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Professor Sue Walker

  • Director, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded Design Star Doctoral Training Centre, based at Reading, working with colleagues at Brighton, Goldsmiths, Loughborough and the Open University.
  • Research Division (co-)Lead, Typography & Graphic Communication
  • Department Director of Collections and Archives, overseeing and encouraging the use of collections and archives in teaching and research.
  • I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students in design practice and lecture on the theory and history of typography and graphic communication.


Room D2, Typography & Graphic Communication

Building location

Whiteknights campus (Building 21, TOB2)

Areas of interest

My research interests include analysis and description of graphic language, in particular the relationship between prescription and practice in everyday documents, and information design in public service.

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise doctoral students in subjects relating to the history and theory of typography and graphic communication, including Isotype, children's books, and the graphic aspects of language. I welcome enquiries from students keen to work with the University's collections and archives as part of their PhD project. 

Research projects

I am currently working on projects about communicating information about antimicrobial resistance (AMR). "Information design and architecture in persuasive pharmacy space: combating AMR"(IDAPPS) is looking at how community pharmacies can be used to tell people about the risks and prevention of drug-resistant infections. A project on antibiotic resistance communication in Rwanda, funded by the University's GCRF Strategic Fund: Partnership Development Projects, involves work with local communities and pharmacies.

Transforming science: Marie Neurath and Isotype books for children" is an AHRC-funded impact and engagement project about science communication for young people. I am a co-investigator on "Emerging minds: action for child mental health", a network project led by Cathy Creswell, University of Oxford.


From 2007 to 2011 I served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, having previously been Head of the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication from 1997 to 2007 and Head of the School of Arts and Communication Design from 2004 to 2007. I continue to work on projects across the University. I am an active participant in the Associate All Party Parliamentary Group on Design and Innovation and the Information Design Association.

Professional bodies/affiliations

I served in the Art and Design sub-panel for Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2008 and REF 2014, and have been re-appointed for REF 2021. I serve on the AHRC Strategic and Academic Peer Review Colleges. I am a member of the editorial board for Information Design Journal (Benjamins). In 2007, I was elected Fellow of the Design Research Society, and I am proud to be a member of the Double Crown Club.