Prof. Dr. Ann Bessemans (Postdoctoral Researcher)

Dr. Ann Bessemans is an award-winning graphic designer, working as a legibility specialist within her own founded research group READSEARCH at PXL-MAD and Hasselt University. At the same institute she also teaches typography and type design.

Her researches are an important contribution to legibility research and the international type design. It gives the practice of typeface design a better scientific foundation and provides interesting data, by which type designers can accommodate more to the wishes of the reader, both normal as well as impaired. In October 2012, she defended her PhD (Type Design for Children with Low Vision), under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gerard Unger.

She was given multiple grants by Microsoft Advanced Reading Technologies (USA) for her innovative and pioneering projects, such as visual prosody. Dr. Bessemans was a finalist in in the ‘New Scientist Wetenschapstalent 2015’ and is an elected member of the Young Academy. Ann is also involved in European COST Action that studies the evolution of Reading in the age of Digitisation.

Ann is an international recognized lecturer at typographic and interdisciplinary conferences and gives workshops on several occasions both in Belgium and abroad.

Her research/design interests: typography, font design, legibility, reading, graphic design, book design, letter press and modular systems.

Her CV is downloadable here >.

Dr. María Pérez Mena (postdoctoral researcher)

Dr. María Pérez Mena holds a PhD with honours in Fine Arts from the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU) entitled La creación tipográfica a través de la noción de proyecto. Proyecto de diseño de la tipografía EHU. Defended in July 2017, under the supervision of Dr. Eduardo Herrera and Dr. Leire Fernández, her research has focused on the creative process in a type design project. The typeface designed as part of this research was honoured in 2015 with a Clap Platinum as “best typeface for text” and is currently being used as corporate typeface in the University of Basque Country. She also holds an MA in Typography: Discipline and Uses (Universitat de Barcelona, UB) and an MA in Research and Creativity in Art (UPV/EHU).

She has presented and published several articles linked with her research in both conferences and scientific journals. Being a member of LETRAZ - Research Group of Typography and Graphic Design from the UPV/EHU, she is co-author of the books EHU Tipografia korporatiboa. Tipografía corporativa EHU (Eduardo Herrera, Leire Fernández, Daniel Rodríguez & María Pérez) and Zientzia Astea. Alfabetatze zientifikoa. Alfabetización científica (Eduardo Herrera, Leire Fernández & María Pérez).

Maarten Renckens (PhD student)

Maarten Renckens holds a BA in Architecture, a MA in Graphic Design and completed a teacher education.

During graphic design courses he discovered an excitement for typography and type design. His graduation project aimed at a more personal communication by studying and digitalizing different handwritings. The project dealt with the limits of digital font technology and in how much of a restriction these limitations impose on type design.

In the summer of 2014 Maarten was working as an intern under the supervision of dr. Ann Bessemans (founder of READSEARCH (PXL-MAD/Hasselt University)) who amplified his passion for typography, letters and legibility. Due to industriousness and achieved results, his internship was extended and resulted in a career as a PhD student. Continuing on dr. Bessemans’ work on Visual Prosody, Maarten was assigned to study prosodic type parameters for hearing impaired, in order to deliver the extra meaning of spoken sentences into reading text. Maarten is also involved in a European COST action on reading in the digital age.

His main design interests include typography, letter press, font design, legibility, reading, graphic design, book design and modular systems. He also has a strong tendency towards experimental font design trough reverse engineering technologies and searching for the limit of that technology.

His CV is downloadable here >, and he is to be found on LinkedIn >, Orcid >, > and Researchgate >.

Janneke Janssen (Assistant)

Janneke Johanna Janssen holds a bachelor degree in Visual Arts (Academy of Fine Arts Maastricht) and a master degree in Graphic Design (PXL-MAD School of Arts) after following the International Master 'Reading Type and Typography'. Where her BA project handled the book as an archive, her master project focusses on reviewing the history and future of the book as a medium in order to design new interpretations. It forms a platform on which participants interact and discuss social issues. The personal research resulted in a renewed, interactive and interlinked construction of the book, in which navigation is the key element.

After several years of work experience and an internship at READSEARCH Janneke now is involved in a side-programme of READSEARCH/PXL-MAD for the AtypI typography conference in Antwerp. The exhibition she is preparing contains an overview of student work of 10 years’ typography at PXL-MAD.

Her main interests include macro typography, book design, archives and collections, modular systems, legibility & readability, the interrelation between image and word, narratives, digitization and graphic design.

Wojciech Płudowski (Internship)

Wojciech Płudowski holds a bachelor degree in New Media Arts from Polish–Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw and is currently following his Master of Arts there.

Already during his first study, IT, he started to switch his interests from animation to typography and graphic design. He exercised his design skills by means of creating a visual identity for 41st Session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO with friends as well as doing events or exhibition posters, videos and animations. Still, his biggest interest lies in typography, so he decided to deepen his knowledge with an internship within READSEARCH.

While his BA was an exploration of the influence of the Western culture on Japanese typography. For his Master, he set out to explore the overall influence of scripts of different origins on layout, relations between them and corresponding type design.


Prof. dr. Erik Nuyts (statistician)

Prof. dr. Erik Nuyts is researcher and lecturer at the University College PXL and associate professor at the University of Hasselt. He got a master degree in mathematics, and afterwards a PhD in biology. He has conducted scientific research for the last 30 years.

Since his specialty is research methodology and analysis, his working area is not limited to one specific field. His experiences in research, therefore, vary from mathematics to biology, traffic engineering and credit risks, health, physical education, (interior) architecture and typography.

His responsibilities both at the University College PXL as at the University of Hasselt involve preparation of research methodology, data collection and statistical analyses in many different projects. He is responsible for courses in research design, statistics and mathematics.

Since September 2015 Prof. dr. Nuyts is part of READSEARCH, founded by dr. Bessemans.