John Rooney


My areas of interest include Typography, Type design, Graphic Design for the creative arts, and Image making. Prior to my academic position, I ran a design consultancy working with a range of clients in the creative arts and music sector including:  Adidas Europe / FACT Liverpool / Reebok UK / Liverpool and Manchester Design Initiative / The University of Liverpool / Oldham Art Gallery / The Green Room Manchester / Trevor Johnson Graphic Design / Urban Splash / North West Arts, Manchester / Visual Arts Venues (NW) /  Manchester City Art Gallery / Contact Theatre Manchester / The Northern Quarter Manchester / Steve Bell, The Guardian Newspaper Group/ Arts About Manchester / Play It Again Sam Records, Belgium / Frankfurt Book Fair / Umbro Europe, USA, Japan.

This included a 12-year creative commission with Tate Gallery Liverpool. Working with the curators, I produced award winning art books, exhibition newsletters, international gallery and artist advertising campaigns web design work and motion graphic projects.

Research interests

I am currently completing work a practice-based PhD at the University of Leeds. 

The practice presents the development of creative self-history via a combination of auto ethnographic reflection and typographic mapping. The collected set of visual responses are presented as an Atlas of Auto(typo)bio graphic maps. Fieldwork for this project was carried out on the Number 17 Bus route from north Manchester in to the city centre.  Observations of the space inside and outside the bus were sketched, photographed or recorded in the journey.  Practice is created with a combination of practice-based methods, Psychogeography, Deep Mapping and Fluxus typography.


2017 | I was invited by Professor Malcolm Garrett to contribute a personal graphic reinterpretation of the artwork for the Buzzcocks single Orgasm Addict.  My response was displayed alongside the work of Craig Oldham, Peter Saville, Spin, Textbook, Dr Me and Michael C Place (Build) as part of Design Manchester 17. The work was also exhibited at a G.F Smith Exhibition in London in 2018.

2018 | “I Shout for the Fall” Curated with Professor Malcolm Garrett (RDI) /Design Manchester18 This was a typographic celebration of the words of Mark E Smith. The work was exhibited at Bury Art Museum (Smith lived in Bury), with over 100 contributions including, SPIN, Patrick Thomas, Designers Republic, Erik Spiekermann, and Jonathan Barnbrook (David Bowie).  

2019 | “New Art School Rules” Curated with Professor Malcolm Garrett (RDI) /Design Manchester19.
The art school is a place where formative notions of creative endeavour are made; it is a complex space; it is as much a state of mind as a specific location and not every creative went to a “traditional” art school.  The exhibition presented a new collective manifesto of formative rules for creative practice made from more than 100 submissions received by the museum from contemporary artists, designers and image-makers. The exhibition was featured in Eye Magazine and Creative Review. The exhibition featured work by Swifty, Adrian Shaughnessy, Craig Oldham, Morag Myerscough, Ian Anderson (The Designers Republic) illustrator Marion Deuchars, Jane Plüer (Pentagram) Jane Bowyer (Women in Print) Harry Pearce (Pentagram)  

I was also selected for inclusion to the following graphic design exhibitions
(2018) Secret 7. My contribution featured alongside work by Alec Doherty, Anish Kapoor, Conrad Shawcross, Es Devlin, Hattie Stewart, Jean Jullien, Malcolm Garrett, Morag Myerscough, Paul Smith, Studio Moross and Yinka Ilori.

(2019) FEDRIGONI 366.  I was chosen to contribute a typographic response for one day of a collective typographic calendar. The work was published in a book “FEDRIGONI 366” and exhibited in London and Manchester.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MA Design and Art Direction
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice and Research (PGCHEPR)

Student education

I teach on modules across the School's undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, specifically on the Graphic and Communication Design degree and MA Advertising and Design.