They continue working for the afternoon, with individual feedback throughout.

Day 5 & Master Talk
Students complete their final projects by lunchtime with individual feedback as they work. The projects are displayed after lunch with a group discussion and feedback. The day culminates in a Master Talk for the whole college and the wider Mumbai typography and design community. The students organised pre-talk games and demonstrations and Sarah includes the student’s experiment results in her presentation.

Workshop leader
Sarah Hyndman is the founder of Type Tasting and the author of Why Fonts Matter. She is a graphic designer, educator, writer and regular public speaker who is known for her interest in the psychology of typography and is involved in ongoing research with the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford.

MA in Typo/Graphics (Distinction) from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts.
Tutor, Experimental Typography, London College of Communication, University of the Arts (2002–2008).
Director of design company With Relish (2003–2013).
D&AD workshop leader, bespoke Typography Lab.
D&AD judge (New Blood and Professional awards).
Author of Why Fonts Matter (Penguin/Random House) and How to Draw Type and Influence People (Laurence King).
Research published with the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford.
Public speaker on typography and perception, including South by Southwest (Austin, Texas), TYPO San Francisco, TEDx, radio and television.
International teaching includes the Ecole Intuit Lab in Mumbai, India.

Read about the week in the words of the students, watch the Master Talk (3 minute edit)

Also: TEDx, Nicer Tuesdays, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live.

Read: Wired ‘If You Love That Font So Much, Why Don’t You Date It?’, CNN ‘How fonts could help you find the perfect date’, Creative Review ‘A taste of type’, iPerception ‘The Taste of Typeface’.

Get in touch with sarah(a) to organise a typography course for your company or organisation.