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Dr Alison Barnes

Course Leader BA (Hons) Graphic Branding and Identity
London College of Communication
Researcher Research
Alison  Barnes


Alison Barnes is a graphic designer, researcher and educator with experience of working in HE both in the UK and Australia. Her practice-led research draws from both graphic design and cultural geography, centring on the understanding and representation of everyday life and place. Barnes works with print based media, exploring the potential of format and typography in creating ‘open work’. This has the potential to offer the reader a non-linear, individual experience and thus aligns with contemporary definitions of place that position it as ongoing and relational.

Barnes was the recipient of an AHRC doctoral award and she completed her PhD — Realising the geo/graphic landscape of the everyday: A practice-led investigation into an interdisciplinary geo/graphic design process — at UAL in 2011. Her thesis included a range of design test projects that were undertaken within the London borough of Hackney and focused on issues such as food and cultural identity, the Freecycle recycling network, and how personal possessions accumulate memories and become a critical part of homemaking.

Barnes’ current research interests include interdisciplinary collaboration and the use of creative methods with which to understand and represent aspects of everyday life and place; critical cartography and the process of mapping; political graffiti; material and imaginary home making practices; and, material and visual culture relating to the branding of football clubs.

She has presented at conferences and symposia both nationally and internationally and has had work published in a range of journals. Barnes’ work also features in:
◾Bestley, R & Noble, I (2005 & 2015) Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Graphic Design, London, Bloomsbury
◾Coates, K & Ellison, A (2014) An Introduction to Information Design, London, Laurence King

Barnes is a member of the peer review collegium for She Ji — The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, published by Elsevier and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Communication Design and GeoHumanities journal, both published by Routledge/Taylor Francis.


Current research students

  • Nadav Barkan, Designing Israel: An Analysis of Israeli National Iconography within Visual Communication, Graphic Design and Corporate Identity (Joint supervisor)
  • Miriam Sorrentino, Can experience of ambient advertising in public spaces be captured and communicated so it resonates with the work of creatives in this field? (Joint supervisor)
  • Elena Veguillas, Why and how architectural lettering was used on London’s public houses in early 20th century (1902–1939) (Joint supervisor)
  • Welmoet Wartena, Rivers of White: Cultural Exchange of Typographic Discourse in Monographs (Joint supervisor)