How Type Can Tell the History of Your City
A London designer leads a tour of her neighborhood signage
By Ellen Himelfarb for AIGA’s Eye on Design.
**BOOK HERE for the final two Dalston Type Safaris taking place this year**
“On a recent Tuesday evening, I followed Sarah Hyndman around Dalston, one of London’s most creative and fast-gentrifying neighborhoods. Her so-called Dalston Type Safari hadn’t sounded like the most exotic endeavor, to this local, at least. It resembled a safari insofar as we roamed among native creatures, some growling to themselves, and kept alert for dangerous beasts of the wheeled variety.
“Yet Hyndman, author of Why Fonts Matter and an expert on the psychology of typefaces, came armed with vast amounts of wisdom (and a tote stuffed with gummy treats, popcorn, and hand-pressed postcards, lending it all a staycation vibe). I think we all came away as enlightened as if we’d been abroad and back.”
In celebration of the official launch of Why Fonts Matter in the US today: The Financial Times reported on London’s lettering, giving Dalston Type Safaris a good mention. “Graphic designer Sarah Hyndman is on a mission to make typography more appealing.”
Would you like to learn about type/fonts the Type Tasting way?
The Type Tasting approach takes the viewpoint of the type consumer and explores fonts through experiences and observations from everyday life. The e-learners will feature questions and challenges throughout and at the end there will be a short test which you can submit to have marked. Those who pass will receive a certificate and a virtual button to wear on their website or Facebook page with pride. These are aimed at curious font consumers, no prior typography experience is needed.
Titles in this series of e-learners are planned for later in the year. Each will guide you through learning about an area of type and you can vote for the first titles to be published. Choose which ones you would like when you register your interest*, and the most popular will be the first launched:
*There is no obligation to buy when you register your interest.
The studio is ready for a day of Dalston Type Safaris and tastings tomorrow. From letter hunts to font fortunes, jellied eels to miracle fish, font profiling to typographic gobstoppers.
I was invited over to the London Live TV studios yesterday for a live interview with Claudia-Liza Armah about fonts, type consumers and what the signage reveals about Dalston on a Type Safari. The TV channel is based in Northcliffe House, a building in West London with a huge, bright atrium and a glass elevator vanishing up towards the glass ceiling.
Secrets of Dalston revealed on a Type Safari
The next Dalston Type Safari is on Thursday June 25th. We found some hidden secrets on the last walking tour, what signage discoveries will we make on the next one?
Update. There are no Type Safaris departing this year as Sarah focuses on new and exciting projects. If you would like to arrange a private tour for your company please get in touch with sarah(a)typetasting.com.
What does signage along a high street reveal about an area? What assumptions do you make that influence your choices? Will you take up the letter hunt challenge? (No prior experience needed, ideal for all).
Above is Club Labrynth by Sam Roberts from Ghostsigns who came along to Sunday’s Dalston Type Safari. He explains that “For me, Club Labrynth is the earliest memory I have of Dalston as a destination. Back in the mid-1990s it was the weekly hardcore/jungle night at the legendary Four Aces nightclub… The provocation of memory was an unexpected aspect of the Type Safari, and there were other long-term Hackney residents on the walk sharing their own recollections.”