Sarah Hyndman came in and gave a very interesting talk about her work as a graphic designer who specialises in typography. I found Sarah’s talk engaging from when she began because I thought that I would hear how much she really loves typography; especially when she went on to speaking about really loving what you do, because passion really comes out in your work, and it really benefits the end result.
Hyndman began the talk by talking about the fundamentals of shape recognition: 1: instinctive response, and how we relate certain things to certain shapes, such as triangles are a warning, round is attractive e.g. Triangles are like frowning faces, round looks safe relaxing (like berries and fruits) and jagged edged shapes tend to make things feel bold and eye catching.
Hyndman then went on to speak about how you can recognise a designer from the typefaces they use as they tend to stick with new ones if they are a younger designer or older looking typefaces with people who are older, and also how you can convey emotions through lines and patterns. Then went on to speaking about experiments she had done with her typefaces on water bottles with people preferring softer, rounded edges of text for the still water, and more harsh likes for sparkling water, and the same with branded fizzy drinks.
The topic of the Olympic type as came up, and said that a lot of people felt the same way about it in that it was too sharp, which then made people feel uneasy and like it was aggressive.
Sarah moved on to speaking about learned associations, which links to how our brains see symbols and recognise images and put them together instantly without really taking anything in.
One statement I found particularly interesting was:
“Brains are lazy. They can glance and recognise where is has been seen before without taking any notice to see if it is different.”
I completely agree with this because I find myself doing this all the time unless I really study something, and this is something that I would like to look into more.
She spoke about her survey of typefaces and found that certain ones have specific associations, for example, with modernism/architecture.
My favourite part of her talk was when she told us to put on 3d glass, and then shown us images on her presentation. She then told us to cover each eye at different times, and to my surprise, I found that looking through the red filter I saw one image, and then when I looked through the blue filter, I saw a whole other part of the image that I could not see through the red filter. Hyndman explained that this was to do with out conscious and subconscious minds, seeing what we think we see, and then seeing what is really there when we look again.
Another part of the talk that I found interesting was when she spoke about how type can represent personalities, e.g. swirly and light handed can be a sensitive person, where heavy and bold texts can represent confident and bolder people, and masculine and feminine typefaces also have a big impact on how people read things.
Sarah talked more about online surveys and had found that US and UK find bigger fonts to look cheaper on packaging and advertising, where as more expensive types have serifs and that from the survey she found that the most expensive typeface was didot.
Hyndman then pointed out that you can look at type faces and put senses to them, like you can feel how they taste, e.g. small swirly typefaces taste and sound sweet and dainty, where as bold and heavier typefaces would taste bitter and harsh.
When asked if colour makes much of an impact on typefaces, Sarah replied by speaking about colour makes a lot of difference (more than typefaces) because it adds another visual effect for the viewer and so they also decide if they like the colour or not, and also how it impacts the subject of what the type is about.
I really found Sarah’s talk very interesting and engaging, especially because of the 3D experiment of the conscious and subconscious states of mind, and I had never thought of typography having so much more than a visual effect on the viewer such as triggering a smell or taste. This talk made me think a lot more about the other factors that typography can have. I learnt a lot from this talk and also found the statistics from the surveys very interesting and sometimes surprising.