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UDA Webinar 2021 Vol. 6 of 6

Eradicating Illiteracy Through the Power of Fonts

Reneé Seward

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Communication Design Program, University of Cincinnati, USA

Literacy is essential for all people. Those with poor literacy skills are far more likely to live in poverty, face health problems, and grow isolated. This presentation will share the innovative research within the University of Cincinnati’s Learning By Design Lab that seeks to use type and technology to address a global literacy issue. Additionally, we will share how the evidence-based research led to the launch of the start-up company See Word Design that delivers reading tools that help build the skill and will to read one person at a time.

Webinar Contents


Kelly Salchow MacArthur
UDA President
Michigan State University


Reneé Seward
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
Communication Design Program
Ullman School of Design 
DAAP | University of Cincinnati

Discussion with all attendees

Final Remark by Mediator

About Presenter

Reneé is an Endowed Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Communication Design program at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. She is a graduate of the Graphic Design program at the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and received her Master’s from North Carolina State in 2008. 

Reneé has been teaching typography, exhibition design, graphic design in the Communication Design program for the last fourteen years. Her students have won countless awards from Graphics, Graphic Design USA, and Creative Communication Awards Design competitions over the years.

Her research focuses on developing digital and physical tools that seek to address our society’s literacy problem. Currently, she has a company that sells her reading tool called See Words®. Renee came up with See Words because a friend’s child who attributed his reading struggle to the letters’ layout on a page. Reneé, as a designer, felt that she could help with the problem. Renee is a Cincy Innovates winner and has been acknowledged as a Rising Tech star by ComSpark, awarded by the Business Courier Best Software of the Year, and the University of Cincinnati Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year. Recently, a font her team has designed called SeeType just won an STA award, and she has given a TEDx talk on Eradication Literacy Through the Power of a Font. Additionally, she is working in a collaborative research team awarded a grant from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to develop a tool to help correct speech problems in children.

Renee has also been named a winner in the Graphic Design USA Design competition for the poster she developed for the AIGA to promote voting.

In keeping with the UDA mission of celebrating global awareness and providing both educational and professional opportunities in communication design, UDA offers webinars. These events are one of many activities as we continue to develop our design awareness in society and culture.