Typography is exciting because it plays an integral role in almost everything we do. However these are not just the serious and the intellectual things in our lives, they are also the everyday things we take for granted or the fun activities that entertain us. Here are some of the recent topics I’ve written about including the personalities of ampersands, the voices of street signs, the taste of sensory type & the surprise of influence.
“With ample survey research, Sarah Hyndman proves that typefaces influence us in surprising ways.” Just Your Type by Sarah Hyndman for Communication Arts magazine March/April 2016
“Lettering and typefaces combine to give a street its own individual dialect.” Sarah Hyndman on How to love fonts in The Big Issue, 25th January
“An ampersand is an invitation to imagine what will come next. It is a continuation of a conversation or story.” Sarah Hyndman takes a closer look at the ampersand in all its shapes and sizes and how each character embodies the personality of its typeface in a single glyph. Magpie magazine May 2016.
In a world that’s becoming increasingly visually dominant, Sarah Hyndman suggests that it’s more important than ever before to consider design as an immersive, fully multisensory discipline. Computer Arts, March 2016 (20th anniversary edition)
“I never thought a book on Typography would make me laugh so much” Caryl Jones
“This is a fun romp through the world of typography—its evolution and application in today’s visual world that will make you think and make you laugh. This hugely enjoyable book is engaging, insightful and entertaining. Highly recommended” Caryl Jones, Communications consultant.
“This book is great! It’s an easy read which will go down a treat with designers and enthusiasts” Geraldine Marshall, Type Talk coordinator & member of the typographic hub, BCU.
“I really enjoyed that and learned a lot” Vinita Nawathe, Public policy analyst.
“Fantastic. Very clever” Sarah’s Mum
‘The Type Taster: How Fonts Influence You’ by Sarah Hyndman is not available in the shops, click here to buy a copy.
‘Typeface at the Rock Face’
By Sarah Hyndman
Originally published in Artrocker Magazine issue 134
In our everyday lives we are surrounded by fonts and use them to navigate through our environment, understanding instinctively that they communicate a great deal of the information before we’ve even read the words. We choose typefaces to express our personal style or to demonstrate our allegiance to a philosophy, music style or band.
This is possible because there is such a diversity of font designs which have absorbed a multitude of references and intended messages during their centuries of development. Type we use today is influenced by everything from stone carving, handwritten manuscripts, the evolution of the printing industry and now the plethora of designs available online. When we look at type we don’t just see the words, we also see the letter shapes which—much like fashion or cars—are loaded with associations.
Typefaces absorb layers of references and designers continue to use them in a way that reinforce these to help them communicate their message. We all interpret these meanings readily, often on an instinctive level, and we’ve been learning to do this all our lives.
How Punk changed Graphic Design
Sarah Hyndman on Punk, which first exploded in the 1970s and, at the time, looked like youthful rebellion.
In actuality it was part of the Postmodernist movement which began as a reaction to the rigid restrictions of Modernism. Its DIY ethos encapsulated the anti-establishment mood of the mid 1970s, a time of political and social turbulence. The former British Empire was dissolving and a new era in British music, fashion and design was beginning.
Taking the stage to articulate the feelings of a dissatisfied generation calling for change were the Sex Pistols, who played their first gig in 1975 at St Martins College of Art. Their outrageous behaviour and contempt for established conventions announced the beginning of Punk. The DIY ethos and uncontrolled, home made style was revolutionary at the time and launched a new era in British music, fashion and design.
(A side-note from the author: Be more Punk, a call to action in 2016.)
Type Tasting has been touring the streets of Dalston exploring the signs that illuminate our social rituals, rummaging around in record shops* looking at type on album covers, and next year we’re off to take part in SXSW in Austin, Texas. Typography is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll. We’ll tell you more soon…
*Read the article in the next issue of Artrocker Magazine
Top 5 spots for a typographic day out in London
By Sarah Hyndman
1. London Transport Museum
This museum in Covent Garden is crammed with the informative typography that we have used every day for almost a century to navigate our way around the city. The buses and signage date from the 1920s to the present day and sit side by side, enabling us to compare the lettering and how it has changed over the years.
Photo ©TfL, from the London Transport Museum collection. http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk
2. Highgate Cemetery
The inscriptions on the gravestones in this beautiful North London cemetery give a view of London’s social history dating back to 1839, with many prominent figures buried there. The lettering to be seen ranges from ornate Victorian script to the typographic simplicity of Patrick Caulfield’s headstone (above). Tours are open to the public all year round.
Photo by Kath Tudball
Type Tasting newspaper now online
The Type Tasting newspaper documenting the submissions on display with the London Design Festival at the V&A is now online—complete with Ralph Steadman‘s inky letterpress print on the front cover.