Mr Geoffrey Grandfield


I am an Associate Professor at Kingston school of Art with teaching roles for BA, MA and PhD research students, Design School Exchange coordinator and a Faculty role as chair of PG Course Leader forum.

I established the Illustration Animation Department at Kingston after 10 years as BA Course Director and was Head of Department for 4 years. Previously BA Illustration Programme Leader at Middlesex University for 12 years.

I have expertise as a subject and educational consultant for BA and MA Illustration and Visual Communication courses across the UK. As an External Examiner and in validation panel roles I have worked at many U.K. Art Colleges and Universities including Edinburgh, Cambridge, Leeds, Brighton, Bath, Cardiff, Derby, Worcester, Camberwell, Bristol and Dundee.

I have also campaigned for the greater recognition of the cultural value of Illustration as a discipline and practice that has an important role beyond its commercial applications, as a creative tool for identity formation and societal change.

Academic responsibilities

Associate Professor Illustration Animation Department


  • Illustration MA (Royal College of Art)
  • Illustration BA Maidstone College of Art
  • SF HEA

Teaching and learning

I have led the Illustration Animation Department's taught provision and teach across the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and currently supervise illustration practice-based PhD students. The understanding and recognition of Illustration as a reflective practice that has value not determined by industry, has underpinned my approach in teaching and building the Department and team of staff at Kingston.

The strength of the discipline within education and the subjects ability to prototype effective and innovative forms of social communication forms the basis of the Departmental strategy of discipline identity, audience finding, and new models of practice in a sustainable outward-engaged future. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • SF HEA

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My Research and supervisory interests cover illustration and the emergence of new approaches to the discipline as a practice and pedagogic subject. In particular, new ways of articulating the central tenet of Illustration as a discipline of translation and representation. 

Since 2014 I have supervised ten PhD students, four as a lead supervisor. They share the common ground of using Illustration Practice as a tool to examine such diverse areas as archive, place, education, interpretation and choreography:

Leah Fusco - Imag(in)ing Northeye: the visual reclamation of a shifting landscape through memory, experience and speculation.

Mireille Fauchon - Parallel Narratives; Interpreting Vernacular Histories through Participatory Illustration Practice.

Hannah Rollings - From Screen to Green:  Reconnecting Children to Nature through Picturing Trees in the Narrative Non-Fiction Picture Book

Yeni Kim - Representing lived experience through illustration practice

Matthew Richardson - Para-Illustration: Gaps, fragments and spaces of the literary imagination

Nic Clark - In/Visible Dances: Commuters Choreographies as Social Cartography.

Fei Tang - Social anxiety in the post-Covid-19 era: The therapeutic effects of biography comics on Chinese and Taiwanese students abroad

Jihao Ji - Reframing metaphors for experience remodelling: Can the co-creation of graphic narrative and visual metaphor support people's self-perception and mental healthcare?

Jane Webster - How can choice and confidence be instilled in the experience of birthing Mothers through Illustration Animation practice?

Yuning Wu - A graphic document: Storying the predicament of Chinese women (27-35) in marriage and love

my own PhD enquiry is titled: Illustrating Absence: pre-verbal separation trauma and formulating selfhood.

As an Illustration Animation Department we welcome new PhD proposals and are committed to build across disciplinary divides and develop new opportunities for collaborative enablement and new knowledge.

Areas of specialism

  • Illustration
  • visual interpretation and translation
  • visual narrative and sequence

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

I am a practicing Illustrator and particularly interested in exploring the dialogue between materials, ideas and iterative design process. I use composition and contrast to dramatise visual solutions to communication challenges. Exploring the illustration methodology of interpretative translation is central to my practice, recognising the value of subject content, the period when the work was authored and intended audience.

I have been commissioned by major international publishers, design agencies and newspapers producing images for book series, film editions and narrative environments and artefacts. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • V&A Illustration Award, overall winner
  • two D&AD Yellow Pencils, best illustration series
  • 3×3 publishing Educator of the Year
  • five times Association of Illustrators Awards, book illustration category winner