Hello, my name is Nigel Ball, welcome to Field Readings.
Field Readings exists as a place for me to publish my writing about graphic design and visual culture, as well as serving as a repository for some of my ongoing research. While it is published with the intention to be of interest to graphic designers, design students, and academics; it also aims to be accessible to a wider audience with a general interest in visual communication.
Field Readings takes its name from Helen Armstrong’s Graphic Design Theory: Readings From The Field, (2009), published by Princeton Architectural Press.
I am the Course Leader for the undergraduate Graphic Design programme at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich, where I have taught since 2007.
My research focuses on the societal impact of graphic design in shared environments—or Graphic Commons—and as a result, how this relates to debates about social responsibility and to the study of urbanism. I explore these contexts through photography and writing, and alongside publishing some of my research online, I produce self-published texts and photobooks as a record of my investigations.
As well as maintaining Field Readings, I occasionally write for the blog of Eye magazine: the international review of graphic design; and peer-review publications for Fairchild Books / Bloomsbury Publishing.
Prior to becoming an academic, I worked in the print trade as a book binder and finisher before running my own graphic design practice dedicated to clients from the cultural, public and voluntary sectors. I have also been active in social justice and environmental organisations; and have sung in bands for little to no reward, or critical acclaim.
All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the views of my employer, clients or collaborators.
All material, unless otherwise stated, © Nigel Ball