Jon Unwin

Job title
Senior Lecturer, BA(Hons) Graphic Design
01326 213720 Ext: 3720

Following graduation from the MA Graphic Design course at the Royal College of Art in 1987, I joined the international design consultancy, Minale Tattersfield & Partners, London. Here I worked with many outstanding designers, in a multi-discipline company, where the 'idea was king'. I was fortunate to work closely with both Marcello Minale and Brian Tattersfield on a range of major projects with leading clients including London Transport, NatWest Bank, Valentino, Samontana, Jameson Irish Whiskey and the FA Premier League, to name but a few.

Predominately I worked on branding and packaging design related projects, but the nature of design draws you into unexpected areas of practice. I began teaching at Falmouth in the mid-nineties, where I discovered an equal passion for teaching. I have always encouraged students to see design as a problem-solving activity, and to view simplicity and clarity as the aim, rather than being a slave to visual trends. Design should be a pleasure to behold, primarily because it works. And it works because it responds to a need and because it was designed with an audience in mind. It should also deliver a surprise - 'I wish I had thought of that' is probably the highest accolade that can be delivered by a fellow designer. I have had the pleasure of working with so many talented students, who have gone on to work at the highest level in design - this has been my reward. At Falmouth, I have been the head of graphic design for 14 years. An incredible experience, working with passionate and talented academic staff, collectively delivering an outstanding course that has built an extraordinary reputation in our industry, demonstrated not only by the success of our graduates but the 260 + design awards and citations picked up by our students.

In 2001 the course was awarded the Peter Stone Prize by the ISTD, for its outstanding contribution to design education and continues today to shine in the world stage through a host of international design awards received by our students. Following a four-year term as the director for the School of Communication Design between 2013 and 2017, I have returned to my first love – teaching. As course coordinator for final year students and through my contributions to second year teaching, I hope to bring my experience and wide-eyed optimism to every design challenge initiated by students, encouraging them to see design as a catalyst for change and an incredibly satisfying and rewarding career.


YearQualificationAwarding body
MA Graphic Design
Royal College of Arts
BA(Hons) Graphic Design (First Class)
Hull College of Art & Design

Honours and awards


Folio Society Illustration Award


European Design Award, Corporate Identity, Minale Tattersfield & Partners


European Design Award, Packaging Design, Minale Tattersfield & Partners


CSD, Minerva Awards, nomination, Minale Tattersfield & Partners


Regional Design Effectiveness; Service Sector award, Falmouth College of Arts


Nominated as Academic Representative at 'Celebrating British Design' at Buckingham Palace.


Premier award, International Society of Typographic Design, University College Falmouth

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

I am interested in the design process - in articulating to students of graphic design, the journey of development, from an initial brief or question towards a final concepts (realisation), using diagrams and pictorial references to explain to students the stages of the process. My research also looks into 'triggers' to stimulate alternative ways of seeing a problem and develop alternative concepts. The purpose of the research is to not only to support students studying within Higher Education but also to stimulate models of practice that will enhance design education within further education and within schools.   


Areas of teaching

Graphic Design

Courses taught

Graphic Design

Business engagement

Consultancy and facility services

A New Agenda for Creative Enterprise (2001), conference book design, Falmouth 2001
Eden Project: The First Book, Designed in conjunction with Gendall Design, 2000
HEFCE: National Environmental Report, Designed on behalf of Falmouth College of Arts, 1999
3 Prospectus Design for Falmouth 1996-99
Falmouth University - Brand identity consultancy, 2013

Professional engagement