A taste of the psychology behind type

Published:  February 18, 2015

Now the talk of little London town, Type Tastings were initially inspired by the concept of wine tastings, created to provide an accessible way to demystify and learn about typography in a social setting. With an accompanying blog, Type Tasting has now developed into a series of talks and workshops, research projects and a book that’s fresh off the press.

Type Tasting is an initiative by graphic designer and educator Sarah Hyndman. It was launched on Valentine’s Day in 2013 with an evening of Typographic Swearing ‘n’ Cussing. Hyndman is curious about the psychology of typefaces and how we respond to them as type consumers: her ongoing ‘Tested on Humans’ research looks at the psychology of type, at how we interact with typefaces, how they stimulate different senses, trigger memories and become associated with particular personalities.

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Type Tastings have taken place at Hoxton Hall, Somerset House, the St Bride Library and at the London Design Festival hosted by the V&A. They have created an edible version of a Monotype typeface, run a ‘Global Lettering Workshop’ at SXSW in Austin early last year, and taken part in Eye Magazine‘s Type Tuesdays. Hyndman has also collaborated to establish a study with the Crossmodal Research Lab at Oxford University.

“We are all type consumers,” says Hyndman to It’s Nice That. “Typefaces or fonts play a vital role in our everyday lives. They help us to navigate, to make choices, to shop, they keep us safe and they play a game of sleight of hand.”

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The new book The Type Taster: How fonts influence you“is a fun romp through the world of typography—its evolution and application in today’s visual world that will make you think and make you laugh. This hugely enjoyable book is engaging, insightful and entertaining.” Make sure to check out Sarah’s TEDx talk, Wake up and smell the fonts.


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