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Wake up and Smell the Fonts, a Type Tasting session with Sarah Hyndman at Shoreditch House for the D&AD Festival Fringe

It was exciting to be a part of the D&AD Festival Fringe at Shoreditch House on the 26th April. We filled the exclusive private club’s Library with games and experiments involving typography and all the senses. This was followed by a talk and a lively Q&A session and everybody went home with a pile of Monotype goodies. A preview of results from one of the experiments were published in The Times newspaper.

“Tasting, smelling, listening to and even saying type! Mind blowing workshop from Sarah Hyndman #mindblown” Micklegate Design via Twitter.

“So interesting, so brilliantly delivered and such a clever structure. It was fabulous. My festival highlight.” Ruth Yearley, Partner. Director Of Insight & Strategy, Ketchum.

VBAT posted a fantastic write up of the D&AD Festival on their blog, read the full blog post here.

Extract from ‘Exploring the D&AD Festival 2017’
Blog post by Graham Sturt, Creative Director at VBAT

My second day at the festival started early with a visit to one of it’s Fringe Events — ‘Wake Up and Smell the Fonts: Type Tasting with Sarah Hyndman’. Offsite from the main festival, it was held in the library of Shoreditch House, a member’s club with a rooftop pool and refreshing ‘no suits’ policy in a converted East London warehouse. Arriving well before the rush of other participants I took a seat at the front and got comfortable while Sarah prepared for the session.

Sarah Hyndman is a graphic designer, writer and public speaker known for her interest in the psychology of type, whose area of expertise is multi sensory typography. Sarah is the founder of the highly innovative Type Tasting studio; and her mission is to change the way we think and talk about typography through her writing, typography workshops and events. Author of two books on typography: Why Fonts Matter and How to Draw Type and Influence People much of Sarah’s work is focused on research into typography and perception. To this end she has worked on several collaborative studies over the last 4 years with the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at University of Oxford.


Typographic games, photo by Graham Sturt.

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Join me in the Type Tasting studio for Open Studios this weekend

The Type Tasting studio is nestled on the edge of Dalston, East London, in an old Chocolate Factory with a pretty courtyard that feels like you’re no longer in London. You can find out more about Type Tasting, and get the inside scoop on the exciting events being planned with the London Design Festival later in the year (click here to see what we did last year). Take part in experiments and demonstrations in the studio, or talk about an idea you might have for an experiment. There is a sale on screen printed posters or you can book a place on the next Dalston Type Safari.

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“Walking into the Type Tasting studio was like walking into a mad scientist’s lab.” Robert Boick.

Open Studios Weekend
Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June
From 11am–6pm, free, no booking needed.

Chocolate Factory N16
Farleigh Place (off Farleigh Road)
London N16 7SX

“Brilliantly bizarre, seems like it could be plucked straight from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.” Rockett St George.

‘Thirteen Minutes with…’
Throughout the weekend the artists will be giving short talks and demonstrations.
Saturday 18th at 4pm: Thirteen Minutes with… Sarah Hyndman of Type Tasting in studio F7. Graphic Designer and Author. Sarah invites you to discover that there is More to Words than Meets the Eye with fun demonstrations and experiments. These give insights into the ‘secret’ messages hidden in words that affect your thoughts, feelings and even your experiences.

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If You Love That Font So Much, Why Don’t You Date It?
By Liz Stinson for Wired

“If I were going to date a typeface, it would probably be something like Franklin Gothic bold condensed. The font is undeniably masculine—sans-serif, solid, reliable. If it were a human, it’d be the type of guy who would fix my broken sink and play football in the backyard on Thanksgiving. I’m not alone here. Lots of women find Franklin Gothic to be a total dreamboat.”

“Some proof: When graphic designer Sarah Hyndman asked women to choose between dating nine fonts including Franklin Gothic, Futura Light, Helvetica, and Arial bolded round, 20 percent of women said they’d pick Franklin Gothic as their typographic beau, the winner by a landslide. I know it sounds weird, but let me explain. Hyndman’s dating question is part of Tasting Type, a series of online experiments she’s been performing to gather data on how typography impacts human perception.”

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Read the full article…

Survey: What do typefaces sound like? (Have your sound turned on for the second part)

What type sounds like

Compare five pairs of words with different physical attributes, then listen to six sounds and take up the challenge of matching them to typefaces. Click on the main image to take part.

As part of the ongoing ‘Tested on Humans’ series I’m curious to explore what different typefaces sound like and how they make us feel. This is a short survey that has been designed to be fun and thought provoking to take, you’ll need your headphones for page two (and it’s probably easier to do on a computer rather than a smartphone). I’m especially interested to know what non-designers think.

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