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Archik Siya, Why Fonts MatterShashital Tejusvin, Why Fonts MatterKoshe Prajakta, Why Fonts Matter

Font of Coincidence
This is a story of my trip to teach in India. While I was there I met up with family of friends and discovered, to my surprise, that my book cover had been redesigned by a whole class of students for their typography exam that week.

“The task for our exam was to design the cover for a book called Why Fonts Matter using typography. As I started scribbling out my roughs I thought about what typography is and what it can achieve; every font is different and makes you feel a distinct emotion or connects with you in a certain way.” 

Words by Siya Archik, a second year graphic design student in Mumbai.

I have been studying design for two years and my course is different, unique, insanely creative and fun. But along with the fun comes a lot of hard work; hours and days of work created by hand. We put a great deal of thought into every idea that we execute—to make the final product as attractive and innovative as possible. I chose this course of study because creativity has no boundaries; it is something that lets you express your thoughts and emotions in infinitely creative ways and on any surface.

In our course we study calligraphy & typography; anatomy; packaging, information design and communication design. Each is distinctive in its own way, but all revolve around the same design principles. For the first two years we do everything by hand—from rendering large posters to reproducing the text in a newspaper at actual size, carefully hand-drawing every letter so it is perfect.

Coca Cola design by Siya Archik
Design for a Coca Cola can by Siya Archik.

Our typography assignments vary from kinetic typography to expressive typography and logo design. We research artists who have helped to expand the field of typography to increase our knowledge, and each assignment emphasises the importance of different fonts in our designs, without which they would mean nothing.

I think typography is important because it is required for anything and everything related to design. From creating logos to packaging, all require knowledge of different fonts and how to use them effectively, so as to make our designs stand out from the rest. This makes typography such an integral part of what we do as designers.

During our recent exam week a friend of my family in England, a typographer from London called Sarah Hyndman, came to visit as a guest lecturer at another design college in Mumbai. I was hoping to meet and talk to her about typography but was not sure whether I would have time because I was so busy taking exams.

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Teaching typography at the Ecole Intuit Lab Mumbai

Sarah Hyndman took Type Tasting to the Ecole Intuit Lab, a design college in Mumbai, India, where she spent a week teaching typography to sixty second and third year students. This is the experience of the week in the words of the students: Neha Godambe, Ruchi Mehta, Shruti Vidyanand, Tvesha Shah and Zahra Dhuliawala.

“The entire week was full of experiences that exposed us to the instinctive nature of humans to judge letterforms. We had an incredibly marvellous time, while actually learning so much more about type. My outlook towards type has changed. I have realised type has something more to say, and now I have started to use a lot more different typefaces.” 

Would like to arrange a Type Tasting course with Sarah Hyndman for your college or organisation?

What did you expect of the typography week?

ZD: ‘Type Tasting’ isn’t exactly a term you hear very often. The uncommonness of the term, however, was most definitely reflected in the week. Until the workshop I think, as a designer, I had seriously underestimated the power of type.

NG: I have always been intrigued by the mysterious ways in which type works. We thought learning about type by trial and error was a mammoth task as we didn’t really connect with it, but as the week passed by this misconception slowly changed.

NG: It turned out that I know a lot about type just based on my intuition and common sense. Even though the games we played were quick and based purely on our instincts, I found I subconsciously created a rationale that supported my answers. In the end it was all about tapping into the psychology of people.

What is unique about Sarah’s approach?

NG: What fascinated me was Sarah’s way of understanding and explaining type. It isn’t just about what type looks like; it is about how it makes you feel. We looked at type in ways that we had never considered before, and we felt it through all our senses.

TS: The week was filled with surprises. There were experiments done in class to see how much type talks to us, the results made it clear that type speaks to us in ways we do not consciously imagine.

ZD: We took part in a series of activities and games, relating to how type affects us psychologically—from associating it with different emotions, to smells and even food.

RM: Through design we learnt psychology and the way our brain and heart react with basic instincts to everything around us, and how every tiny detail influences all the decisions we make.

SV: The history of type was made, for the first time ever, interesting to a class of teenagers.

NG: Sarah has a unique and fun way of putting her point across, which is often through playing games.

Sarah Hyndman teaching typography at the Ecole Intuit Lab Mumbai
Sarah Hyndman teaching typography at the Ecole Intuit Lab Mumbai

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mumbai-slideshow

By Sarah Hyndman

Client: Ecole Intuit Lab, Mumbai, India
Duration: One week
Participants: 60 year II and year III students
Read an interview with the students

A week long course for second and third year students at a graphic design institute in Mumbai.

The overarching theme for the week was to explore how typography creates an emotional connection by evoking mood, creating trust and conveying personality. The structure of each day included lectures, creative sessions, individual feedback, experiments and group discussions. Information was underpinned by scientific understanding and results of Type Tasting surveys and experiments.

The course culminated in a final project to design the packaging for a product created to indulge a mood. An invitation to deliver the monthly Master Talk provided an exciting opportunity to connect with the Mumbai design and typography community.

Feedback
“Instructive and fun… Thank you for your professionalism and your teaching skills” Yan Garin, Director.
“It was awesome taking part in the experiments and listening to really cool theories”
“Opened my eyes up to the power of typography”
“Why isn’t typography always taught this way?”

A full report on the course coming soon, to be written by the students, see below for full course details.

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Watch a 3 minute edit of the Master Talk given by Sarah Hyndman at the end of the week to industry leaders and students.

“Sarah it was wonderful session. Students will learn lot from your way of expressing types” Sarang Kulkarni, co-founder of Ek Type type foundry.

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