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.
Defocusing, or taking a step back from her project-by-project gaze as a commercial graphic designer, prompted Sarah to question and reassess her future in the industry. As a result she set off on a completely new journey of typographic exploration, self-initiated projects and research which gave her career a new focus and a sense of fun.
Come and discover what a Type Tasting is and hear about some of the surprises and discoveries Sarah has made along the way. Her Font Census enables her to profile the personalities of fonts, and to ask whether designers and non-designers view typefaces in the same way? She starts conversations about the experience of typography by baking edible type and she regularly invites people to her East London studio to sniff fonts. Sarah will show how type evokes all of our senses, talk about working with scientists at Oxford University to research how type can alter our experiences, and give you a glimpse into why she sees the world as a typographic wonderland.
Main photo: John Aden Higgs
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.