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Are you a university or college arranging cultural and educational trips to London? This is a brand new workshop created for visiting overseas students from international universities and colleges. This session tells the evocative story of typography through London street signs.

Roll up your sleeves for sketching and typographic life drawing. Get hands-on exploring letterforms using different mark making mediums as you discover the wondrous and eclectic world of London letterforms.

This is an immersive and multisensory journey through time, type and semiotics from past history to future trends all served up with sound and activities.

Author Sarah Hyndman is your tour guide for this hands-on and interactive journey. She will show you how the street signs of London reveal amazing layers of history — from the pictograms and heraldic motifs of the Middle Ages, through to current day trends in typography.

Learn how to take a closer look at the city streets to discover how new and preserved signs narrate three centuries of letterforms. Understand what these tell you about the social and cultural development of an area and spot ‘secret’ clues that are hidden in their shapes.

See how the arrival of printing in the 1400s and the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s transformed the urban landscape, and introduced a chorus of typographic voices ranging from wayfinding to advertising.

Discover how the street signs in one area tell you of royal visits to the local pub, hide a traditional London pie and eel shop from the 1800s, and preserve as part of a building the name of a factory that sold artist’s paints to both Constable and Turner. See how signs reflect the mood of the zeitgeist as Art Deco letterforms from cinemas of a century ago sit alongside the vernacular D.I.Y. signage of the market stalls. Understand how the lettering over the shops and restaurants reflects the different communities who have made the area home over the years.

Ultimately you will learn how the signage in the urban environment documents an area’s unique visual DNA, and how this brings the history of typography to life as it takes it out of the textbook and shows that it is a part of your everyday life.

No drawing skills are necessary. This session is suitable both for complete beginners and those with previous experience.

Options
• 1-hour talk
• Half or full-day workshop

“Your workshop really opened my mind and impacted me in a powerful way. I’ve even secured an internship designing typefaces” Leah, Portland State University, USA

“Why isn’t typography always taught this way?” Ruchi, Ecole Intuit Lab, India

“We had an amazing time at the workshop, even the non design majors! It was honestly one of the highlights of my trip” Victoria, Stevenson University, USA

Learning outcomes
• Enjoy an expressive and fun mark-making session away from the computer.
• Explore letterforms by hand to gain greater understanding of different type styles.
• Learn about type styles in context of history, popular culture and social trends, and the associations they have absorbed.
• Understand how letterforms have been shaped by developments in technology.
• Create your own hand-drawn type sketches for your future reference.

Suitable for
• All communications teams
• Graphic designers
• Students
• The curious: no prior knowledge of (or interest in) fonts is necessary

Workshop clients include Birmingham City University, California Polytechnic, Ecole Intuit Lab Mumbai, Portland State University, RMIT Melbourne, Shillington, Stevenson University Maryland, University of Bedfordshire, VIA University College Denmark, Wolverhampton University.

Links

The wondrous world of London letterforms

All Workshops and teaching

Get in touch with Sarah for availability and prices

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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