Mrs Laura Orton


I am a graphic designer, teacher and researcher. I am a lecturer within the three Creative Industries courses at Kingston University, currently leading the module on Art Direction in level 5. My work at Kingston University is part time. For the rest of my week, I work as a freelance designer, with many clients in the charity and not for profit sectors. I am also currently moving towards the end of my PhD studies, where I am looking at how visual communication can effect stigma towards mental illness.

My research interests are into the semiotics and linguistics of graphic design, specifically around social marketing (sometimes called graphic design for social change or design for good). 

Academic responsibilities



  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design


I am completing a PhD in how visual communication can effect stigma towards mental illness. This research includes creating a unique framework to conduct semiotic analysis of existing visual campaigns that have been published in the UK, to evaluate how they are working. Interviews with the creators of such campaigns have also been analysed to establish the models of working plus the considerations and restrictions that designers are working with. These two methods of analysis will form design recommendations in a toolkit for other designers of the future to use to assist their work.

I also work with Manchester Metropolitan University on design projects that assist people living with dementia to live a meaningful and happy life. The research I have been part of can be found at

Areas of specialism

  • Graphic design
  • Social marketing
  • Semiotics

Scholarly affiliations

  • Research assistant - Manchester Metropolitan University

Social media