Biography L O R E T T A . S T A P L E S



Visual Research

U dot I, Inc.



With over 20 years of experience in visual communications, Loretta Staples has practiced as a graphic, exhibit, and interaction designer. From 1990 to 2002, she focused exclusively on the design of graphical user interfaces--at Apple Computer; in her own consultancy, U dot I; and at Scient, an eBusiness strategy consulting firm. Her work included specialized applications, conceptual models, and prototypes for emerging technologies.

Before becoming interested in software design, Loretta was a graphic designer for The Understanding Business, exhibit developer for The Burdick Group, and textile curator for the Yale University Art Gallery.

Loretta has lectured widely on digital technology and design. She participated as a featured speaker at Visionplus 7, UIST 98, INTERCHI 93, the 2000 and 1994 annual conferences of the Organization of Black Designers, and at many educational institutions, including the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad; the University of Minnesota; Parsons School of Design; and the Schule fur Gestaltung, Basel. At 1999's Visionplus 7 conference in Tokyo, "Information Design & the Cult of Neutrality" drew comparisons between the graphic norms of corporate identity and the "neutral" rhetoric of information design. "Information Mythologies," presented at the 1997 AIGA national conference, sampled a number of myths underlying the practice of information design. Her lecture "Typography & the Screen," presented at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum's 1996 symposium on contemporary design, surveyed the impact of digital technology on typographic design.

Loretta's essays have appeared in Design Issues, Critique, the SIGCHI Bulletin, INTERCHI 93 Conference Proceedings, International Review of African American Art, Eye, and Interactions. Her critique of digital design education, "The New Design Basics," was published in Steven Heller's book, The Education of an eDesigner. Additional critical works were included in the anthology Looking Closer 4, edited by Michael Beirut, William Drenttel, and Steven Heller. She wrote the "design management" entry in Design Dictionary: Perspectives on Design Terminology, edited by Michael Erthoff and Tim Marshall, and published in 2008 by the Board of International Research in Design. "Leaving Design," a mini-memoir about her life in design, was included in the Fall 2008 issue of Paper Monument, a journal of contemporary art. "Typography & the Screen," was included in The Designed World: Images, Objects, Environments, an anthology of articles from Design Issues, published in the Fall of 2010.

After studying drawing and painting in New York while working at Scient, Loretta moved to Connecicut in 2003 to pursue life as a painter. There, she helped co-found Indigo Blue, which served as Yale's first fulltime Buddhist chaplaincy, and returned to teaching design and management at Parsons. She became a graduate student at the University of Connecticut in 2006, and now works as a therapist at Cityblock in Waterbury, and in private practice in New Haven.

Loretta received her B.A. in the History of Art from Yale University and studied graphic design at Rhode Island School of Design. She received her M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.

©2001-2021 Loretta Staples