Home > Events > The Role of the Reader in Web Typography
26 March, 2014
Essential (near South Station), 143 South St 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02111 Eventbrite RSVP

Join us:

Words and characters once impressed in clay, written on papyrus, and printed with ink are now manifest in pixels of light.   —Laura Franz, Typographic Web Design, 2011

Typography has long been an invaluable tool for communicating ideas and information— for recording, preserving, and sharing who we are and what we care about: possessions, laws, commitments, ideas, and memories.

Using time-tested typographic theories and practices, today’s web designers can help readers find, understand, and connect with the words, ideas, and information they seek.

Laura draws on her experience and knowledge of traditional typography, her skills as a web designer, and her love of teaching to help typographers and web designers alike learn how to think about creating usable type on the web (choosing fonts, styling text, organizing information, creating a system of hierarchy, applying a typographic system across multiple pages, and so on).

In The Role of the Reader in Web Typography, Laura reflects on her experience using and teaching traditional theories and practices within the context of a contemporary medium. She shows how people read — and how understanding (and respecting) the needs of our readers can help us create more meaningful, pleasurable websites.


Professor Laura Franz teaches a wide range of typography classes at UMass Dartmouth, including Typography I (The Structure and History of Letterforms with an Introduction to Text on the Page); Typography II (Type as Information); and Typography III (Type in Context: Web and Print). She also teaches a Web Typography class in the Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Web and Inter­ac­tion Design.

Inspired by the intersection of tradition and technology, Laura shares her carefully tested web font recommendations on goodwebfonts.com. She also shares her typography knowledge via the book “Typographic Web Design: How to Think Like a Typographer in HTML and CSS” (Wiley, 2011); the online video course “Typography for Web Designers” (lynda.com, 2011); and the online video course “Choosing and Using Web Fonts” (lynda.com, 2012). A presenter at the 2012 HOW Magazine Interactive Design Conferences, she also writes for SmashingMagazine.com.

Laura holds an MDes in Communication Planning and Design from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BFA in Graphic Design from Western Michigan University.