I’m looking forward to bringing a glimpse of my typography lab experiments to It’s Nice That’s Nicer Tuesdays tomorrow evening. Come along ready to join in!
I was delighted to be invited on to Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch yesterday (Sunday 7th February) to talk about my new book Why Fonts Matter and play some classic Type Tasting games. It was a fast-paced and fun 9 minutes. The aim had been to show that typography can be fun and accessible; that it doesn’t always have to be an intellectual discussion, and from the feedback on Twitter we achieved this. I demonstrated how type tells us how expensive or calorific a product might be. I talked about Simon choosing a typeface for his restaurant menus to convey that the chef is skilful (and discovered that he has an aversion to italics). We had a quick look at the Type Dating Game, before Tim and Simon both chose a typeface card and read out their own personality analysis. We ended with font sniffing: pairing the smells to the shapes of typefaces, and I explained why most people give very similar answers.
Click here to play the Font Fortune personality analysis game yourself.
The Type Tasting props posing nicely with the Channel 4 logo in the background.
Yesterday I was invited to be one of the guests on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live to talk about how we respond to typefaces. I took along some of the games that had gone down so well at the Pop-up Type Tasting at the V&A for the London Design Festival the previous weekend. Above is actor Sophie Thompson playing the ‘Feel Me’ game matching what she can feel to one of the fonts shown, if you came along to the event last weekend you know exactly which font she’s feeling from the expression on her face!
It was such an interesting programme to be on. Sophie is delightful and a pleasure to listen to, and I was excited to meet Peter Bleksley who is one of the hunters on ‘Hunted’ with the most amazing voice. It seems that we would all love the challenge of being on the next series and going on the run in an attempt to evade capture for 28 days. Third guest Trevor Lyttleton founded a charity which works with the elderly and we had a great chat afterwards about the power of typefaces on packaging to trigger nostalgia and bring back memories.
Scroll down for links to listen to the show.
Typefaces from Sarah Hyndman‘s TEDx talk ‘Wake Up and Smell the Fonts’ (in order of appearance)
VAG rounded, Clarendon bold condensed, Tekton, Trajan, Impact, Engravers Gothic, Agincourt, Didot, Aesthetique, Times New Roman, Klute.
Star Wars in 15 fonts: Blackmoor, Orbit, Klute, Pneuma, Data Seventy, Chromium One, Bertram, Buffalo Gal, Slipstream, Shatter, Black Boton, Helvetica bold compressed, Forest Shaded, Klute, Creepy, F2FShpeetz, BangCom.
Thank you to Monotype.
Sarah Hyndman’s talk was a game-changer. In a tech-focused city, such as SF, designers are often asked to produce analytics for aesthetics they create. Clients will say, “You chose to use this typeface but what’s the data to back up the decision? Does type matter?” Sarah believes, and is proving quantitatively, that typeface choices do indeed matter and are largely influential in consumer behavior. She explores a lot of synesthesic topics in her research and workshops — presenting visual content to evoke an auditory or gustatory response. She builds on the work of cognitive neuroscientists and brings their questions and insights into a real-world lab of designer attendees.
I’m looking forward to an exciting couple of weeks in Austin, Texas leaving next week. I’m honoured to be presenting a short talk on Saturday March 14th and then I get to spend the rest of the time being curious and inspired by the unfolding themes and ideas, many of which will be influencing us tomorrow. It’s an amazing event to be a part of so I’m delighted to be going back and it’s going to be great to meet up with the friends I made last time.
Wake up and smell the fonts
Sarah shares with us a story of type and invites us to consider our emotional response to the printed word. Each font/typeface has a personality that influences our interpretation of the words we read by evoking our emotions and setting the scene. We all understand this instinctively but it happens on a subconscious level. Sarah shows us that conscious awareness of the emotional life of fonts can be entertaining and ultimately give us more control over the decisions we make.
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.
We are all type consumers and typefaces, or fonts, play a vital role in our everyday lives. They help us to navigate, they help us to make choices, they help us to shop, they keep us safe and sometimes they even play a game of sleight of hand. It is hugely important as the world involves that all of those involved in the future communication and technology understand the power of type.
“A brilliant #type talk. Loved your transformation from Times New Roman. True show it not say it.” Sandra Dartnell @mdh_sandra