Lisa Kirkham

Associate Lecturer, Graphic Design

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Cambridge School of Art

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Graphic design and typography

Research Supervision:Yes

Courses taught: Graphic Design and Typography

Lisa is a typographic designer specialising in book design, with research interests in the material book, material engagement and the effects of digital technology on design process.


Lisa began her academic studies with a degree in economics, but chose to follow her long-standing interests in typography, printing and publishing. After training within publishers combined with a post-graduate qualification in graphic communication, she graduated with a Masters degree in Typographic Design in 2007. During this time she created a typeface that has been used for children’s picture books and became increasingly interested in the differences between manual and digital design processes and engagement with physical objects. In 2012 she returned to education to pursue this interest through doctoral research.

She currently teaches on the graphic design course at ARU, as well as guiding students through independent research projects at Hills Road Sixth Form College, and continuing with writing and research projects.

Research interests

Research synopsis

Lisa’s research aims to enrich our appreciation of how technology has changed the process of book design directly and indirectly, from the perspective of a framework based on current theories of embodied cognition, haptic perception and material culture.

Areas of research supervision

  • Graphic design


Modules on which Lisa currently teaches:

  • Major Project (Year 3)
  • Debates and Practices (Year 2)


  • PhD, Anglia Ruskin University, 2019.
  • MA, Typographic Design, Anglia Ruskin University 2007.
  • Postgraduate certificate, Graphic Communication Kingston University, 1996.
  • BA (Hons) Economics, University of Reading, 1985
  • RSA certificate, TEFL, Bell School of Languages, 1986

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of Wynkyn de Worde Society

Selected recent publications

Kirkham. L. J., [forthcoming]. Materiality and the form and function of the book (indicative title). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kirkham. L. J., [in press]. Content, containment and commitment. Book 2.0. Intellect: Bristol.

Kirkham, L. J., 2017. Design process: making sense. In Theorem, 2017, Cambridge: Ruskin Arts Publications.

Recent presentations and conferences

Kirkham. L. J., and Pullinger, D. 2017. Touching Text. Presented at Materiality of the Children’s Book symposium, May 10 2017. Homerton College, Cambridge.