Let face it, we all hate the font Comic Sans, yet noone really knows why. It’s just really, really annoying. Well our LDNER this week, Sarah Hyndman is a font-fanatic and has developed her studio to for exactly that reason – exploring the psychology behind a typeface, and the ways in which it influences our everyday communication through talks and workshops. You thought wine tasting was good? Well it’s got nothing on Type Tasting

Where do you live in London and what do you love about the area?

I live in Dalston and do guided typography walks of the area. I love that there are buildings with 500-year-old relief, 200-year-old engravings, and a century of fonts. Dalston in East London is a vibrant area in which bars and shops are constantly popping up and the signage is ever changing. The signs along the main road, Kingsland Road, reveal layers of history: from the Art Deco cinemas alongside the vernacular D.I.Y. signage of the market stalls, and the lettering over the shops and restaurants that reflect the different communities who have made the area home over the years.

Where did your passion for typography come from and do you have a favourite piece?

Probably 45″ Ian Dury and the Blockheads records with covers by Barney Bubbles because I loved the ritual of playing 45″ records (I still have a decent collection), and I enjoy the layering of references in Barney’s covers. Fonts form a kind of language of their own, and we are all unconsciously fluent in it. Each font gives a different message and atmosphere and we instinctively understand that. Typefaces have a deep significance for everyone. Finding out what and why that is, is very interesting.


What inspired you to start your studio Type Tasting?

The whole idea behind Type Tasting is to bring typography to people who wouldn’t previously have been interested. I’d been a designer for about twenty years and running my own business for ten. But as happens with many designers, you hit that point where you need to take a step back and refresh. So I decided to take a year and look at something, which turned out to be type. Specifically, the psychology behind typography, I realized very quickly that there hadn’t been much research done on the subject.

You’re speaking at the Never Mind The Typography talk at The Museum of Brands as part of their Graphics of Punk exhibition. Why is the relationship between punk and graphics so significant?

Typography gave the angst and rebellion of Punk a voice that exploded in a riot of letterforms and demanded to be heard. A typeface gives a cause or movement a recognisable voice that inspires ideas, ensures its message is listened to, and empowers its words to make a difference.


What would be your perfect day in London?

I recently had my perfect day in London: it began with drinking a coffee and scribbling ideas in my sketchbook in a cafe where I could watch the world go by. I then met up with a group of sign painting friends to visit the archive of letters—a treasure trove of type and lettering at Central Saint Martins. We were able to explore the letterpress studio and look through the beautiful collection of printed type, all of which is still used and smells of fresh ink. We all headed over to the newly reopened Museum of Brands, where the sign painters told stories of the history of the letterforms on the packaging. The day ended chatting in a pub over a few pints and a glass of wine.

Type Tasting, The Chocolate Factory, Farleigh Place, N16 7SX