Catharine Slade-Brooking is an educator, designer and writer. Her research focuses primarily on graphic communication, branding, design research methods, and drawn communication. Starting her career in illustration she studied at the Arts Institute Bournemouth followed by launching a design consultancy specialising in branding and illustration. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Mall Galleries, Westminster Gallery, Chris Beadle Gallery and at the Norsk Farmasihistorisk Museum Oslo. Previous publications include writing and illustrating for books and magazines, “The Encyclopaedia of Illustration Techniques” “The Artists & Illustrators Magazine” and the BBC’s ”Radio Times”.
In addition she has design and branding clients including Lloyds Bank, ICI, Sunday Times, Random House, The World Wide Fund for Nature and Zenica.
Her most recent publication explores her research into brand communication. “Creating a Brand Identity: A Guide for Designers”, Lawrence King 2016, has now been published in four languages and will be translated into Korean in 2018. Drawing on over 20 years of professional and teaching practice, the title explores the complex world of brand communication its history, impact on today's consumer society, specialist research methodologies and insights into creative practices. Her teaching practice is research lead, embedding these three key research themes in the development and delivery of the Year 02 curriculum on the Graphic Communication course at Farnham.
Catharine’s research activities cover three key areas of interest, learning and teaching in the visual arts, eastern visual culture and brand communication.
Catharine’s research activities cover three key areas of interest, learning and teaching in the visual arts, eastern visual culture and brand communication. She has received research funding and had outputs ranging from conference papers, lectures and publications.
Her research in Learning and Teaching was awarded with a Teaching Fellowship from UCA in 2009, she has undertaken a number of learning and teaching research projects seeking to uncover the processes inherent in individuals creative practice. Outcomes have included the identification of key factors that influence creativity developed through the documentation and analysis of individual case studies of work from a range of design disciplines.
The final conclusion of the project developed research terms that define particular creative activities and a model of the design process that can be used to underpin studio teaching in all disciplines. The UCA Fellowship enabled her to develop new methodologies that facilitate creativity and enhance learning, culminating in papers given at the British Library, Sussex University, The University of Surrey and The National Media Museum Bradford.
Her research practise explores Eastern cultural aesthetics and visual language of East Asia, in particular Japan and China. The focus of this research has been to explore ‘languages without words,’ particularly the use of traditional symbolism in the design of graphics and packaging from these two cultures. Her research in visual cultures has inspired a body of work she was invited to present as part of the UCA’s Material Symphysis: Symposium held in Farnham April 2016. The conference aimed to examine how material experience in the study of crafts is taught within two culturally contrasting institutions, University for the Creative Arts (UCA), UK and Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA), Japan. Invited as the only non-craft speaker, Catharine’s paper examined the relationships between cultures, materials and learning. Highlighting her work within education and creative practice, the paper sought to explore ‘HINTERLANDS’, unmapped regions between cultures and learning.
Thematic summary of interests and expertise:
Design education, graphic design, branding and identity, Illustration, calligraphy, cross cultural issues in design, Japanese and Chinese graphics, semiotic
Curriculum development for BA and MA
Direct teaching at BA and Postgraduate level
UCA Teaching Fellow
Teaching Excellence Awards
97/98, 98/99, 2001/2, 2002/3 and 2007,
Teaching Fellowship Awards 2008/2009
£5,000 learning and teaching fellowship award for research into the nature of creativity.