School of Communication and the Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


Chelsea Bass


graphic design, motion design, animation, language, communication, kinetic typography


Art and Design


This thesis aims to address challenging areas of vocabulary for deaf and hard of hearing children by developing an open resource for students, parents, teachers, and content creators that utilizes motion to enhance written words for deaf and hard of hearing children. This research seeks to study the means of nonverbal communication such as body language expression and paralinguistic prosody (i.e., tone, intonation, volume, and pitch) qualities within the framework of graphic design through motion design. Body movement and expression are essential during face-to-face communication, but written language lacks such context clues. Additionally, the hard of hearing may not fully detect prosody within their range of hearing. This lack of information gathered through body language and paralanguage can be replicated with animated movement, which adds greater context to otherwise static text, enhancing insight into the meaning or use of a word. Seeing how a word in written form correlates with enhanced meaning through movement provides greater understanding and retention. This enhancement promotes improved communication in the world through graphic design. Motion design, specifically kinetic typography, offers a promising tool to help aid with language learning for continued exploration and development.