Rob McDonald

Rob McDonald

Senior Lecturer Pathway Leader Visual Communication

  • Academic
  • Creative Education, Research
Rob McDonald

Rob McDonald is a multidisciplined artist/designer and tutor with an aptitude for both contemporary Graphics/Illustration and Fine Art in his work, research and teaching.

Rob McDonald


He graduated from Camberwell School of Art with BA (Hons) in Illustration and MA in Fine Art Printmaking. He has since gained a PGCE from Canterbury Christchurch University.

Rob is currently the Visual Communication pathway leader in Foundation Studies at Canterbury since 2001, overseeing the direction and development of specialist subjects. He also leads workshops in conjunction with current exhibitions at The Royal Academy.

Rob has previously taught across different disciplines and levels, from BA Fine Art at UCA Canterbury to BA Graphic Design at UCA Farnham, Salford University and Watford to Foundation studies at Manchester Met and North Herts.

Further information:

Research statement

Rob's work combines both graphic sensibilities of a visual narrative through complex structured images generated through silkscreen, collaged paintings whilst building an interaction between colour and mark making. The makeup of his work is derivative of our social conditioning which controls our values of taste, aesthetics and judgements.

It also attempts to question the changing face of British and European society from social housing and town planning to our interaction within the nucleus of family values, looking at TV culture to the importance of play. His work attempts to mirror and expose snobberies and social stigmas by using simple graphic forms and images of everyday life as cultural sources.

The work is built up through drawing, photography and found images with sentimental values developed through print and installation. In essence it is simple and direct; but one that can build an underlying network of form, structure, interlinking compositions thus reflecting his concepts and the subject matter.

Rob is also interested in the book as an object. Its tactile form, its playful nature, the way a viewer interacts with it, and ultimately its accessibility, developing ideas through examining what a book can be or represent, from sequential narrative to sculptural forms.

This is evident in creating and exhibiting his work at international book fairs and his work in collections at The Tate, UCA Libraries, John Moores University, UAL Libraries, and Turner Contemporary. 

Professional Membership, Affiliation and Consultancy

  • Member of Axisweb since 2012



  • Rob wrote exemplar and a case study of own professional practise for specific units for The New National Diploma Specifications 2010 published by Pearson Education


Commissions 2015 to 2016:

  • DMAG commissioned by Dover Arts Development.  
  • Darlow Smithson Productions - Graphics and props for Channel 4 Documentary ‘Science of the Swastika’
  • J Walter Thompson/Shell Oil - Illustrations for Shell Oil Eco Information Campaign, 16 posters and screen savers
  • Baraclough Productions - Illustrations for Empire of Censors, BBC2 Documentary
  • Diverse Productions - Illustrations for Promo Boards, BBC2 Documentary
  • BBC Productions - Illustrations for Moving Pictures
  • Paperchase Promo Design and Illustrations/Card Design
  • Vintage Books Jonathan Cape - Cover illustrations
  • Longman Publications - Cover illustrations for various magazines Solicitors Journal
  • Redwood Publications - Double page illustrations for Inter City Magazine
  • Marie Claire - Illustrations for magazine articles 


High-profile commissions from advertising, media and publishing groups (J. Walter Thompson Advertising, The BBC Random House Publishing, Vintage Publishing) to successful collaborative group shows (Bank) and Turner Contemporary Margate (The Generate programme) to independent exhibitions.

Rob regularly shows at The London Art Book Fair at The Whitechapel Gallery and at Printed Book Fair in Barcelona.