Archive

Why Fonts Matter

Design student typographic survival kit

Here is some advice for students starting a new term on how fonts can help your studies, from Sarah Hyndman’s book Why Fonts Matter.

1. Use fonts to give your words a personality

Helvetica, Times New Roman and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The barman turns to Comic Sans and says ‘sorry we don’t serve your type in here’.

This familiar joke demonstrates that fonts have personalities that we recognise easily. Some are unassuming, whilst others are larger-than-life like Mike Lacher’s version of Comic Sans, who says, ‘People love me. Why? Because I’m fun. I’m the life of the party’, then goes out and gets drunk with Papyrus.

2. A font could make you appear more intelligent

When student Phil Renaud was nearing the end of his third year at university he noticed that his grade average had improved. He wondered why, since he did not think he was putting any more effort into studying or writing. He realised that the one thing that had changed over time was his choice of font, and so he looked back at the 52 essays he had submitted and compared the grades and typefaces. He found that when he used Georgia his grade average was A, with Times New Roman it was A-minus, whilst the essays written in Trebuchet only averaged B-minus.

3. Change the font to improve your memory

An unfamiliar typeface slows our reading down and makes us pay attention, which takes us off autopilot and our brain invests greater time and attention in what we are reading. A high school in Ohio discovered that when students studied from texts in an unfamiliar font, their exam results were higher than those who had been given the books in a more familiar and readable one. Try switching your notes into a difficult-to-read font when you are trying to memorise them.

4. Use a font to make a difficult task seem easier

Psychologists at the University of Michigan ran an experiment to see if they could motivate a group of 20-year-old college students to exercise by giving them instructions for an exercise routine printed in one of two typefaces. They found that those who read the instructions in Arial, the easy-to-read typeface, estimated the exercise routine would take around half the time to do, and said they would be more likely to incorporate it into their daily routine than those who read the instructions in Mistral, a hard-to-read font. The participants misread the ease of reading the instructions for the ease of actually doing the exercises.

When you are working on a topic you find difficult, try selecting an easy-to-read font while you work, like copywriter Michael Everett who creates his invoices in Century Gothic because this makes the task seem less of a chore.

5. Avoid font faux pas

Select the ‘wrong’ typeface and you can unwittingly commit a font faux pas with the potential to overshadow, or even undermine, the credibility of your message. In 2012 CERN announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, or ‘God’ particle. This was a momentous scientific event but, within hours of the news, “Comic Sans”, the font in which the announcement was made, was trending higher on Twitter than the discovery itself. It became a major talking point that such an important scientific breakthrough should be announced in a style inspired by comic books.

Find out more in Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman, Penguin/Random House.

Win a student survival kit

Head over to Type Tasting on Instagram to win a design student survival kit containing a signed copy of Why Fonts Matter and essential goodies including a typographic tea towel, sketchbook and stickers to tag your belongings. September 2017.

I would like to invite you to join me on Sunday 2nd July for a drink and to look through development sketches and final drawings created for my recent book ‘How to Draw Type and Influence People’. This is also an opportunity to talk to me about the workshops and events that I host, along with my research adventures (including the collaborative ‘Jelly bean’ study that has just been submitted with Professor Charles Spence, University of Oxford).

There will be a studio sale of screen prints, postcards and pictures from earlier stages of my career, these will be offered at specially discounted prices and are not available anywhere else.

The open day will take place on Sunday 2nd July from midday until 6pm in Studio F7, The Chocolate Factory N16, Farleigh Place, Stoke Newington, London, N16 7SX. I would be grateful if you would RSVP to sarah(a)typetasting.com. Other studios will be open for you to browse around and talk to the artists.

Read More

“If you see a “danger” sign written in the Comic Sans typeface, would you pay attention to the warning? What does Times New Roman taste like? Is a lemon fast or slow?” Paul Bignell for i Newspaper.

“These questions probably haven’t crossed your mind – indeed, they may make no sense at all. But in the studio of typographic artist Sarah Hyndman, they are vital. Here, art prints mingle with old bottles plastered with labels that say “Eat Me” in an elaborate font. It’s a cross between a science lab, a trendy artists’ hub and an old curiosity shoppe. There are Helvetica water biscuits in jars (I’m told not to eat them as they are well past their sell-by date), 1950s Coca-Cola bottles in a display case and a rack of test tubes with a strange-looking pink liquid at the bottom.”

“Stealth health – it’s all in the font Hyndman understands that you couldn’t convince chocolate manufacturers to change how they work. However, through the power of fonts, she believes there is scope for approaching the healthier end of the food market by stealth, by giving these companies the same tools as those that sell unhealthy products.”

Read the extended online i Newspaper article here…

Archik Siya, Why Fonts MatterShashital Tejusvin, Why Fonts MatterKoshe Prajakta, Why Fonts Matter

Font of Coincidence
This is a story of my trip to teach in India. While I was there I met up with family of friends and discovered, to my surprise, that my book cover had been redesigned by a whole class of students for their typography exam that week.

“The task for our exam was to design the cover for a book called Why Fonts Matter using typography. As I started scribbling out my roughs I thought about what typography is and what it can achieve; every font is different and makes you feel a distinct emotion or connects with you in a certain way.” 

Words by Siya Archik, a second year graphic design student in Mumbai.

I have been studying design for two years and my course is different, unique, insanely creative and fun. But along with the fun comes a lot of hard work; hours and days of work created by hand. We put a great deal of thought into every idea that we execute—to make the final product as attractive and innovative as possible. I chose this course of study because creativity has no boundaries; it is something that lets you express your thoughts and emotions in infinitely creative ways and on any surface.

In our course we study calligraphy & typography; anatomy; packaging, information design and communication design. Each is distinctive in its own way, but all revolve around the same design principles. For the first two years we do everything by hand—from rendering large posters to reproducing the text in a newspaper at actual size, carefully hand-drawing every letter so it is perfect.

Coca Cola design by Siya Archik
Design for a Coca Cola can by Siya Archik.

Our typography assignments vary from kinetic typography to expressive typography and logo design. We research artists who have helped to expand the field of typography to increase our knowledge, and each assignment emphasises the importance of different fonts in our designs, without which they would mean nothing.

I think typography is important because it is required for anything and everything related to design. From creating logos to packaging, all require knowledge of different fonts and how to use them effectively, so as to make our designs stand out from the rest. This makes typography such an integral part of what we do as designers.

During our recent exam week a friend of my family in England, a typographer from London called Sarah Hyndman, came to visit as a guest lecturer at another design college in Mumbai. I was hoping to meet and talk to her about typography but was not sure whether I would have time because I was so busy taking exams.

Read More

It's Nice That Review of the Year

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017

It’s been quite a year. Thank you to all of you who have been a part of Type Tasting and joined in so enthusiastically. I’ve enjoyed meeting you, and I’m looking forward to the new events planned for next year. Instead of writing a summary of the year I would like to share the interview I recently gave It’s Nice That for their Review of the Year, because the great questions they ask frame the summary perfectly. Below are extracts or you can read the full interview here.

It’s Nice That Review of the Year 2016 
Graphic designer Sarah Hyndman. 

Words by Rebecca Fulleylove.

Our tenth interview for Review of the Year sees us chat to designer Sarah Hyndman about the incredible experiences she’s had this year and the work she continues to do with Type Tasting.

Designer and type champion Sarah Hyndman is on a mission to “prove that typography is fun and engaging for everyone”, and 2016 has seen her take major steps in making that idea a reality. Her work, which takes the form of books, workshops, talks and events, aims to “dispel the myth that type is a dusty subject for academics and experts” and “demonstrate the power of typography”.

What was your creative highlight of 2016?
“Going to Mumbai, India to teach 60 design students… At the end I could see first-hand how my unconventional approach to teaching typography really works.
”

Read More

 

wfm-offer

By Sarah Hyndman

Are you looking for a Christmas gift for the design savvy person in your life? Why Fonts Matter by Sarah Hyndman (Penguin/Random House) is a colourful journey through type and fonts ideal for both designers and non-designers. If you would like a gift tag signed by the author to accompany your present for that personalised touch, email sarah(a)typetasting.com a UK address and a message and this will be posted to you*.
Purchase a copy from Amazon UK

starstarstarstarstar
Fun” “Brilliant” “Inspiring” “Eye-candy” “Enlightening
Read all Amazon UK reviews.
It’s Nice ThatSunday Brunch, New York Times
A fascinating insight into how type can influence our feelings, our senses, and even our taste” Professor Charles Spence, University of Oxford.

Look inside Why Fonts Matter

You can also bring a copy of Why Fonts Matter to the Open Studios Weekend at the Chocolate Factory N16 in London in 26th & 27th November from 11am to 6pm. Find out more.

*Before 10th December.

Sarah Hyndman How to Draw Type and Influence People

Sarah Hyndman will be opening the doors of the Type Tasting studio at the Chocolate Factory N16 for Winter Open Studios Weekend on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November, when all the studios will be open. The studio will be crammed with all things typography and letter related, including prints, drawings and Christmas gifts. Sarah will talk about ‘Why Fonts Matter’ and give you an exclusive preview of the illustrations for her next book ‘How to Draw Type and Influence People’, to be published by Laurence King next year. Bring along a copy of a book if you would like it signed for somebody as a Christmas gift, and hear about the workshops and events such as Wine and Type Tasting evenings.

Open Studios Weekend
Type Tasting Studio F7
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November from 11am to 6pm
Chocolate Factory N16
Farleigh Place (off Farleigh Road)
London N16 7SX

Sarah Hyndman How to Draw Type and Influence People Sarah Hyndman How to Draw Type and Influence People

Are you buying a Christmas gift for the design savvy person in your life? The Chocolate Factory’s Sarah Hyndman will sign copies of her book Why Fonts Matter (Penguin/Random House) at Open Studios Weekend. Click here to read Amazon reviews and purchase a copy in advance.

Read More