Tag Archives: semiotics

The super-geeky secret code that reveals what’s trending today

🔊 Listen to the audio version

Looking at typeface trends might seem super-geeky, but it’s a way to unlock the secret visual codes that reveal so much about today’s social attitudes and the things you care about. Typefaces don’t just spell out words, they’re also visual codes for ideas. You interact with typefaces almost constantly in your everyday life. They’re the interface between you and your day-to-day experiences that not only inform, but shape, influence and narrate the choices you make.

The typographic landscape around you changes constantly, even if you might not notice at the time. It happens just like tastes in fashion and music change. Sometimes typeface silhouettes mirror the clothes of the day, think of those fat-bottomed fonts in the 1970s when everybody was wearing flares and big platform boots. Typefaces also reflect the cultural attitudes of the moment—ransom note type embodied the rebellious voice of Punk and Stephen Coles of the Letterform Archive observes that the popularity of minimalist typefaces happens in cycles coupled with new technology and waves of modernisation.

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Do you want to know what type trends reveal about social attitudes today?

I’m excited to be launching two brand new experimental publications on Patreon. These are inspired by the conversations I’ve had with you at online events over the last few months. One of the most popular topics with everybody, not just designers, has been about type trends. Do they matter and what they mean?

As a result I’m creating two digital publications, which you can get hold of on Patreon. De-code looks at trends and cultural messages. En-code is for designers who use type.

The first trend you’ll explore is ink trap type. I was a judge for the D&AD Awards recently and I noticed that lots of the entries featured ink trap style typefaces. I wondered why, so this became the topic for the first issue.

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Sign up to the tasting type curiosity club on Patreon. You’ll be supporting my research and writing, and you’ll get access to the publications:

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De-code

What stories are these curious-looking letters telling you?

In this experimental pdf zine you’ll decode the cultural attitudes that a trend reveals and explore how creates meaning. 

Launching 13th May
Patreon, De-code Zine tier
Sign me up now

En-code

Discerning or gimmicky? How to use this typeface trend 

I’ll do the legwork for you and curate a directory of fonts for a current type trend each month to inspire you. You’ll also discover when to (and not to) use them in this experimental pdf companion to De-code.

Launching 13th May
Patreon, Insider Insights tier
Sign me up now

Typography is changing, are you ready?

Typography is changing. Two decades dominated by sans serif typefaces are coming to an end, which type designer Charles Nix describes as “the waning end of a supertrend”. Are you (and your team) ready for this new and exciting typographic landscape?

Find out about workshops / Arrange a 10-minute call

It’s an exciting time to explore how type reflects culture right now. I was delighted to run online workshops recently with the inspiring type designers at international type foundry Monotype. This was such a brilliant opportunity for all of us to compare notes as we explored the themes and trends we’ve been seeing and chatted about what we think is coming next.

“I loved the event. I know we are trying to make do with the pandemic situation, but I truly feel like this event was even more impactful and inspirational with this format than being with a bunch of people in an auditorium. Sarah was amazing.”

I think that looking at what’s changing typographically reveals the wider cultural themes of what people care about today. After a year when so much has changed, what things really matter to you today? What do you really value and/or what no longer seems important?

Are you and your team ready for the new typographic landscape and the fast-paced changes that are happening?

How to spot and decode typography trends

You can spot the trends and themes for yourself by keeping a visual diary and by following the people who are talking about what’s happening. This is a great way to future proof your typographic skills in a time of fast-paced change that trends, foresight and strategy company The Future Laboratory call “the great acceleration”.

  1. Think about what’s important to you, how might this have changed over the last year?
  2. When you look at what’s happening in the world, how are cultural attitudes changing?
  3. Take a look at the typographic landscape of the products and services you interact with today—can you see any styles or themes becoming prominent that you might not have seen a few years ago?
  4. When you think about these in context of changing cultural attitudes, do you think there are any links?
  5. Are there any companies or products that you think are doing this really well (or really badly)?
  6. How can you incorporated what you’ve observed into your own design process?

Want to find out faster?

You can book a highly interactive online workshop wherever you are in the world. Your team will be prepared for this exciting new typographic landscape with the tools they need to make effective typography choices.

Decoding Type Trends (Semiotics) Masterclass

From ÂŁ800 (education discounts are available).
This is a live online workshop, which can be delivered anywhere in the world.
Availability is limited.

Discover how to decode the typography of everyday products. What does it reveal about changing moods and attitudes? How does it motivate your decisions? How can you future-proof your typographic choices? With a formula for making typographic choices that you can use today and into the future.

Ideal for designers, communications and marketing teams, students.

Find out more

Arrange a 10-minute call

Professional development typography masterclasses

Professional development typography masterclasses—not just for designers!

Invest in the professional development of your company with effective Zoom workshops that are engaging and fun with plenty of “aha!” moments.

Typography is the voice of your brand and it’s important for everybody in a company to understand some basics, not just graphic designers.

This is a series of Zoom masterclasses hosted by author, researcher and Type Tasting founder Sarah Hyndman. Sarah’s an expert in making learning fun and is on a mission to make typography exciting for everybody. Each masterclass focuses on an experiential area of typography with enlightening activities, engaging demonstrations and useful how-to guides. These are currently available as live Zoom sessions, which means you can join a masterclass from anywhere in the world.

Ideal for departments across the whole company, not just designers
These are interesting, inspiring and fun workshops with clear and empowering takeaways for people from all roles in a company. They’re ideal as a team-building session or to reinforce the importance of coherent use of language and fonts for your brand.

You can arrange a private session for your group or organisation, or come along as an individual to a public event. Private sessions are modified to suit the participants.

“Such a fun, interesting and inspiring workshop with clear and empowering takeaways. It reinforced the importance of coherent presentation of our brand for colleagues from all parts of our company, in all types of roles.” Nicky Borowiec, Springer Nature

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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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Take part in the Typographic Interventions project

What is a typographic intervention? What if it’s not what it says on the tin? Can typography alter your experiences, or nudge you to change your behaviour?

This year we are exploring the potential for creating typographic interventions that initiate positive behaviour change. You are invited to take part in typographic research. Some of the experiments you will take part in are in their early proof of concept stages, for others data is being gathered potentially to be published as a future collaborative study.

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