Marcus Leis Allion


I am a graphic designer,  type designer, and lecturer with extensive experience in commercial, cultural, and social projects. For ten years I worked with the internationally renowned Barnbrook studios where I co-created cultural identities such as Roppongi Hills and Mori Art Museum, several print publications and numerous typefaces – including Priori and Hopeless Diamond. During my time there I instigated and introduced an intern network – a collective and collaborative programme designed to expand and enrich the placement experience and support interns after they left the studio. I've undertaken several projects that explore the interplay between intellectual property and creativity, with my role as a partner and art director of LOCA Records being particularly noteworthy. The electronica label I co-founded was at the forefront of using open source and copyleft licensing for cultural works. Using copyleft licences means all of the music and its associated graphics are made available for free, with permissions for others to copy, remix, and share, provided that the resulting work is also released under the same terms and proper attribution is given. We worked with a broad roster of artists and designers from a rich array of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in development of a creative commons. LOCA was invited to play a several festivals (including BBC 6 Music) and contribute to key conferences and symposia in London, Brighton, Berlin, Oslo, Ljubljana, and Zagreb. This project expanded to fold in collaborations with The Libre Society, Remix Brighton, and an ongoing creative partnership with David M. Berry, Professor of Digital Humanities at Sussex University. In 2008, I returned to University to complete an MPhil in Cultural and Critical Theory, followed by a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 2011. 

Academic responsibilities

Course Leader


  • MPhil Cultural & Critical Theory
  • FHEA
  • PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • HND Graphic Design

Teaching and learning

As Course Leader of the Graphic Design BA program at Kingston University, I am committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment. I have shaped the course to promote a critically reflective and creatively ambitious approach to both the practice and how it is studied. I have introduced several important changes to the course, including: the introduction and implementation of Strand Studios that support detailed inquiry into specific facets of graphic design practice; heterogeneous classes that involve students and staff from levels 5 and 6; and research-engaged projects in which students work with interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary methods to enhance their formal-technical understanding and personal and professional skills. More recently I have begun to introduce a research project called Making as Critique that will examine how making can be used as a mode of critical inquiry and creative expression.

My pedagogy is shaped by a rich body of writing – in particular, the work of Dieter Mersch, Jacques Rancière, Martin Heidegger, and Theodor W. Adorno and critical, aesthetic, and media theory more broadly.

Qualifications and expertise

  • FHEA
  • PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Undergraduate courses taught


My research interests relate to the contemporary and historical interplay between typography, technology, and society. I am especially interested in the discursive norms of: typeface designers; graphic designers; and coders, and the mediating effects of their work. This research has been published and presented at a number of international conferences, including: McLuhan Galaxy: Understanding Media, Barcelona, ATypI Reykjavík; xCoAx in Porto; and most recently Face Forward. I have published articles in Eye Magazine, Grafik, and Computer Arts, amongst others.

My latest project, TyPrograms: The Shaped Typography of Computer Programs, explores the significance of typography in computer programs. You can read it here:

Research interests: Graphic Design, Typography, Typeface Design, Technical Mediation, Postdigital Poiesis, Techné Theory, Aesthetic Theory, Critical Theory, Media Theory, Artistic Research, Making as Critique, Philosophy of Technology.

Key fields: Graphic Design, Typography, Visual Communication, Critical Theory, Media Theory.

Qualifications and expertise

  • MPhil Cultural & Critical Theory

Areas of specialism

  • Typography
  • graphic design
  • typeface design
  • font design
  • Media Theory and technical mediation

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