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Personal profile


Dr Myra Thiessen is Lecturer in Communication Design at Monash Art, Design, and Architecture. She has rounded experience as a design practitioner, educator, and researcher, with a particular interest in the social impact of design. Her research is focused on cultures of reading and learning, which includes an exploration of how people access and use information in social environments and the role of criticism in design education. Her typography research is driven by the impact of motivation, context, and environment on reading and cognition and how efficiently the brain can process typographic information.

Recent publications include the co-edited book, The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture, and Design, and the co-authored chapter therein, ‘But, it won an award: a look at communication design “excellence”’;  and the co-authored journal articles, ‘Brainy type: a look at how the brain processes information’ (Visible Language) and ‘Investigating letter recognition in the brain by varying typeface: an even-related potential study’ (Brain and Cognition) as part of an ongoing multidisciplinary project across typography and cognitive neuroscience.

Education/Academic qualification

Typography and Graphic Communication, PhD, University of Reading

1 Oct 200731 Dec 2010

Award Date: 16 Mar 2011

Information Design, Master of Arts, University of Reading

1 Oct 200630 Sep 2007

Award Date: 15 Dec 2007

Communication Design, Bachelor of Design, University of Alberta

1 Sep 199630 Apr 2000

Award Date: 14 Jun 2000

Research area keywords

  • Typography
  • Functional readability
  • Functional legibility
  • Design criticism
  • Design education
  • Communication design


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