Isabel Lea

Creative Director, London

Can Your Fonts Dance to Hip-Hop? – Exploring Tactile and Interactive Typography.


This talk explores the potential of typography to be more interactive and tactile using public participation and new technology. Through sharing two of her most recent socio-cultural typeface projects, Isabel demonstrates how we can use typography as an interface for language in experimental ways. Through her research on sound, light, weather and other phenomena she explores how we can make a typeface respond to the rain, and dance to hip-hop.

Isabel is an experimental designer straddling the world of typography and cultural sociology. A background in design and a fascination with language has led Isabel to work with typography as a method for exploring social phenomena. Her work champions experimental typography which visualises language in a way that is accessible, tactile, and fun. Her previous projects have included making fonts dance to hip-hop and creating clocks that visualise how optimism or nihilism feels. Thanks to these playful approaches to design, she has been invited to undertake artist residencies for companies such as Adobe, created exploratory projects for Panasonic and London Design Week, and talked about her process in the UK, Europe, USA and Scandinavia. Alongside her creative practice, she is currently undertaking an MSc in social science in London to uncover the interesting things which happen at the intersection between typography and sociology, which she has affectionately named ‘The Social Life of Type’. In short, Isabel enjoys creating projects no one asked for, in order to answer some of the crazy ‘what if?’ questions we can pose about design and the world. 

Isabel Lea
Speaker at TypeTech MeetUp

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