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Review: TEDtalk | Wake up & I smell fonts by Sarah Hyndman

“Fonts turn words into stories”

Hyndman’s impactful storytelling with 15 different fonts epitomised her words.


All the examples of how a font is able to tell a story.

Many times, type communicates with our subconscious. Although we might not look into every detail¬†around us, we are subconsciously paying attention to type around us. They communicate to us through their forms. Hyndman did an interesting experiment, where she gave 100 people 2 jelly beans, one with round edges type and other with sharp edges. The results have shown that the rounder typeface made the audience think that what they ate was sweeter, whereas, the other one, more sour. It is all in our heads, that type conveys certain emotions and characteristics to us. I also enjoyed other examples, like how she used 15 different typefaces for “story” to tell a story, which I found was impactful and straightforward. Understanding which type of typeface to use will get your message and story across stronger, and I hope that it will be something that I will be better in with time.

Her TEDtalk has also reminded me of a book, Brandwashed, by¬†Martin Lindstrom. In the book, it explains how we as consumers get manipulated by all the products that we see and even use, hence, being “Brandwashed” by them. And I do agree with Hyndman that even if we know the many ways in which brands brainwash us, and yet, we will still fall for their gimmicks.

In relation to the new project, I think Hyndman’s approach to typography, bringing the characteristics of the typeface out to tell a story, would be extremely helpful in expressing different characteristics of the archetypes.

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