An Activity Book
By Sarah Hyndman
Laurence King Publishing 2017
Star rating: ****
This is a hands-on exploration of the psychology of typography with a high fun factor. It is an interactive learning experience (not to be confused with a colouring book)! :) The author, Sarah Hyndman, is a graphic designer and public speaker (check out her fab TEDx talk on YouTube). The purpose of the exercises in the book are to put the user in touch with how type style can influence opinion and intrigue the viewer – the goal: unleashing the power of typeface literacy. Actually drawing a typeface provides an understanding of its construction and suitability of purpose. A happy coincidence is that drawing type is a skill many papercrafters aspire to acquire!
Fun exercises include Font Sniffing – describing the scent a particular typeface evokes, Font Personalities (serifs = knowledgeable, Sans serifs = informative and easy going). There’s a super-fun chapter on Wild West Fonts (recognizable by their slab serifs and catchwords – groups of words offset by decorative flourishes which were set on a single printing block). Another exercise has fun with futuristic typefaces (there’s a sci-fi font gallery). Design your own monogram and ligatures (joined letters – like the ampersand).
At the back of the book is some handy info – a Visual Type Glossary (type anatomy and terms), plus a bibliography – so you can continue on your journey.
This book would make a super gift for just about anybody who wishes to learn about the power of type. It would be ideal choice for an older child with an inkling of an interest in graphic design. Learning the lessons within can make for more effective visual communication skills, be it on a blog or in your own personal communication and creative endeavours.
Note: I was given a review copy of this title.