Type Tasting research

Planned for 2019: A series of books featuring the results of Type Tasting research, topics ranging from typographic synaesthesia to semiotic equations for choosing fonts, currently applying for funding—you can play a vital role in making this happen, find out more and sign up here.

Sarah Hyndman is a graphic designer who’s been researching the perception of typography since 2013. She’s gathered a wealth of data and insights that she shares in talks, teaches in workshops and publishes on an ongoing basis. Her aim is to quantify the type consumer’s experience and to provide information that can inform design decisions, nudge positive behaviour and demonstrate the impact typefaces have on our everyday lives.

The research is self-initiated and self-funded, which means that there’s no commercial agenda and the results aren’t hidden away behind non-disclosure agreements. By booking a Type Tasting workshop, event or talk you’re helping to make this research possible.

Sarah collaborates with psychologists and scientists, combining her graphic design knowledge with their expertise and methodical approach. Research topics are inventive and exploratory, often starting as proof of concept ideas, and the experiments that appear to fail often go on to provide the most important insights as they reveal the unexpected. Sarah works on collaborative studies with Professor Charles Spence of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford.

“Fascinating insight into how type can influence our feelings, our senses, and even our taste” Professor Charles Spence, University of Oxford.

Sarah’s mission is to make typography accessible and exciting for all, by ditching the jargon and adding a good dollop of irreverence. She asks how it makes us think, feel, respond, and explores how it interacts with all of our senses. Sarah demonstrates the integral (and often surprising) role it plays in our everyday lives through her experiments, often inviting the audience to become a part of the discovery process.

"Sarah Hyndman brings a frisky mix of art and science to her multisensory analysis of typography and communication" Ellen Lupton, curator, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

The Type Tasting Lab

The online Type Tasting Lab contains a series of surveys that are designed to get you thinking differently about typefaces while you take part in them. The live Pop-up Typography Lab appears regularly at events, festivals and conferences, most recently gathering data for the Typographic Interventions project. Many experiments begin as seemingly bonkers proof-of-concept ideas before some are developed to become published studies.

“Type Tasting’s series of multisensory experiments, for me, turned typography on its head” Natalie Kelter, designer.

Intellectual property

Sarah Hyndman retains the intellectual property rights to all Type Tasting experiments and data published. Please respect this and do not reproduce the work without her permission.