Multisensory typography

From edible type to synaesthesia


What began as a way to communicate the qualities and history of typefaces to a non-design audience, led to Sarah Hyndman being mysteriously described as Heston Blumenthal's “font expert” by Jay Raynor in the Observer.

After speaking at Eye Magazine’s Type Tuesday evening about her edible type recipes and why she set up Type Tasting*, Sarah was introduced to Professor Charles Spence and his team from the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford. Charles has collaborated with Heston for a number of years, exploring how our senses influence each other, and how this can be used to intensify, alter and enhance our experiences. Sarah now co-authors studies about the multisensory properties of typefaces with Charles and the team, and visits the Fat Duck Lab to share her ideas with the team.

Baskerville: Earl Grey tea biscuits.
Impact: Dark chocolate with hot chilli.
Helvetica: Plain water biscuits to be eaten with anything.
Comic Sans: Sweet and colourful, laced with popping candy.
Burlingame: Lemon jelly sweets with coffee liquorice.

*The original idea for Type Tasting came from wine tastings, which are a social and interactive way to learn about wine. Looking at type as a form of communication is an ongoing theme for Sarah and her 2001 MA thesis was called Eat Your Words.

Eye Magazine Type Tuesdays
Edible Burlingame typeface
Food Sensorium
Food Sensorium