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.
Typography is changing. Two decades dominated by sans serif typefaces are coming to an end, which type designer Charles Nix describes as “the waning end of a supertrend”. Are you (and your team) ready for this new and exciting typographic landscape?
It’s an exciting time to explore how type reflects culture right now. I was delighted to run online workshops recently with the inspiring type designers at international type foundry Monotype. This was such a brilliant opportunity for all of us to compare notes as we explored the themes and trends we’ve been seeing and chatted about what we think is coming next.
“I loved the event. I know we are trying to make do with the pandemic situation, but I truly feel like this event was even more impactful and inspirational with this format than being with a bunch of people in an auditorium. Sarah was amazing.”
I think that looking at what’s changing typographically reveals the wider cultural themes of what people care about today. After a year when so much has changed, what things really matter to you today? What do you really value and/or what no longer seems important?
Are you and your team ready for the new typographic landscape and the fast-paced changes that are happening?
How to spot and decode typography trends
You can spot the trends and themes for yourself by keeping a visual diary and by following the people who are talking about what’s happening. This is a great way to future proof your typographic skills in a time of fast-paced change that trends, foresight and strategy company The Future Laboratory call “the great acceleration”.
Think about what’s important to you, how might this have changed over the last year?
When you look at what’s happening in the world, how are cultural attitudes changing?
Take a look at the typographic landscape of the products and services you interact with today—can you see any styles or themes becoming prominent that you might not have seen a few years ago?
When you think about these in context of changing cultural attitudes, do you think there are any links?
Are there any companies or products that you think are doing this really well (or really badly)?
How can you incorporated what you’ve observed into your own design process?
Want to find out faster?
You can book a highly interactive online workshop wherever you are in the world. Your team will be prepared for this exciting new typographic landscape with the tools they need to make effective typography choices.
Decoding Type Trends (Semiotics) Masterclass
From £800 (education discounts are available). This is a live online workshop, which can be delivered anywhere in the world. Availability is limited.
Discover how to decode the typography of everyday products. What does it reveal about changing moods and attitudes? How does it motivate your decisions? How can you future-proof your typographic choices? With a formula for making typographic choices that you can use today and into the future.
Ideal for designers, communications and marketing teams, students.
Professional development typography masterclasses—not just for designers!
Invest in the professional development of your company with effective Zoom workshops that are engaging and fun with plenty of “aha!” moments.
Typography is the voice of your brand and it’s important for everybody in a company to understand some basics, not just graphic designers.
This is a series of Zoom masterclasses hosted by author, researcher and Type Tasting founder Sarah Hyndman. Sarah’s an expert in making learning fun and is on a mission to make typography exciting for everybody. Each masterclass focuses on an experiential area of typography with enlightening activities, engaging demonstrations and useful how-to guides. These are currently available as live Zoom sessions, which means you can join a masterclass from anywhere in the world.
Ideal for departments across the whole company, not just designers
These are interesting, inspiring and fun workshops with clear and empowering takeaways for people from all roles in a company. They’re ideal as a team-building session or to reinforce the importance of coherent use of language and fonts for your brand.
You can arrange a private session for your group or organisation, or come along as an individual to a public event. Private sessions are modified to suit the participants.
“Such a fun, interesting and inspiring workshop with clear and empowering takeaways. It reinforced the importance of coherent presentation of our brand for colleagues from all parts of our company, in all types of roles.” Nicky Borowiec, Springer Nature
An ampersand is an invitation to imagine what will come next. It is a continuation of a conversation or story, but without the context of knowing what went before you can choose where you would like it to go. When the symbol stands alone it is still communicating a huge amount of information from its form and its shapes; is it hand-written, is it old-fashioned and traditional, is it minimalist and modern? Every typeface tells a story independently of the words it spells out.
The ampersand is sometimes considered to be the 27th letter of the Latin alphabet. It comes from the letters ‘et’, Latin for ‘and’. It’s a character that there is wide affection for and it gives a glimpse of the personality of a typeface without committing to be a particular letter. The ampersand takes a wide range of shapes and forms, and it is the skill of the human brain that enables us to recognise that each of these still says ‘and’.
We absorb information through all of our senses simultaneously. This speeds up our ability to judge situations and react quickly and is fundamental to our ability to recognise signals and communicate. This played a vital role in human survival when our ancestors needed to respond to danger quickly, often relying on sound or smell when it was dark and a large proportion of our genes are still devoted to detecting odours.
Graphic designers and type consumers interact with typography in very different ways. Each is just as much of an expert in their own field of experience, but one interacts consciously and the other subconsciously.
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.
The psychology of deliberately making a font hard to read
A central intention of design today is to reduce cognitive load, the amount of effort the brain needs to understand something, so that communication and comprehension are quick and easy. So it was a bit surprising when a typeface specifically designed to be hard to read recently made headlines in the design world. Why would anyone purposefully make a font difficult to read, you might ask, when developments in printing technology and type design have strived for centuries to make words more, not less readable?