Designer and type fanatic Sarah Hyndman shares her most-cherished books

2 November 2016
Reading Time
3 minute read

Sarah Hyndman is a graphic designer, author, researcher and the founder of Type Tasting, an experimental type studio delivering talks, workshops and events. Sarah researches and teaches about the psychology of type and how to use it to communicate more effectively. She runs workshops, gives talks and creates events such as Wine and Type Tastings, which pose the question: “Do you judge a wine by its label?” Sarah is also the author of Why Fonts Matter, which we published an extract from earlier this year that discussed the effects of typography on our emotions. She is just on the cusp of publishing a second book, How to Draw Type and Influence People, which will be published by Laurence King in spring 2017.

The designer’s inspiration comes from outside the design world, taking ideas from different genres and exploring them through the lens of typography. With this abundance of influences we wanted to find out what sits atop Sarah’s bookshelf and lucky for us it’s a diverse mix of books on packaging design, typography and food.

Barbara Glauber: Lift and Separate: Graphic Design and the Vernacular

Discovering this old exhibition catalogue was an epiphany. It revealed that the “vernacular” design I had grown up with in my everyday life (and that had inspired my love of typography) is a valid design language, and exploring this reveals so much more about culture than discussions of “good” or “high” art and design.

Fred Showker: Retro Fonts: the real thing

This book is pure typeface porn. It demonstrates perfectly how a typeface captures the essence of a moment in history, or becomes associated with a fashion or movement and looking through the pages of this book are like travelling through a typographic time machine.

Heston Blumenthal: The Fat Duck Cookbook

Crossmodalism is the science of how our senses interact with each other, which is an area of research that I am involved in. Heston is one of the pioneers of taking this research and using it to enhance and intensify experiences in a fun and surprising way. He explains some of the theory beautifully in his cookbook, and shows how science can be applied to everyday experiences.

American Institute of Graphic Arts: Design as a Main Course, AIGA Journal of Graphic Design Volume 17, 1999

This is one of the most precious publications on my bookshelf as it has beautifully written articles examining the design of food packaging by design writers including Steven Heller and Catherine Weese. These go into wonderfully nerdy detail discussing the visual codes and graphic language to be found in the supermarket.

Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave

I explore and research the psychology of typography and how it influences our experiences and so I read lots of books like this. It’s an exciting time to be interested in this field as so many new discoveries are being made as technology improves and gets cheaper. I apply the theories I read about to my real-world surveys and tests and share the results in my books and workshops.

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About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.

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