Graphic and communication design
Graphic design research covers the theories, practice and process in relation to solving problems through visual communication. This includes text – typically typography – and images, such as illustration, photography, and pictogram. The term is often used as an umbrella to cover visual communication and communication design generally.
Graphic designers create and combine symbols, images and text to form visual representations of concepts and messages. Forms of graphic design commonly include identity design, such as logos and branding, publication and editorial design, for example magazines. It also includes wayfinding or environmental design, advertising, web design, packaging, and signage.
In this emerging research field, we're looking at the history of design, ethnographic studies in relation to design, design usability, legibility studies, design knowledge, and epistemology.
We have presented at numerous conferences including ATypI – Association Typographique Internationale, Design Research Society, and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST).
Our research covers the following topics
- Graphic design
- Communication design
- Typographic design
- Information design
- Data visualisation
- Branding and identity
- Typeface design
- Publication design
- Web design
- Motion graphic design
- User centred design
- Design epistemology
- Design thinking
Project and publication highlights
Dr Michael Harkins, 2019, First ed. New York/London: Routledge. (Research in Design Studies; accepted for publication)
Dr Michael Harkins, 2016, Journal of Research Practice. 11, 2, 9 p., M9.
Discover our areas of expertise
Our fashion and textiles research is addressing important issues around fashion and textile design and its associated industries.
We're exploring the historical production and consumption of art and design in wider social, cultural, political and economic contexts, with a particular emphasis on curation and exhibitions.
We're exploring how self-publishing allows a more diverse range of authors to communicate with an audience – and how zines and artist's books can tackle non-traditional subjects.
Our research looks at the portrait studio as a psychic space, how photography can be used to propose theoretical considerations, and how subjectivity is defined through photography.
Interested in a PhD in Art & Design?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Art & Design postgraduate research degrees page.