Updated April 2021
DR GILL BROWN
Graphic designer / illustrator, based in London.
I am a former exploration geophysicist, now working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, specialising in scientific visual communication. I work closely with scientists to help them create effective and adaptable conceptual figures.
I also run graphic design workshops for scientists, focusing on good graphic design practice for scientific figures. I provide hands-on training in the creation of conceptual figures, with an emphasis on the visual elements that make up those figures.
Having been awarded a PhD in graphic design in 2019, I am continuing my research, working in collaboration with the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences at King’s College London. I also present my work to graphic designers, highlighting the use of graphic design as a research method particularly when applied in fields outside of art and design.
PhD Graphic Design, University of the Arts London (London College of Communication). October 2015 – September 2019. PhD student representative 2016/17. Thesis – Visual Elements & Visual Paradigms: Re-thinking scientific conceptual figures through graphic design. Awarded September 2019.
Developing Academic Practice Unit (MA Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication), University of the Arts London. May – July 2016.
MA Graphic Design (part-time), Distinction, London College of Communication, UAL. January 2013 – December 2014. Final report – Scientific graphic design.
BA Graphic Design Communication, 2(i), Chelsea College of Art and Design, UAL. October 2005 – July 2008. Dissertation – Visualising the Invisible: The role of scientific visualisation in modern physics.
Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies, Distinction, Chelsea College of Art and Design, UAL. September 2004 – June 2005.
BSc Geology, 2(ii), Hull University. October 1983 – July 1986.
October 2018 to date: Freelance graphic designer / illustrator and graphic design researcher. Specialising in scientific visual communication.
October 2015 – September 2018: Fully funded PhD research student, University of the Arts London.
November 2005 – March 2015: Geophysical consultant, KRASKA Ltd. Company director, providing technical support and training to seismic data processing companies.
July – September 2005: Area geophysicist, WesternGeco. Short-term (3 month) employment, providing in-person technical support to seismic data processing centres in Stavanger, Vienna and Aberdeen.
August 2004 – June 2005: Sabbatical. Granted 1-year unconditional leave from WesternGeco to complete Foundation Studies at Chelsea College of Art and Design.
March 1988 – July 2004: Exploration geophysicist, WesternGeco (formerly Western Geophysical). Working in seismic data processing within a multinational company, becoming an area geophysicist covering Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and culminating in two years as a group manager based in Cairo.
PUBLICATIONS / CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
PhD thesis, Visual Elements & Visual Paradigms: Re-thinking scientific conceptual figures through graphic design. Full text uploaded to UAL Research Online database.
Creating scientific conceptual figures: using graphic design practice-based research in a collaboration with neuroscientists. Living Research: The Urgency of the Arts. NAFAE Research Student Conference, Royal College of Art. 15 March 2019.
Visual Elements & Visual Paradigms: using graphic design practice to research the visual languages of science. Arts re Search. CARU Annual Conference 2018, Oxford Brookes University. 25 November 2018.
Neuroscience & Graphic Design. Poster presentation at the opening of the Centre for Medical Engineering, St Thomas’s Hospital. 14 December 2017.
The Paradigmatic Evolution of Scientific Graphic Design. HARTS & Minds, Issue 8, 2016. Full text available to download from the HARTS & Minds website.
Unfolding Narratives. Work-in-progress from UAL PhD students based at London College of Communication. 4 – 12 March 2020.
GRANTS / AWARDS
Public Engagement Grant of £1,000. Awarded by the Wellcome EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering Public Engagement Grant Scheme, July 2020.
Grant of £3,600 to create and run Graphic Design for Scientific Figures workshops for research students of King’s College London Health Faculties. Awarded by the Health Sciences Doctoral Training Centre (HSDTC) Research Theme Activities Funding Scheme, April 2019.
WORKSHOPS / PRESENTATIONS
Graphic Design for Scientific Figures. Series of graphic design workshops with research scientists from the Health faculties at King’s College London. January – February 2020.
Visual Elements & Visual Paradigms. Presentation as part of the ‘Something or Other’ lecture series at London College of Communication. 23 January 2020.
Graphic Design Practice in Research. Presentation to PG Diploma & PG Certificate Design for Visual Communication students, London College of Communication, as part of their Professional & Academic Contexts Unit. 6 November 2019.
Presentation to prospective PhD students at London College of Communication PhD Open evening. 17 October 2019.
Graphic Design Practice in Research. Presentation to PG Diploma & PG Certificate Design for Visual Communication students, London College of Communication, as part of their Professional & Academic Contexts Unit. 21 November 2018.
Graphic Design Practice as a Research Method. Workshop with MA Data Visualisation students, London College of Communication. 15 November 2018.
Presentation to prospective PhD students at London College of Communication PhD Open evening. 9 October 2018.
Graphic Design Practice in Research. Presentation to students from the PG Diploma & PG Certificate Design for Visual Communication course. 25 April 2018.
Presentation to new PhD students at London College of Communication PhD Induction Day. 27 September 2017.
Doing a PhD … Presentation to prospective PhD students as part of UAL Research Fortnight, Central St Martins. 13 March 2017.