The Visual Communication research group examines the application, impact and process of graphic design and visual communication.
Staff within this group specialise in researching how typography, imagery, layout and colour can communicate ideas and information efficiently and memorably. Information Design, and in particular infographic design is a key area of expertise within this group that focuses on how data can be effectively visualised. Several staff work in the area of health information design to improve the way we communicate health issues to patients and the public. We collaborate with organisations such as Public Health England, the NHS, Drinkaware and Luto to ensure our research has wide impact.
Brand communication design is another research strength we examine the impact of branding on consumer experiences and devise new categorisation systems for brand identity design to inform future practice. Working as part of the Experience Design research group, many members of the Visual Communication team utilise graphic design methods to aid co-design processes. By designing visual materials to help everyday users express their feelings and communicate ideas we can capture design thinking from a range of audiences.
Visual culture and visual practice underpin much practice-led research within this group. Graphic design practice is used to explore historical perspectives and theoretical ideas on a range of subjects. Graphic Arts exhibitions are regularly held exploring subjects as diverse as Mark E Smith lyrics to James Joyce notation systems. Staff are regularly invited to present their work at other institutions and international book fairs.
Recent projects undertaken by staff in the visual communication research group have included:
- The impact of information design on recovery after bowel surgery. How can the design of patient information resources lead to improved comprehension and decreased anxiety? (Professor Maria Lonsdale)
- Downsizing: using environmental prompts to understand healthy portion control and appropriate food servings in children, adolescents and caregiver (Dr Tang Tang)
- Information design for sustainability (Professor Maria Lonsdale)
- The impact of information design on improving obesity prevention among university students (Professor Maria Lonsdale)
- Visualising the UK terror threat (Professor Maria Lonsdale)
Staff involved in the Visual Communication research group are: