I was delighted to be invited to speak at Nicer Tuesdays recently. This is 12 minutes of audience participation including Typography Karaoke (in two teams), the Price is Right and the Type Dating Game. The audience is the star of this talk, you were absolutely brilliant, thank you. “A simple, but very effective demonstration of how type design affects the way we read, the way we respond to commands and even our moods from Sarah Hyndman.” It’s Nice That.
The challenge has been set: can I give a keynote talk on my subject without ever mentioning the words ‘font’, ‘typeface’ or ‘typography’?
Reading outside the lines
The world is full of words and these help us to navigate a course through our busy lives. However, all is not always as it seems, because we make judgements and assumptions that influence our experiences and our choices long before we read the words themselves.
Sarah will give insights into the ‘secret’ messages hidden in words that affect our every thought, feeling and even our behaviour. She will show that we instinctively understand these messages, but on a subconscious level, and how becoming consciously aware of them enables us to make smarter choices.
This is a fresh take on human responses; how we make sense of and interact with the world around us. The audience is invited to join in with lively games and demonstrations as they take part in the discovery process.
Are we really that influenced by typography? Type specialist Sarah Hyndman seems to think so! And it looks like she made converts out of our students following her talk at Shillington. We had the unique opportunity of being part of Sarah’s ongoing psychological research for Oxford University, and through a series of sensory experiments we all learned a little bit more about both typography and ourselves.
The best experiments involve jellybeans, a lesson Sarah Hyndman was about to reveal. We were privileged to be a part of Sarah’s type tasting experiment, tasting chocolate, jellybeans and smelling fragrances while looking at different fonts to see if they affected our experiences. Our results will become part of the data for the Cross-modal Research Laboratory at Oxford University who are studying how different senses interact.
I’m looking forward to bringing a glimpse of my typography lab experiments to It’s Nice That’s Nicer Tuesdays tomorrow evening. Come along ready to join in!
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.
Click here to play the Font Fortune personality analysis game yourself.
The Type Tasting props posing nicely with the Channel 4 logo in the background.
Yesterday I was invited to be one of the guests on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live to talk about how we respond to typefaces. I took along some of the games that had gone down so well at the Pop-up Type Tasting at the V&A for the London Design Festival the previous weekend. Above is actor Sophie Thompson playing the ‘Feel Me’ game matching what she can feel to one of the fonts shown, if you came along to the event last weekend you know exactly which font she’s feeling from the expression on her face!
It was such an interesting programme to be on. Sophie is delightful and a pleasure to listen to, and I was excited to meet Peter Bleksley who is one of the hunters on ‘Hunted’ with the most amazing voice. It seems that we would all love the challenge of being on the next series and going on the run in an attempt to evade capture for 28 days. Third guest Trevor Lyttleton founded a charity which works with the elderly and we had a great chat afterwards about the power of typefaces on packaging to trigger nostalgia and bring back memories.
Scroll down for links to listen to the show.
Typefaces from Sarah Hyndman‘s TEDx talk ‘Wake Up and Smell the Fonts’ (in order of appearance)
VAG rounded, Clarendon bold condensed, Tekton, Trajan, Impact, Engravers Gothic, Agincourt, Didot, Aesthetique, Times New Roman, Klute.
Star Wars in 15 fonts: Blackmoor, Orbit, Klute, Pneuma, Data Seventy, Chromium One, Bertram, Buffalo Gal, Slipstream, Shatter, Black Boton, Helvetica bold compressed, Forest Shaded, Klute, Creepy, F2FShpeetz, BangCom.
Thank you to Monotype.