I’ve been chatting to artist friends recently who’re interested in psychogeography. I always assumed that psychotypography would be a similar field, just with type instead of geography. Searching hasn’t turned much up but I think psychotypography describes what I do pretty well so I think it should be a thing.
Since psychogeography describes the effect of a geographical location on the emotions and behaviour of individuals (Tate), then I propose that psychotypography describes the effect of the typographic environment on the emotions and behaviour of individuals.
I love that an early influence was the flâneur, or urban wanderer. I think my Dalston Type Safaris could be considered a flâneur’s ramble through lettering in the urban environment.
Who’s experimenting in this space?
I made a psychotypography website ready for some experiments, it’s very empty right now.
This is a question I’ve been asking recently. Thank you for all your great answers, keep them coming.
Maybe it’s “I want to use more trending fonts” or “I want to know what font rules I can break, so I can have fun with fonts” or even “My teacher wants a simple design that is typeset in Arial. Is there any way I could secretly drop in another font without them noticing?”.
I recognise many as problems I had earlier in my career, when I also shared your feelings of anxiety and frustration.
By sharing your problems you’re joining me in my mission to change the way we think and talk about typography by making it exciting for everybody. Let’s all go from “overwhelmed” to “empowered”.
I’ll pick one a week to answer. You’ll also be helping me to make sure my books and workshops are really useful for you.
These are some of the problems you’ve written to me about, how many of them resonate with you?
“Finding the right fonts for client’s websites” • “I want to use more trending fonts” • “My teacher wants a simple design that is typeset in Arial. Is there any way I could secretly drop in another better font without them noticing?” • “How to choose the best font” • “I love fonts, but never know when to use serif or non-serif ones—what should guide this decision?” • “I’m struggling to find a consistent font theme for my sector” • “I can’t decide” • “I want to know what font rules I can break, so I can have fun with fonts”.
How these make you feel
“Screaming” • “Disoriented” • “Old fashioned and stuck” • “Overwhelmed about how to start” • “Frustrated” • “Unsure” • “Frustrated, apprehensive (did I get it right?) & unconfident” • “Anxious that the font we select may not resonate” • “Frustrated” • “Curious”.
How you would like to feel about choosing typefaces?
“Happy” • “Relaxed” • “Free” • “Successful and able to more clearly communicate” • “Really happy” • “Empowered & confident (& thus relaxed!)” • “A lot more confident” • “Empowered” • “Joyous”.
Are you a culturally curious lover of letters, do you scroll through a font menu as part of your work? What typography problem can I solve for you?
It doesn’t matter whether it feels silly (I promise it won’t be). Maybe it’s “I want to know how to use those new trippy type trends, but I don’t want to get it wrong” or “I want to choose more adventurous fonts, but I don’t know where to start” or “I want to understand how type links to culture”.
Tell me what your problem is so I can work out how to solve it. Click on the link that best describes you and answer three quick questions:
Thank you! You’re shaping the future of Type Tasting. Your name will be credited in the sequel to Why Fonts Matter, I’ll also share my suggested solutions with you (the typography problems will be kept anonymous).
Introducing your children to the fantastical world of fonts will give them a head start towards a future career in the creative industries.
My 11-year-old nephew Eddie was excited to see me last Christmas because he wanted to talk about fonts. He’d started to learn about the topic at school and had lots of brilliant questions like “why are there so many?” The two of us have been hatching plans to create a book together and I’ve also been asking lots of other children what they think. My initial proposal had been rejected by a number of mainstream children’s publishers—the main feedback is that “children aren’t interested in fonts”. I disagree with this because the children I’ve spoken to are very interested in the topic. In response, I’m publishing these books as part of the new Type Tasting Books venture. This is how I published my first book ‘The Type Taster’, which is now published by Penguin/Random House as the bestselling ‘Why Fonts Matter’.
With the release of her two new books, Design Week speaks to the graphic designer about our annotated world, crossing over into science and why she wants everyone to have the confidence to talk about type.
When Design Week catches up with Sarah Hyndman, she’s just coming to the end of a week’s stint at this year’s Adobe Max in LA. There, she has designed a multisensory installation in which she asks participants to associate the smell, sound, taste and feel of five different typefaces.
This is the third and final instalment reviewing Type Tasting in 2017: judging, the Type Tasting pop-up lab, publications and interviews.
Type Tasting founder Sarah Hyndman has continued her mission to make typography relevant and engaging beyond the world of design, and continues to work on proof-of-concept ideas to show that design can create positive change. She has judged design awards, the Type Tasting pop-up lab has continued to gather data, both her latest book and a new collaborative study have been published and she has appeared in interviews from The Times to Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.
This is the second instalment reviewing Type Tasting in 2017: corporate workshops, sponsored workshops and drop-in events (read part 3 here).
This year Type Tasting founder Sarah Hyndman has created workshops and events for a range of dynamic and innovative clients. Workshops have taken place at adidas HQ in Germany, for Design Thinkers in Toronto and at Tate Modern. Sessions have been created to launch the new BumbleBizz app with a workshop for entrepreneurs, as a teambuilding ‘Fight Club’ evening at WGSN, at the Wellcome Collection and for the D&AD.
This is the first instalment of a review of 2017—a busy and exciting year in which Type Tasting has popped up in prestigious locations both in the UK and abroad (read part 2 here).
Type Tasting founder Sarah Hyndman is on a mission to make typography relevant and engaging for all, she also believes that design can create positive change. Sarah specialises in making a complex topic accessible with originality, humour, a dash of theatre and lashings of audience participation. This year she has spoken at the launch of a new watch, a fragrance conference, she has been interviewed by The Times and on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. She has created an immersive exhibition for the British Academy, and run workshops for adidas, BumbleBizz, Wellcome and WGSN. The Type Tasting pop-up lab also gathered data for the latest collaborative study with the team from the University of Oxford, and her latest book was published.