Decoding type

Decoding type

How to use typefaces to tell your brand story and to connect with your audience

Are you a typographic storyteller looking to broaden your vocabulary and empower yourself to make confident type choices proven to connect with your audience? Discover how a typeface can transform the meaning of your words so you can communicate your message with clarity and ensure that it’s memorable.

Typography is the interface between consumer and what is consumed; yet we generally pay little attention to it. Instead, we look past it to the experience it describes, unaware of the assumptions we have formed and the choices we have made based on the look of the words.

In this workshop led by Sarah Hyndman you’ll develop your understanding of how the brain processes the words we read, and how this informs decision-making. Come away fully versed in how to use type as part of the design process to create meaningful stories and to code different emotions.

This is an activity-packed session away from the computer, which is suitable for communications teams, designers and startups. You’ll take part in games, experiments, discussions, challenges and hands-on explorations that bring the theories to life and invite you to be a part of the discovery process.

While this workshop focuses on type, you’ll learn theories and methods that can be applied to the broader design and communication process.


Incubator session
Are you working on a specific project, repositioning or launching a new brand? Kickstart the process during this workshop with a tailored incubator session in which you will create a simple model for how your product or brand can use typography to achieve differentiation in your sector.


Decoding type
Decoding type

Step through to the other side of the type to the viewpoint of the type consumer. This unlocks a practical approach to choosing typefaces that connect with the audience. Sarah will give insights from her comprehensive research into topics including typeface personalities and the shapes that evoke different emotional responses.

She will show that we respond to written language emotionally and that we engage with it with all of our senses. Sarah will demonstrate that typefaces are not just seen; they are heard, tasted, felt and sniffed... Sarah will explain more about the collaborative studies she has published with Professor Charles Spence of the University of Oxford.

Understand the psychology of how we respond to the words we read and the impression their appearance makes on the subconscious; how this influences the choices we make and alters perception of what we experience.

Learn how to use semiotics to help you borrow cues from one category to transfer meaning to another. Ensure that your brand is culturally relevant by using typefaces that reflect your values and tell your audience what you care about.

Understand the importance of considering instinctive Systems 1 coding when choosing typefaces, rather than more rational points of difference typified by Systems 2 thinking.

Exploring type trends gives insight into shifts in social attitudes. For example, the trend for global superbrands towards typographically neutral logos, or the new emergent sectors using exciting typography.

Discover what the typefaces you choose reveal about your tastes, preferences and personality.

Decoding type

Optional extras
The content of the workshop varies depending on its length. Topics that can be covered in a longer session include:

• Learn a semiotic formula for choosing fonts with confidence.
• How typefaces enable you to say more with less in a minimalist or journalistic design style.
• The importance of congruence and communicating with an authentic voice.
• The innovative smell and type pairing experiments, which are enabling Sarah to map emotional and visceral responses to typeface shapes.
• How type has been shown to make a message more memorable, a chef more skilful or a decision easier to make.

Wine tasting
Option to end the workshop with a single wine, beer or bubbly tasting that puts the multi sensory science into practice.

Decoding type

Suitable for
• All communications industries teams
• Graphic designers
• In-house design and communications teams
• Startups and entrepreneurs
• The curious, no experience necessary

“Brilliantly delivered and such a clever structure. My D&AD festival highlight” Ruth Yearley, Director, Ketchum

“Opened my mind to using different fonts and their potential to evoke a reaction” Paul, UX designer, Autotrader

“Tasting, smelling, listening to type. #mindblown” Micklegate Design

You might also like 1HQ and Type Tasting present How to power your brand: Fonts decoded

Get in touch to discuss a workshop


Event photos by David Owens.