Creative Characters Ep. 7: Sarah Hyndman.
On Creative Characters, we meet the people and personalities behind the brands, campaigns, and designs we love. You can listen to the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and wherever quality podcasts are available.
Our guest in episode seven was Sarah Hyndman, founder of Type Tasting and the author of several books, including Why Fonts Matter and How to Draw Fonts and Influence People.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who loves type more than Sarah, even here at Monotype. She has devoted her professional life not only to studying and learning about type, but evangelizing the value and wonder of type to audiences large and small. She says she is “on a mission to change the way we think and talk about typography by … making it entertaining and relevant with humour, a dash of theatre and lashings of audience participation.”
Sarah’s work focuses heavily on the psychological aspects of type, and how the shape of a letter can influence our senses of taste and smell, trigger emotions and memories, and sometimes play tricks on our expectations and perception. ”One of the things I really want to do is make typography exciting and kind of sexy beyond the design, beyond the world of academia or specialists,” she tells host and Monotype Senior Brand Manager Rebecca Price in the episode. “Every single one of us interacts with type, with fonts, and with lettering every single day of our lives. So I’m really keen to make it accessible, make it fun and empower everybody to talk about it.”
Sarah’s work also gives her insights into people. After all, a person’s opinion of a typeface, or more specifically their emotional and sensory response to a typeface, says a lot about who they are and the experiences they’ve had.
“I think from talking to lots of different people, it’s made me love type even more,” she says. ”It’s is such a joyous thing, especially to speak to children or people that are so far beyond the design world and who have this moment of revelation when you ask them a question and they say something like, okay, what kind of pub do you think is under a sign like this? Or what kind of shop? Would you go on a date with this font? Can you tell me its personality? Can you tell me it’s backstory?
“It’s fascinating to see how many associations everybody has. Typefaces don’t come with instructions and back history when you just see them out there in the wild, and I think as a designer that has been a really, really good bit of learning for me