John Walsh MA
Programme Leader, MA Design
John Walsh is the Programme Leader for MA Design at Manchester School of Art. Overseeing a range of distinguished postgraduate design courses, including MA Design Innovation, MA Graphic Design & Art Direction, MA Illustration, MA Interiors, MA/MSc Craft, MA/MSc Design for Health and Wellbeing, MA/MSc Product Design, and MA/MSc Textiles.
He is also the Subject Lead for the MA Graphic Design & Art Direction course, a role he has held for the past 5 years, following his 10-year tenure as the final year lead on the BA program. With over 20 years of experience in academia, he has played a pivotal role in shaping the Graphic Design, Art Direction and Illustration programs at MMU. John has been instrumental in the development and leadership of the MA Graphic Design & Art Direction and MA Illustration curriculum, fostering an environment that promotes practical and strategic design thinking and implementation.
An accomplished Designer, Art Director, Researcher, and Design Educator, John brings a wealth of industry knowledge and practical expertise to the classroom. His extensive background in Graphic Design theory and practice has significantly contributed to his comprehensive understanding of the field. Notably, his recent PhD project, which focuses on exploring new horizons across the field of Design, has gained attention within the academic community, showcasing his commitment to pushing the boundaries of the discipline. His proposed academic discipline, Graphicology, lays the foundation for a Science of Graphic Communication, promising to redefine the field's scope and impact.
Prior to his current role, John served as the final year lead on the BA program for over a decade, where he made significant contributions to the growth and development of the Graphic Design department. His dedication to nurturing talent and promoting innovative design methodologies has resulted in the successful transition of numerous students to impactful roles within the creative industries.
Throughout his career, John has collaborated with a diverse array of clients, including notable figures such as Tony Wilson at Factory Records, 808 State, mr. scruff, Flux Magazine, Tate Gallery, Band on the Wall, and Robert Redford. His design practice exhibits a comprehensive focus across a range of domains, including identity, editorial, exhibition, packaging, and typography design. John's emphasis on several key elements, such as letterpress mixed with digital typography and experimental image creation, underscores his commitment to innovative and boundary-pushing design practices. Additionally, his work is characterised by a strong foundation in research-informed practice, leveraging analytical and generative strategies to create impactful and meaningful designs. Incorporating elements of semiotics and narrative-driven designs further enhances the depth and richness of his creative portfolio.
In addition to his contributions to the university, John is currently pursuing a PhD at Manchester School of Art, furthering his research and expertise within the field of Graphic Design and Art Direction, and actively working towards establishing Graphicology as a pioneering academic discipline.