Tag Archives: history

The surprising story of the ampersand & its multiple personalities

An ampersand is an invitation to imagine what will come next. It is a continuation of a conversation or story, but without the context of knowing what went before you can choose where you would like it to go. When the symbol stands alone it is still communicating a huge amount of information from its form and its shapes; is it hand-written, is it old-fashioned and traditional, is it minimalist and modern? Every typeface tells a story independently of the words it spells out.

The ampersand is sometimes considered to be the 27th letter of the Latin alphabet. It comes from the letters ‘et’, Latin for ‘and’. It’s a character that there is wide affection for and it gives a glimpse of the personality of a typeface without committing to be a particular letter. The ampersand takes a wide range of shapes and forms, and it is the skill of the human brain that enables us to recognise that each of these still says ‘and’.

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How Punk changed Graphic Design and is history repeating itself?

Punk emerged as a reaction to the rigid restrictions of Modernism and its style ripped up the rules of Swiss minimalism and neutral sans serif typography. As traditional attitudes came to be considered outdated, society rebelled against the mainstream and demanded change. It feels like we are at a similar turning point today, both culturally and typographically. Can we look to history for parallels in how graphic design and cultural attitudes are changing today?

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“A roaring success”, “so unexpected but in all the right ways!”

We ran an exciting preview of the brand new Wine & Type Tasting event for 30 ambassadors from the Bankside Design District. We had a brilliant time and the evening was pronounced “a roaring success”. Favourite quotes included “so unexpected but in all the right ways!” and “lots of sublime and crazy tall tales from the past”.

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AIGA ‘How Type Can Tell the History of Your City’

AIGA Eye on Design

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.”

Read the full article…

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Secrets of Dalston revealed on a Type Safari

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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?

Click here to find out more.

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.

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Type Safari: Dalston

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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).

Dalston Type Safaris are back for Summer 2016 due to popular demand, with different signs to spot and a new letter hunt challenge. Join author Sarah Hyndman for a walking tour of Dalston, a dynamic and fast changing area in East London. Learn about the signage along the way and how it creates the area’s own unique typographic DNA.

**BOOK HERE for the final two Dalston Type Safaris taking place this year**

READ ALL ABOUT IT! Writer Ellen Himelfarb came along on a recent type safari, read her account of the evening published in AIGA’s Eye on Design.

Look at Dalston’s signage in a whole new light on this tour of the area’s typefaces. The walks will reveal more about the area’s history, taking in art deco cinemas, a paint factory, pie and eel shop and the market that inspired Eastenders.” Time Out

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We are surrounded by type and we use it to navigate our everyday lives. The letterforms we encounter as we walk down the high street influence our choices before we’ve even read the words. These also reveal a great deal about the the location, reflecting the social, economic and historical development of the area.

Dalston in East London is a vibrant area in which bars and shops are constantly popping up and the signage is ever changing. The signs along the main road, Kingsland Road, reveal layers of history dating back to when it was a London outpost in the 1800s with it’s own grand department store, pie & eel shops and a factory that sold paints to JMW Turner. Signs from the Art Deco cinemas have been preserved alongside the vernacular D.I.Y. signage of the market stalls and the lettering over the shops and restaurants that reflect the different communities who have made the area home over the years. Many venues, along with their signage, have become iconic landmarks.

Brilliant tour and insight into the power of typography and the secret side of Dalston. Sarah was an informative and energetic leader in our Type Safari across the plains of North East London!” Natasha Marks
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Why come on a Dalston Type Safari?

• Spend time with like-minded people spotting signs.
• As an introduction to fonts for a novice, or a typographic indulgence for a graphic designer.
• Explore the city in a unique and revealing way.
• Hear about London history and the transformation of an area.
• Find out about great places to eat and drink in Dalston.
• Above all for fun. I want everybody to walk away smiling because typography is fun and exciting.

No experience is necessary. Whatever your level of knowledge you will find this an entertaining and enriching experience.

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DALSTON TYPE SAFARI: DATES & BOOKING LINKS
Tuesday 16th August, 7pm to 9pm, £15—book now
Join us for the final safari of the year!

Friday 5th August, 7pm to 9pm, £15—Book now
Celebrate Friday with 25% discount on a delicious post-safari cocktail at Ruby’s Bar & Lounge

Tuesday 26th July, SOLD OUT
Sunday 17th July, SOLD OUT “Fascinating” oh comely magazine
Tuesday 12th July. “Excellent… With lots of pub and music facts” Angus Montgomery

Tuesday 21st June. “Dalston’s signage in a whole new light” Time Out

Duration: 2 hours, places are limited so booking is essential. Refunds can only be given with 48 hours notice so that somebody else can be offered the place. End: Ruby’s Bar & Lounge, 76 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB. Please note the safari will take place whatever the weather, bring a raincoat or umbrella if appropriate.

(It may be possible to arrange a different date although these are very limited. Please get in touch if you and a group of friends are interested, or to commission a private Type Safari).

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“Type Safari was brilliant! Fun as well as thought-provoking” Caroline LD

“Venture into a whole world of fonts. You don’t need any previous creative expertise to take part, just some love for letters.” Time Out

“A unique & interesting way to ‘read’ the city.” Sophie Nellis

“Informative but not stuffy, fun but not dumbed down, it was a pleasure to learn a brief history of type and get more of an insight into one of London’s most interesting areas.” Emily Gosling, Design Week

“Sarah’s enthusiasm and energy for type came through. Loved it.” Cathy Hull

“Fabulous tour of Dalston… Exploring the urban fabric through type” Sarah Stewart, Londonist

about-biog
I’m Sarah Hyndman your Type Safari guide. I’m a graphic designer, author of ‘Why Fonts Matter‘ and founder of Type Tasting. I’m involved in research into perception and reading and I specialise in making the complex subject of typography accessible beyond the design studio—with originality, humour, a dash of theatre and lashings of audience participation.

I give you insights into the ‘secret’ messages hidden in words that affect your thoughts, feelings, experiences and behaviour. Different fonts trigger your imagination, evoke your emotions, prompt memories and link to all of your senses. You instinctively understand this but it happens on a subconscious level, independently of what the words are spelling out. I invite audiences to join in with lively games and demonstrations as you take part in the discovery process. Whatever your level of knowledge you will find this an entertaining and enriching experience.

I’ve appeared on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, my work has been featured by Wired, CNN and the FT, you can watch my talks for TEDx and It’s Nice That.

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