As the founder of Type Tasting, an innovative type studio that delivers unique and entertaining events, talks and typography workshops, my mission is to change the way we talk about typography by exploring it from the point of view of the type consumer. After all, type plays an integral role in our everyday lives and reveals a great deal about popular culture and social history.
I travel the world speaking to audiences of designers and creatives, which gives me the opportunity to test these interactions between type and consumer in real life. What I find, consistently, is that type connects with our most basic traits, our memories and loves and fears, and in doing so shapes the way we think, feel, and respond to packaging and products.
This selection of edible Monotype typefaces is inspired by these experiences and the results of my experiments. Hope you enjoy!
Sweet Font: VAG Rounded Next Extra Black
Extra Sweet Font: Frankfurter
Sweet flavors are generally associated with round shapes. To our hunter-gatherer ancestors, round-shaped foods like ripe berries were the perfect energy-packed snack just waiting to be foraged. So it makes sense that when it comes to sweet flavors, the plumper and rounder the typeface, the better.
In my experiments, ripe berries and fruity candy are generally paired with curvilinear typefaces like VAG Rounded.
Adding contrast and swirls to a round type style gives the impression it will be sweet and creamy. Candice is the top choice for ice cream in my Typographic Ice Cream Van game, and also suggests a sweet and creamy coffee with extra syrup topping.
Font: Bordeaux Roman
Angles in nature are seen as aversive and they warn us of danger. Not surprisingly, then, we tend to instinctively associate angles in typefaces with potentially challenging flavors like sourness (unripe), bitterness (potentially poisonous), or spicy food.
The combination of pointed serifs and condensed oblique shapes found in Bordeaux Roman Italic suggest sourness or sharpness, albeit pleasantly so. The typeface evokes a glass of unsweetened lemon juice or a crisp white wine.
Fonts: Masqualero & F2F SHAKKARAKK
Bold flavors pair well with with sharp, angular serifs. Spicy foods like chili or curries are a good match for these sorts of typefaces, but a font like Masqualero promises balance and depth of flavor, rather than pure heat.
For that, look to something more angular, like F2F SHAKKARAKK. This flavor screams, “look out!” and is the perfect choice for a bottle of hot sauce. The font is actually intimidating, with all the cuts and irregular shapes, and almost dares you to take a taste.
Font: Posterama 1984
For a Letterform Live talk on the topic of ‘experimenting,’ I created a series of candy bags with different typefaces and asked people what they thought might be inside them. The top answer for Posterama was licorice. The boldness reflects the strong flavor of licorice, the curves show the sweetness, and those Es just look like Liquorice Allsorts.
Font: Egyptian Slate Bold
When asked to pair typefaces with chocolate, this was the most popular choice for a big and chunky bar of chocolate that would be satisfying to eat, but not too expensive or fancy. It promises a rich, complex, but familiar experience, free of finicky fillings and without being overly sweet.
Font: Thorowgood Italic
High-end coffee with smooth, rich flavor is often paired with bold and curvaceous type styles like Thorowgood Italic. This font is for coffee you savor with a good book, perhaps in a cozy nook somewhere, with only a hint of milk.
Font choice can reflect your preference for a particular food for flavor. Something as simple as tea can mean different things to different people—it can be part of your everyday routine or something you make time to sit down and drink, preparing it in a teapot and drinking from a cup and saucer. At events I find I can predict people’s tea-drinking habits based their choice of typeface!
You drink everyday ‘builders’ tea. This is regular strength, most likely made with a teabag in your favorite mug with just a dash of milk.
Font: ITC Caslon 224 Black Italic
You drink strong ‘builders’ tea with sugar. (This is the same as regular Caslon, just stronger and with sugar.)
Font: Flemish Script
Your cup of tea is a more ceremonial affair served in a china cup on a saucer.
Font: Helvetica Ultra Light
You drink your tea weak, a quick waft of a good quality teabag and you’re good to go.
Get the fonts
Get Candice, Masqualero, and thousands of other fonts in Mosaic, Monotype's Enterprise font solution.
Sarah Hyndman is the founder of Type Tasting, and also works on collaborative research projects with Professor Charles Spence of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford. In their latest study they demonstrated that jelly beans tasted sweeter or sourer depending on the typeface on the packaging.