TYPO London 2011 Places


Karin von Ompteda


Karin is a designer and researcher based at the Royal College of Art in London. Her work is focused on the integration of scientific and design approaches to typeface legibility, with particular interest in low vision readers. Central to her research is the use of data visualisation to explore design artifacts and inspire new thinking about the practice of typography.

Karin’s background is in biology, having completed her MSc at the University of Toronto as an NSERC scholar. At age 26 she left the sciences to pursue a BDes in graphic design at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Upon graduation she moved to London having been awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake interdisciplinary research at the Royal College of Art. She currently holds a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship.

Karin has presented her research at conferences including ATypI and Include, and institutions including the University of Cambridge, University of Reading and Tsinghua University, Beijing. Her design work has been published internationally including by Laurence King and RotoVision, and appeared in exhibitions including the Brno Biennial and BIO Biennial. Karin also runs data visualisation workshops and consults for the BBC.
PhD Candidate
Royal College of Art
Talk: Saturday 18:00 Logan Hall
Visualising Type
With so many typefaces, large family sizes and a myriad of glyphs, the practice of type design can appear overwhelmingly complex. This presentation will focus on the use of data visualisation to digest (some of) this complexity as well as bridge design and scientific knowledge. Some questions that will be addressed include: What are the most common proportions for text fonts? And how do these relate to our visual system? Ultimately the work aims to make explicit knowledge held within design artifacts and offer a different view on the practice of typography.