Type Tasting created a large-scale multisensory installation for Adobe Fonts at the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles from 2nd to 6th November 2019.
Visitors were immersed in the mood of different typefaces through all of their senses. At each station they were invited to put on headphones, to smell a scent in a jar or by flipping the pages of a book, to eat a small taster and to feel a texture. Each set of stimuli was designed to bring a mood to life in the participant’s imagination. There was curiosity and intrigue as the first visitors arrived and they were soon returning with groups of friends saying “you have to try this”.
We absorb information through all of our senses simultaneously. This speeds up our ability to judge situations and react quickly and is fundamental to our ability to recognise signals and communicate. This played a vital role in human survival when our ancestors needed to respond to danger quickly, often relying on sound or smell when it was dark and a large proportion of our genes are still devoted to detecting odours.
Typography might just help you date, solve obesity and impact your mood; so we’ve learnt from type fanatic Sarah Hyndman. We’ve previously dubbed her “the one woman tour-de-force behind the Type Tasting enterprise”, which looks at the power typography has over our lives and senses. She’s now published a new book on the subject, Why Fonts Matter, and has kindly offered us an extract looking at the effects of typography on our emotions.
“Physically, we use our voice, facial expressions. gestures and posture to convey a wide range of emotional cues from the subtle to the dramatic. Typefaces and the way they are used provide a similarly extensive emotional range typographically.”
If fonts were to play the starring roles in a movie, how much would they tell you about each scene?
In this movie the fonts set the scene, provide the sound track, tell the the story and alter the mood. What do the typefaces tell YOU about this story as it unfolds? Take the survey and tell us at the end, here are some of the suggestions so far:
“A very messed up zombie-rom-period-action clip”
“About a normal guy, where something horrifying happens and then he has to fight for his life”
“Bizarre coming of age story”
“Harry Potter kind of thing but not as dark and with sort of a whimsical ending”
“Tons of action and probably explosions of some sort”
“In the end, everything works out and he gets the gal”
Do you agree?
At the end leave your email address for a chance to win one of the remaining signed copies of the limited first edition of The Type Taster: How Fonts Influence you to be posted to wherever you live.