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Pre-talk Experiments

Wake up and Smell the Fonts, a Type Tasting session with Sarah Hyndman at Shoreditch House for the D&AD Festival Fringe

It was exciting to be a part of the D&AD Festival Fringe at Shoreditch House on the 26th April. We filled the exclusive private club’s Library with games and experiments involving typography and all the senses. This was followed by a talk and a lively Q&A session and everybody went home with a pile of Monotype goodies. A preview of results from one of the experiments were published in The Times newspaper.

“Tasting, smelling, listening to and even saying type! Mind blowing workshop from Sarah Hyndman #mindblown” Micklegate Design via Twitter.

“So interesting, so brilliantly delivered and such a clever structure. It was fabulous. My festival highlight.” Ruth Yearley, Partner. Director Of Insight & Strategy, Ketchum.

VBAT posted a fantastic write up of the D&AD Festival on their blog, read the full blog post here.

Extract from ‘Exploring the D&AD Festival 2017’
Blog post by Graham Sturt, Creative Director at VBAT

My second day at the festival started early with a visit to one of it’s Fringe Events — ‘Wake Up and Smell the Fonts: Type Tasting with Sarah Hyndman’. Offsite from the main festival, it was held in the library of Shoreditch House, a member’s club with a rooftop pool and refreshing ‘no suits’ policy in a converted East London warehouse. Arriving well before the rush of other participants I took a seat at the front and got comfortable while Sarah prepared for the session.

Sarah Hyndman is a graphic designer, writer and public speaker known for her interest in the psychology of type, whose area of expertise is multi sensory typography. Sarah is the founder of the highly innovative Type Tasting studio; and her mission is to change the way we think and talk about typography through her writing, typography workshops and events. Author of two books on typography: Why Fonts Matter and How to Draw Type and Influence People much of Sarah’s work is focused on research into typography and perception. To this end she has worked on several collaborative studies over the last 4 years with the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at University of Oxford.


Typographic games, photo by Graham Sturt.

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Vinyl Type: Guess the music genre
We took the Type Tasting record collection along to Letterform Live’s ‘Vinyl’ night with Grafik and Monotype. The record player and vinyl records were set up in the bar as a fun game to play before and after the talks. We invited the audience to guess the music genre from the typeface on the record label, and then to play the record to find out whether they were right. Best played with lashings of beer.

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typetasting_2©AliNeilly

Are we really that influenced by typography? Type specialist Sarah Hyndman seems to think so! And it looks like she made converts out of our students following her talk at Shillington. We had the unique opportunity of being part of Sarah’s ongoing psychological research for Oxford University, and through a series of sensory experiments we all learned a little bit more about both typography and ourselves.

The best experiments involve jellybeans, a lesson Sarah Hyndman was about to reveal. We were privileged to be a part of Sarah’s type tasting experiment, tasting chocolate, jellybeans and smelling fragrances while looking at different fonts to see if they affected our experiences. Our results will become part of the data for the Cross-modal Research Laboratory at Oxford University who are studying how different senses interact.

Read Kate Allen’s full review of Sarah’s talk here.

typetasting_1©AliNeilly

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