illustrator drawing in sketch book, close-up

Illustration, drawing, artists books and zines research

Explore our work in illustration, drawing, artists books and zines, an area of expertise in Art and Design: Practice, Theory and History

Our research explores how self-publishing can allow a more diverse range of authors to communicate with an audience. Uncensored — and often made in limited editions — zines and artist's books can often tackle non-traditional subject matter.

We're researching zines that explore mental health narratives visually, either by social healthcare professionals or by service-users. We're also looking at how changing technologies are affecting traditional publishing, e-books, riso printers and letterpress publications.

Our research also covers the exploration of authorial illustration as an emerging genre. This includes graphic novels, comics and zines.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Illustration
  • Artists' books
  • Bookbinding
  • Zines
  • Drawing and creative practice
  • Independent publishing
  • Exhibition

Methods and facilities

We use creative and curatorial practices within our research, and we're a member of the Association of Illustrators which gives specialist advice – career, legal and creative – to freelance illustrators and illustration courses.

We're also home to The Ministry of Books, a special collection of artists' books and multiples.

Recent projects include

Research outputs

Podcast | Life Solved

Our members

Jacqueline Batey Portrait

Dr Jac Batey

Associate Professor of Illustration

School of Art, Design, and Performance

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

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Louis Netter Portrait

Dr Louis Netter

Senior Lecturer

School of Art, Design, and Performance

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

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Nicola Hay Portrait

Ms Nicola Hay

Senior Lecturer

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Rosalind Estelle Simms Portrait

Ms Ros Simms

Academic Lead

School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

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Discover our areas of expertise

Illustration, drawing, artists books and zines is one of 5 areas of expertise within our Art and Design: Practice, Theory and History – explore the other 4 below.

Fashion, textiles and material futures

Our fashion, textiles and material futures research is addressing important issues around fashion and textile design and its associated industries.

17/05/2021.B-Roll - day 3 ..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.
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Graphic and communication design

Our research is looking at the history of design, and ethnographic studies in relation to design, design usability, legibility studies, design knowledge, and epistemology.

A monochromatic piece of graphic design
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Histories and Theories of Art, Design, Visual and Material Culture

Our research locates the historical and contemporary production and consumption of art, design, visual and material culture in wider social, cultural, political and economic contexts.

Young woman wearing Donald Duck sweatshirt
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We're using the photographic image in its expanded field as an investigative tool. Our research explores photography as a medium, and investigates how photographic practices shape individual subjectivity and modernity.

Student taking a photo with DSLR
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Interested in a PhD in Art and Design?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Art and Design postgraduate research degrees page.

Illustration, Drawing, Artists Books and Zines blogs

Life solved EP48

How zines are capturing social history

How zines are capturing social history