top of page

Robert Griffin

Hilary Kenna





Working time: 5 days, 6 hours a day on-line

max 12 participants

VR Typography: designing a reading experience for a virtual environment

About the workshop


The workshop will introduce the basic principles of virtual reality for designers and how they apply to the design of information and typography in a virtual environment. Concepts such as composition, interaction and audience perspective will be explored practically through designing and learning to build a simple prototype. 


Students will learn the basics of Unity and how to design information for a VR environment. The aim of the workshop is to design and prototype a simple VR reading experience. Prior knowledge of 3D software is helpful, but not essential. Students will work in pairs.


Good examples of information design and typography in virtual environments are still rare, so this is an opportunity to explore the future possibilities.


The following are the main objectives for this course: 

  • students explore the design of typography and the reading experience in virtual environments

  • students learn about design principles for virtual environments

  • students develop practical skills in design and prototyping for virtual enviroments


 Course content will be delivered in the form of: 

  • class lectures and workshops on design principles and methods for VR typography, introduction to software (Unity, Sketchup etc) supported by relevant reference material.

  • class discussions on student-generated content of learning portfolios and critique


Course outcomes will produce short video sequences rendered from Unity. Support materials will include sketches, moodboards, design mock-ups and storyboards.

Workshop description

Tools & materials

Required Software

  • Unity (latest version) – you must download and test that it works before starting the workshop 

  • Sketchup (latest version) – if you are a beginner, or any 3D software (Blender, 3D Max, Maya, Cinema 4D etc) of your choice if you are experienced at using 3D. 

  • Google Chrome browser 

  • Google Fonts – you will be given a list from which to choose 1-2 typefaces.

  • Video editing software – optional

  • A3 paper for sketching & storyboarding, drawing materials (pencils, pens, markers)

  • Camera phone to take photos of your paper work for uploading.


  • Monday
    AM – Introduction to workshop and project brief, VR Typography lecture + discussion
    PM – Unity 1 workshop – basic principles, setup, asset generation / design research


  • Tuesday
    AM – Designing the Reading Space / concept and design exercises (plan+storyboard)
    PM – Unity 2 workshop – animation, text mesh pro, sound, camera moves / design treatement preparation


  • Wednesday
    AM – Design presentation (treatment+design mock-ups) / Sketchup workshop – introduction & basics / design tests from storyboard
    PM – Unity 3 workshop – importing Sketchup/3D files + navigation


  • Thursday
    AM – Unity 4 workshop – building the prototype, adding sound / design review 
    PM – Production of final design and prototype


  • Friday 
    AM – Final rendering and export of Unity projects as MP4s and EXEs / Complete slide presentation showing workshop outcomes & process.
    PM – 1:30 pm we are going to start present and review outcomes selected by teachers.

Hilary Kenna

Dr Hilary Kenna is a lecturer in visual & user experience (UX) design at IADT. She has taught interaction design, graphic design and typography in the BA(hons) in Visual Communication for nearly 20 years. She is currently the Programme Chair of the BA(hons) in Interaction & User Experience Design and teaches on the Masters in User Experience Design and the postgraduate Certificate in Design Thinking at IADT. Hilary has a PhD in Design Principles for Screen Typography from the University of Arts London. She designed the awarding-winning app The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, which was the subject of her TedX talk, Words Made Usable. Hilary has led research projects in data visualisation and her work was granted two US design patents and commercially developed into a product. She has lectured about and published her work internationally.

Robert Griffin

Robert Griffin (BA (Hons), MSc, MSc) teaches at IADT and has been involved in all aspects of course design, teaching, promotion and assessment. He has expertise in ICT, UX/UI, Cyberpsychology, VR. He is currently researching increasing empathy towards the visually impaired using virtual reality. Rob is Programme Chair of the MSc in Cyberpsychology, and has a special interest in Virtual Reality. He has been at the forefront of encouraging students to engage with emerging technology at IADT, championing Virtual Reality projects in the Institute as much as possible. Rob is very interested in seeing how VR can be adapted across the spectrum of traditional subjects. He wants to see filmmakers, model makers, computing students and psychologists getting to work together on VR projects to see what they make.

bottom of page