The theme of Grafik’sLetterform Live this week was ‘Experimental’, and it was an exciting evening to be a part of. My aim for the evening was to bring a bit of ‘bonkers and magic’ at a time of so much anxiety. We filled the bar with jellybeans and asked the 130 audience members to guess each flavour from the style of the typeface on the label. If you weren’t at the event you can still take part in this experiment here.
I spoke about how amazing the human brain is for the skilful way it creates a ‘sub-programme’ to perform the complex task of reading, which your subconscious performs automatically. Your eyes simply glance over a series of marks in a huge array of shapes and sizes and—as if by magic—stories, ideas, memories, songs, smells are conjured up right there in your mind.
In celebration of the official launch of Why Fonts Matter in the US today: Liz Stinson from Wired played the Type Dating Game via Skype. “20 percent of women said they’d pick Franklin Gothic as their typographic beau, the winner by a landslide. I know it sounds weird.”
In celebration of the official publication of Why Fonts Matter in the US today we’re looking back over articles and interviews that give a glimpse of the impression we’ve made on the world at large.
Jake Wallis Simons from CNN came to the Type Tasting studio and played a selection of Type Tasting Games. “As bizarre as it sounds, my job is to match up the bottles and fonts using only my sense of smell.”
Take a walking tour of Dalston in East London with author Sarah Hyndman. See how the signage reveals that the area dates back to the 1800s with its own grand department store, pie & eel shop, Art Deco cinemas, a factory that sold paints to JMW Turner, and the market that inspired Eastenders.
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.
“Fabulous tour of Dalston… Exploring the urban fabric through type” Sarah Stewart, Londonist
“A unique & interesting way to ‘read’ the city.” Sophie Nellis
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.