How to draw type and Influence People, and why this matters
By Sarah Hyndman
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Join us for the book launch at Tate Modern on Friday 21st April from 6 to 8pm.
The new book by Type Tasting founder Sarah Hyndman is a hands-on activity book that invites you to completely immerse yourself in the world of fonts investigating and hacking them for yourself. Get creative as you learn about typefaces by exploring their shapes using pen and pencil, and do this in your own style so the book becomes uniquely your own. Think of this as life drawing with fonts.
I first fell in love with the shapes of words and letterforms as a child in a sweetshop. I would gaze at the styles and shapes that would literally bring the different flavour experiences to life; knowing which would fizz, melt-in-my-mouth, taste sour and then sweet, or pop explosively and noisily. I would spend hours drawing my own versions of sweet wrappers, and inventing fantastical letterforms that I would then stock in my toy sweet shop to sell to my brother and sister.
It’s one thing to read a description of a typeface; it’s an entirely different experience to pick up a pencil and explore the intricate shapes that make each font unique. In my Type Tasting workshops I find that drawing is an extremely effective way for people to learn about type styles, as I discovered when I was sketching sweet wrappers as a child. This is backed up by science, which shows that hand drawing on paper triggers more of our senses and this multiplies our ability to remember.
There is also a rich tradition of hand drawing type; graphic designers would carefully draw typographic layouts for typesetters to recreate and print before computers were commonplace in the design studio. Doing this gave them an in-depth understanding of the subtle differences between typefaces, and the confidence to work with a wide range of different styles.
My mission is to make typography fun and exciting for everybody, not just experts and academics. I think this is important because type is woven into our everyday lives, especially in today’s Information Age in which so much of the information we receive is what we read. Type styles reflect developments in technology, art movements, changing fashions, popular culture and can document the history of your own life—this is what makes type so exciting.
Whatever your level, from beginner to expert, I would like this book to inspire you to feel excited and more adventurous next time you scroll down the font menu on your computer.