Dr Iain Macdonald

Profile image of Associate Dean of Screen

Associate Dean of Screen

London College of Communication


Iain has recently joined LCC having previously been Associate Professor, Head of Design Photography, Advertising and Programme Leader of MSc Creative Advertising at Edinburgh Napier University. There he taught across both the award winning Creative Advertising and BDes (Hons) and MA Graphic Design programmes drawing on his professional expertise in motion graphic design and directing commercials.

He has over 25 years of creative industry experience as an award winning television graphic designer at BBC Television, and as a film and commercials director at The Moving Picture Company. His practice-led research and pedagogic research into internationalisation, the moving image and lens-based media have been published in a monograph, in several journals and presented at many international conference papers, informing an argument for future directions in design practice and education.

Recent research collaborations have taken him to Mozambique to develop co-designed health education communication with UNICEF partners and students. Iain is eager to embrace the design activist heritage of LCC to further advance social awareness and community action through various graphic media, both locally and internationally.

He is a member of Chartered Society of Designers, a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Research interests

Motion graphic design, television branding, internationalisation and VFX

Research statement

My PhD was based on my professional practice and examined the conditions of production and cultural significance of motion graphics. Professional practice in motion graphics is a field that is being increasingly recognised as an important dynamic part of contemporary culture. I integrate my professional practice and research as a motion graphic designer and director into my teaching practice and pedagogy. This has been recognised internationally with papers presented at CUMULUS conferences in Hong Kong, Norway and Italy, an AIGA conference in Canada, as well as several UK conferences including iJADE/NSEAD, HEA and SRHE.

My monograph ‘Hybrid Practices in Moving Image Design’ published by Palgrave Macmillan is based on my recent and PhD motion graphics research. I provide a new context for design pedagogy and creative industries studies that challenges the digital orthodoxies in creative media and practice. The book examines the conditions of production from a political economy perspective and highlights the conflict of cultural change using an example from within the BBC during the 1990s, and draws on recent interviews with world-leading motion graphic designers, Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisors and moving image artists.

Project awards, and grants

Royal Society of Edinburgh – £7,000 (2016) a research grant to co-design a graphic design project with Mozambican UNICEF community groups to improve health awareness and preventative education.

HEA - £750 (2013) scholarship grant from the HEA to research the impact on art and design undergraduate programmes as a result of the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. I interviewed pupils and teachers and recorded teaching practice in a sample of Edinburgh schools to see how learning is changing and how the new curriculum might impact on art and design higher education.

Carnegie Trust - £900 (2013) travel grant from the Carnegie Trust to further another practice-led digital media research project that continued the theme of my PhD which provided a broader examination of other leading motion graphic designers and animators in the field of moving image design. This lead to a monologue Hybrid Practices in Moving Image Design - Methods of Heritage and Digital Production in Motion Graphics, published in September 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Selected research outputs