Type Safari

Dalston Type Safari

Last chance to see this sign before the new tenants cover it over? Final 2016 Dalston Type Safaris departing 5th and 16th August booking now.

Signage is ever-changing as businesses come and go, areas transform, or fashions and tastes change. If you stand for a few moments in one place in a town or city and look around you will find that the letterforms on the signs combine to create a unique snapshot of the area that represents it at that specific moment in time. This is the fourth year that I have taken people on guided walks through Dalston and the one guarantee is that there will always be change. Sometimes a new sign appears and it is difficult to remember what was there before, other times I feel a heart-wrenching sadness when a favourite vanishes without warning. The Mockingbird sign was hand painted by Peter Hardwicke, but now all that remains of the letters are the slight raised edges as if embossed into the new layer of paint that now covers them.

Dalston Type Safari

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AIGA Eye on Design

How Type Can Tell the History of Your City
A London designer leads a tour of her neighborhood signage
By Ellen Himelfarb for AIGA’s Eye on Design.

**BOOK HERE for the final two Dalston Type Safaris taking place this year**

“On a recent Tuesday evening, I followed Sarah Hyndman around Dalston, one of London’s most creative and fast-gentrifying neighborhoods. Her so-called Dalston Type Safari hadn’t sounded like the most exotic endeavor, to this local, at least. It resembled a safari insofar as we roamed among native creatures, some growling to themselves, and kept alert for dangerous beasts of the wheeled variety.

“Yet Hyndman, author of Why Fonts Matter and an expert on the psychology of typefaces, came armed with vast amounts of wisdom (and a tote stuffed with gummy treats, popcorn, and hand-pressed postcards, lending it all a staycation vibe). I think we all came away as enlightened as if we’d been abroad and back.”

Read the full article…

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Dalston type safari photographingR

Take up the Type Safari Challenge and create a composition to reflect the area where you live.

We are surrounded by type and we use it to navigate our everyday lives. The letterforms we encounter as we walk down the high street influence our choices before we’ve even read the words. These also reveal a great deal about the the location, reflecting the social, economic and historical development of the area.

Take up the challenge and create your own composition, instructions are below.

Type Safari Gallery (click to enlarge)

Type Safari-Kawal Oberoi    BehJESNCUAAJ_ga

Kawal Oberoi (Delhi) / Karina Monger (Ilfracombe)

TypeSafari_Islington_Gabriella  Allyssa Syme2

Gabriella Kovacs (Islington, London) / Allyssa Syme (Islington, London)

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Take a walking tour of Dalston in East London with author Sarah Hyndman. See how the signage reveals that the area dates back to the 1800s with its own grand department store, pie & eel shop, Art Deco cinemas, a factory that sold paints to JMW Turner, and the market that inspired Eastenders.

Update. There are no Type Safaris departing this year as Sarah focuses on new and exciting projects. If you would like to arrange a private tour for your company please get in touch with sarah(a)

“Fabulous tour of Dalston… Exploring the urban fabric through type” Sarah Stewart, Londonist

“A unique & interesting way to ‘read’ the city.” Sophie Nellis

Find out more…

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Type Safari-Kawal Oberoi

Kawal Oberoi takes us on a Type Safari in Delhi
“The Quote I chose for Type Safari is “Dil Walon Ki Delhi” (English Translation—City Of People with big hearts—Delhi) which is a expression used for magnanimous spirit of Delhites. To letter this quote in Delhi’s Typographic DNA, I wanted to capture alphabets from signage of local restaurants, cinemas, old shops and public centres that are doing well despite globalisation. A weekend trip around the city got me lettering gems like the logo of Paras Cinema, which exists despite Multiplex cinemas attracting most of the audience. The flavours of Old Delhi—Karims, Pind Baluchi, Dhabas, the firework shops of Old Delhi, the tailor shops that exist from colonial times, the truck stands, the hand lettered exteriors of Herbal Medicine Tents and much more.” Kawal Oberoi 

Take up the Type Safari challenge
The combinations of type found on signage reveal a great deal about a city, town or specific area. They reflect the social, economic and historical development of the area and create their own, unique typographic DNA. Take up the challenge yourself and create a composition that reflects the area you live in.

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