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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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Case study: Design thinking with typography workshop

By Sarah Hyndman
Would like to arrange a workshop for your company?

“Opened my mind to using different fonts, and their potential to evoke a reaction” Paul, UX designer.

The Type Tasting studio was the venue for an intensive and energetic daylong workshop. The 16 participants come from the design and web teams of an online business; who have varying levels of design or typography experience and training.

Our initial discussions enabled us to tailor the workshop for the team’s specific needs:
1. Incorporate more experimental thinking at an early stage, instead of focusing on details too early.
2. Become more aware of the wider design world and explore how design touches everything.
3. Be led by design and ideas, not the process or the technology.

These are the key aspects they wished to take away:
1. Have a fun and inspiring day.
2. An appreciation of how design thinking can fundamentally change the way we approach a problem.
3. Make it a habit to go wide at the earlier stages of a project.

The team were great; they threw themselves into the day enthusiastically and excelled at the challenges. The creative sessions proved the most enjoyable as the charcoal flowed freely and the sketched thumbnail designs proliferated.

Psychology of typographyDesign Thinking workshop

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Teaching typography at the Ecole Intuit Lab Mumbai

Sarah Hyndman took Type Tasting to the Ecole Intuit Lab, a design college in Mumbai, India, where she spent a week teaching typography to sixty second and third year students. This is the experience of the week in the words of the students: Neha Godambe, Ruchi Mehta, Shruti Vidyanand, Tvesha Shah and Zahra Dhuliawala.

“The entire week was full of experiences that exposed us to the instinctive nature of humans to judge letterforms. We had an incredibly marvellous time, while actually learning so much more about type. My outlook towards type has changed. I have realised type has something more to say, and now I have started to use a lot more different typefaces.” 

Would like to arrange a Type Tasting course with Sarah Hyndman for your college or organisation?

What did you expect of the typography week?

ZD: ‘Type Tasting’ isn’t exactly a term you hear very often. The uncommonness of the term, however, was most definitely reflected in the week. Until the workshop I think, as a designer, I had seriously underestimated the power of type.

NG: I have always been intrigued by the mysterious ways in which type works. We thought learning about type by trial and error was a mammoth task as we didn’t really connect with it, but as the week passed by this misconception slowly changed.

NG: It turned out that I know a lot about type just based on my intuition and common sense. Even though the games we played were quick and based purely on our instincts, I found I subconsciously created a rationale that supported my answers. In the end it was all about tapping into the psychology of people.

What is unique about Sarah’s approach?

NG: What fascinated me was Sarah’s way of understanding and explaining type. It isn’t just about what type looks like; it is about how it makes you feel. We looked at type in ways that we had never considered before, and we felt it through all our senses.

TS: The week was filled with surprises. There were experiments done in class to see how much type talks to us, the results made it clear that type speaks to us in ways we do not consciously imagine.

ZD: We took part in a series of activities and games, relating to how type affects us psychologically—from associating it with different emotions, to smells and even food.

RM: Through design we learnt psychology and the way our brain and heart react with basic instincts to everything around us, and how every tiny detail influences all the decisions we make.

SV: The history of type was made, for the first time ever, interesting to a class of teenagers.

NG: Sarah has a unique and fun way of putting her point across, which is often through playing games.

Sarah Hyndman teaching typography at the Ecole Intuit Lab Mumbai
Sarah Hyndman teaching typography at the Ecole Intuit Lab Mumbai

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mumbai-slideshow

By Sarah Hyndman

Client: Ecole Intuit Lab, Mumbai, India
Duration: One week
Participants: 60 year II and year III students
Read an interview with the students

A week long course for second and third year students at a graphic design institute in Mumbai.

The overarching theme for the week was to explore how typography creates an emotional connection by evoking mood, creating trust and conveying personality. The structure of each day included lectures, creative sessions, individual feedback, experiments and group discussions. Information was underpinned by scientific understanding and results of Type Tasting surveys and experiments.

The course culminated in a final project to design the packaging for a product created to indulge a mood. An invitation to deliver the monthly Master Talk provided an exciting opportunity to connect with the Mumbai design and typography community.

Feedback
“Instructive and fun… Thank you for your professionalism and your teaching skills” Yan Garin, Director.
“It was awesome taking part in the experiments and listening to really cool theories”
“Opened my eyes up to the power of typography”
“Why isn’t typography always taught this way?”

A full report on the course coming soon, to be written by the students, see below for full course details.

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Watch a 3 minute edit of the Master Talk given by Sarah Hyndman at the end of the week to industry leaders and students.

“Sarah it was wonderful session. Students will learn lot from your way of expressing types” Sarang Kulkarni, co-founder of Ek Type type foundry.

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Type Tasting workshop slideshow

Case study: Type Tasting retreat
By Sarah Hyndman

Get in touch for prices and availability

This is a day-long session away from the computer designed to flex your team’s design thinking abilities as they investigate the user experience of typography, and its role as an essential design tool. This workshop combines a design thinking challenge, with hands-on typographic explorations, lashings of theory, and latest thinking in type perception for your team to take back to their desks.

This is an effective team building session that gives participants the freedom to learn and experiment away from client deadlines, and to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Exercises build on themes and drill down into detail giving your team the opportunity to put ideas into practice. Theory sessions are balanced with creative thinking, hands-on sketching and individual feedback.

Ideal for
Communication industries: designers, non-designers or a combination from different departments and teams. Entrepreneurs, type consumers (no experience needed).

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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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