Gavin Ambrose

Gavin Ambrose


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Approach to teaching

I teach through a series of different pedagogic activities focussed around workshops and activity led sessions aimed at empowering learners. I have used this approach in the delivery of taught activity and in the devlopment of commissioned work and conferences. 

These ‘open’ workshop sessions I run promote engagement and equality for learners and aim to inform my own professional practice and approach to teaching. This method is based, in part, on the teachings of Jean-Pol Martin, who pioneered the LdL method of teaching (Lernen durch Lehren or Learning by Teaching) where peers are encouraged to teach one another.

I have ran a series of workshops where staff instigate the activity and then assist with the students, but latterly, with an interest in Vygotsky’s theories have ran workshops where a cohort of students run the workshop. The basic principle is summarized as “The one who does the talking, does the learning” and sees the student teacher role challenged.


Scholarly biography

Since 2005 I have authored and designed my own series of books on design and design theory for Bloomsbury Press London and New York. My works have been translated into Chinese, Korean, German, French, Spanish and Greek.

Selected published works

Basics Design 01: Format 9782940373284
Basics Design 02: Layout 9782940373345
Basics Design 03: Typography 9782940373352
Basics Design 04: Image 9782940439102 
Basics Design 05: Colour 9782940439119 
Basics Design 06: Print and Finish 9782940439126 
Basics Design 07: Grids 9782940439133 
Basics Design 08: Design Thinking 9782940439386

The Visual Dictionary of Pre-press and Production 9782940439812 

The Layout Book 9782940439690 

Packaging the Brand 9782940411412

The Fundamentals of Typography 9782940447244 
The Fundamentals of Graphic Design 978294043903
The Fundamentals of Creative Design 9782940439645 
The Fundamentals of Interactive Design 9782940447480 with Michael Salmond 

The Production Manual 9782940373635 

Basics Graphic Design 01: Approach and Language 9782940439737 with Nigel Aono-Billson
Basics Graphic Design 02: Design Research 9782940447381 with Neil Leonard
Basics Graphic Design 03: Idea Generation  9782940447428 with Neil Leonard

Design Genius – The Ways and Workings of Creatives

British Book Design & Production Awards

In 2006 my Basics Design series won best branded book series.
In 2007 Basic Design: Print & Finish won best Tertiary Education book
In 2008 The Production Manual: A Graphic Design Handbook won best Tertiary Education book
In 2008 The Fundamentals Series (AVA Publishing) won best Scholarly, Academic &
Reference title
In 2015 Design Genius was nominated for Scholarly, Academic & Reference title


Supervisory Interests

My supervisory interests lie in the development of new approaches to Graphic Design pedagogy. I have expertise in typography, printing, editorial design and graphic systems and conventions. I'm especially interested in the emergence of new approaches to the landscape of contemporary Graphic Design practice and how the role of the Graphic Design has shifted towards a bricoleur approach to contempory communication. Graphic Design is a pervasive subject that is integrated in our daily lives, but arguably the subject of little critical enquiry. An emerging research community and unified research clustering is beginning to address this shortfall, and Doctorate Level study will help to further this body of knowledge.

I am interested in supervising on enquries into:

• Graphic Design practice, both as an act of creation but also as a force for change;

• The changing topography of the Graphic Design landscape, and the changes to the 'role' of the graphic Designer as a contemporary communicator and creator;

• Shifts in typographic practice and relationships of Graphic Design to the broader influences of social and economic factors including globalisation and homogenisation;

• The role of communication as an emerging research practice;

• Self regulation and ‘rule’ or convention generation with in the industry;

• The role of ‘play’ and ‘failure’ in design Graphic Design practice, and in particular how these actions are navigated and understood by learners and educators;

• The emergence of alternative, less formal approaches to education and the role of the ‘Art School’ in this developing landscape.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, MA, University of the Arts London

Award Date: 19 Feb 2026

FHEA – Fellow of the Higher Education Authority

2018 → …

External positions

External Examiner, Oxford Brookes University


External Examiner, University of Essex


Artistic Assessor, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

2017 → …

Elected Member, International Society of Typographic Designers

2016 → …

Member, Sustainable Development Working Group


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy

31 Jan 2012 → …


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