As a young junior high school student, Koch learned about typography sitting at the controls of a Linotype machine. Instructed at Herron School of Art by founding director of the Society for News Design, Rolf Rehe, Koch’s passion for typography has grown consistently with changes in technology. Consequently she has composed pages of metal and wood type, hand-assembled headlines with the photographic Typositer, and operated many models of Compugraphic computerized photo-typesetting machines. Koch has consistently kept one foot in professional typesetting and one foot in graphic design and now interactive design, shifting along with the technology of typography, from its historical roots in printing through software page layout, and continuing up through the digital technologies of present day web coding and interactive environments.
Koch completed an MFA in Interactive design and a Ph.D. in Design at the University of Minnesota. Her master’s thesis explored the ways that designers can make interactive learning more effective, affective, and fun. Understanding how emotions provide motivation and improve memory, she delved into a Ph.D. dissertation about how people interpret emotion in the most basic design features. The study examined participant’s emotion responses to subtle differences among typefaces. These two research veins seek to detect the theoretical basis underlying design construction, to begin to describe a corollary to linguistics, a human-centered design science of visual language.

Beth E. Koch CV 2019