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Angels to Demons: Blackletter Workshop

By Sarah Hyndman

Learn, socialise & create
Angels to Demons: Blackletter Workshop
Three hour workshop and talk
The workshop can be held at a venue of your choice, or up to 15 can be accommodated in the Type Tasting Studio, The Chocolate Factory, London N16 7SX.

Type Tasting Learn, socialise & create sessions take a typeface or type style and explore it in the context of popular culture and history to reveal the meanings beyond the letterforms.

Refuel your team’s creativity with hands-on letterform exploration as they roll up their sleeves for a fast paced and fun session away from the computer, experimenting with typography.

Explore the evolution of Blackletter typefaces from their first printed appearance in the Gutenberg Bible in the 1400s to their enduring popularity in music and fashion. Blackletter is a chameleon of a type style because its personality is transformed from the extremes of good to evil by the context it appears in; from the Bible, the masthead of a newspaper, a beer label, movie poster, record sleeve to Nazi propaganda. In this session you will look at the evolving history of Blackletter type and how it has absorbed so many associations, modern takes on the style, and also investigate your instinctive responses to the shapes of the letterforms. You will then roll your sleeves up for a hands-on creative session away from the computer sketching Blackletter letterforms as you experience how sound can alter your response to the forms. No previous experience necessary.

15 mins Mingle and relax whilst playing a couple of classic Type Tasting games.
45 mins Typographic rebellion talk by Sarah Hyndman.
90 mins Hands-on creative session exploring rebellious type and lettering.
30 mins Display work, finish with questions and a prize raffle.

Outcomes
• Enjoy a social and creative team building session in a relaxed, informal environment.
• Get away from the computer to explore a range of markmaking tools inventively and playfully. Research shows that writing and drawing by hand promotes creative idea generation and memory.
• Explore different type styles and letterforms, and how these can be used in an expressive way.
• This is a creative thinking refresher—a reminder of how to think creatively and on our feet without the preconceptions of the final outcome.

Interviews with Sarah Hyndman
Vetements, Brioni and Kanye Agree: It’s Gothic Time New York Times
Fashion’s favourite font The Times

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diary-typographicrebellion

By Sarah Hyndman

Learn, socialise & create
Typographic Rebellion Workshop
Three hour workshop and talk
The workshop can be held at a venue of your choice, or up to 15 can be accommodated in the Type Tasting Studio, The Chocolate Factory, London N16 7SX.

Type Tasting Learn, socialise & create sessions take a typeface or type style and explore it in the context of popular culture and history to reveal the meanings beyond the letterforms.

Refuel your team’s creativity with hands-on letterform exploration as they roll up their sleeves for a fast paced and fun session away from the computer, experimenting with typography.

Explore how typography can be used to give angst and rebellion a voice, and how you can use type to ensure that YOUR message is heard. You will learn from recent history how typefaces both articulate and document change, and what an important role they have played. From the anti-establishment angst of Punk, the placards of the miners’ strikes of the 1980s, the wine industry’s seismic shift through language and design, to the successful presidential campaigns in the USA.

15 mins Mingle and relax whilst playing a couple of classic Type Tasting games.
45 mins Typographic rebellion talk by Sarah Hyndman.
90 mins Hands-on creative session exploring rebellious type and lettering.
30 mins Display work, finish with questions and a prize raffle.

Outcomes
• Enjoy a social and creative team building session in a relaxed, informal environment.
• Get away from the computer to explore a range of markmaking tools inventively and playfully. Research shows that writing and drawing by hand promotes creative idea generation and memory.
• Explore different type styles and letterforms, and how these can be used in an expressive way.
• This is a creative thinking refresher—a reminder of how to think creatively and on our feet without the preconceptions of the final outcome.

Interviews with Sarah Hyndman
How to start a revolution with Comic Sans Dazed & Confused magazine interview
Punk was the anti-Helvetica Design Week interview
2016 is the new 1976 Sarah Hyndman
How Punk changed Graphic Design Sarah Hyndman

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dazed-burger

By Sarah Hyndman

I chatted to Louis Bradley of Dazed and Confused Magazine about typographic rebellion and how the ultimate way to rebel against the increasing ubiquity of the sans serif might be to use fonts that provoke a reaction like Comic Sans or Papyrus.

“How to start a revolution with Comic Sans. Could something as simple as font have been the catalyst for the spread of punk or behind Donald Trump’s win? We explore the hidden power of typeface”

The idea that something as simple as typeface can be an integral part of a protest movement might sound a bit far-fetched. But the role of fonts is just as important as actual words in communicating a message to the masses. It’s why you don’t ever stray too far away from Arial or Times New Roman on your CV – you don’t want to come across as too much of an avant-garde loose canon by opting for Lucida Handwriting or Bradley Hand. Or why you don’t commonly use curly script-like letters for your uni essays.

Sarah Hyndman creates workshops and events designed to teach the art of typography and deconstruct the power of design. The ‘Never Mind The Typography’ exhibition outlines how the angst and rebellion of punk was expressed in every fibre of the counterculture, even right down to the lettering. “When punk (and its typeface) arrived in the mid-70s, the design at that point in time was very traditional and old-fashioned, kind of nostalgic and backwards looking,” she explains. It was this reaction to the rigid restrictions of modernism that gave birth to a whole new movement in innovative design. Cast your mind back to the creator of the ransom note style and the Sex Pistols logo Jamie Reid, and the slick layered graphics on British Independent album sleeves created by Barney Bubbles, who also designed the logo for NME magazine. “With all of this comes the layering of meanings, layering of images, often lots of references and subtexts that were put in so you had to be in the know to understand the references. You know from that type style that the album is going to be in a certain rebellious underground – it’s going to have swearing in it, basically.”

Read the full article in Dazed…

Punk was the anti-Helvetica Design Week interview
2016 is the new 1976 Sarah Hyndman
How Punk changed Graphic Design Sarah Hyndman

Typography as the voice of change

By Sarah Hyndman

Find out how typography gave the angst and rebellion of Punk a voice, and how you can use fonts to ensure that YOUR message is heard. 

Punk changed graphic design¹. When it first exploded in the 1970s it appeared to be youthful rebellion. However, looking back we now consider it to be an important part of the Postmodernist movement, which began as a reaction to the rigid restrictions of Modernism. Punk’s DIY ethos encapsulated the anti-establishment mood of the mid 1970s: a time of ongoing economic hardship, with social fragmentation, an economy struggling to recover from a stock market crash, housing problems and increasing unemployment. This was a decade facing a clash of expectations as both the economy and society struggled to cope with the pace of change as the rose-tinted nostalgia of the past collided with a seemingly out-of-control vision of the future. Sound familiar?

Punk was an empowering time of do-it-yourself, when the message truly became the medium as everybody took up their scissors and glue to create zines, posters, flyers and record sleeves (this was pre-Mac). These were often mass produced on the photocopier in the local library and stapled together by hand—not designed and typeset by professionals. What made Punk’s voice stand out was its difference; it literally broke all the typesetting rules by cutting up the grid and throwing the words back down on the page in a haphazard chaos of styles.

Do you have a message that you want the World to listen to? It’s not just what you say, it’s also the way you say it that will create maximum impact and ensure that your message is heard. Context is key. In 2008 Obama’s presidential ‘Change’ campaign² looked so different to the political typographic landscape in the US at the time, that it literally embodied the theme of change. It did this while also conveying trust, confidence and experience, not idealistic rhetoric.

Craig Oldham documents the miners’ strikes of the 1980s “a historical movement of the working class people”. He shows how the placards distributed by the LCDTU trade union use distinct geometric forms that are “bold and direct in the sea of visual noise that is a mass demonstration”. These letterforms mirror the immediacy and anger of the miners’ hand-written placards, and they also give the miners a unified voice³.

Roboto, Google typeface Segoe, Microsoft typeface San Francisco, Apple typeface

The typography of social media and apps today is of corporate and minimalist sans serif typefaces* that, to the untrained eye, look very similar to each other (above), all contained within a structured grid. There are few opportunities to use type expressively, hence the rise of the emoji. Snapchat is a platform that enables you to customise your words (in any font you want, provided it’s Avenir), and their fleeting 10-second life span encourages a DIY approach that breaks them out of the homogeneity of the social networks.

A typeface gives your cause or movement a recognisable voice that inspires ideas, ensures your message is heard, and empowers your words to make a difference. Looking at the voices of change and rebellion in the context of history reveals the full impact they had at the time, and demonstrates how you can use a font as a catalyst for change.

Would you like to find out more?

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Design Week, sarah hyndman

Typographer and graphic designer Sarah Hyndman, author of Why Fonts Matter, will be giving a talk this month about the power of typefaces in the punk era, part of the current Graphics of Punk exhibition on at the Museum of Brands.

We speak to her about how punk democratised design, and why Snapchat is the modern-day equivalent.

Design Week: Why did you get involved in the Graphics of Punk exhibition?

Sarah Hyndman: Type charts social and historic change. The Museum of Brands is a place where you can see all these voices speaking through all of its products and packaging, which wouldn’t normally be shown in an exhibition because they’re not considered high design. My area of interest is how type is woven into the social fabric of our lives – it’s something that I’m on a mission to democratise.

DW: What will you be talking about in the Never Mind the Typography talk?

SH: It’s an hour-long, interactive talk. I’m going to start by looking at what Britain was like in the early, post-war 1970s – there were a lot of social conventions, and the graphic design community was still besotted by the formality of modernism and minimalism. The UK was also going through a recession and it was a massive time of change. Then punk appeared and completely broke the rule book. It was shocking compared to everything else that was happening.

I’ll look then at how punk gave people a voice. It wasn’t about the designers, or the establishment. This was before Apple Macs were around, so you couldn’t just print your own posters. You’d have to go to a typesetter, and the method would be expensive. Punks ignored all of that and found this really immediate way of disseminating their voices. Punk graphics and typography have become part of the everyday vernacular today, but it was very empowering at the time.

Read full article in Design Week…

Book a Typographic rebellion ‘Learn, socialise & create’ session
How to start a revolution with Comic Sans Dazed & Confused magazine interview
2016 is the new 1976 Sarah Hyndman
How Punk changed Graphic Design Sarah Hyndman

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 13.08.02

Vetements, Brioni and Kanye Agree: It’s Gothic Time
New York Times, August 9th
By Max Berlinger

“It’s been used for some of the most sacred texts in the Western world,” said Michael Bierut, a partner at the design firm Pentagram and a senior critic at the Yale School of Art. “At the same time, it’s used by biker gangs, street gangs, heavy-metal groups and death-metal groups. It seems like Satan has come to own it more than God.”

Thanks to its longevity, the typeface has accrued a wide range of cultural associations and the versatility to convey both a sense of reverential authority and rebellion. “I think there’s always that double edge, a duality that goes on in everything,” said Sarah Hyndman, the author of “Why Fonts Matter.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 13.07.41 Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 13.07.49

Read the full article.