Art & Design

Gillian Harvey

Assistant Professor, Design Studies

Office: 377A FAB
Phone: (780) 492-5092

Areas of Teaching and Research

Visual Communication Design, Information Design, Typography + Document Design, Wayfinding + Signage, Design for Decision Making, Social Marketing


MA, Information Design, University of Reading, UK, 2004

Gillian Harvey is an Assistant Professor in Design Studies, Department of Art & Design at the University of Alberta (Canada), where she teaches undergraduate students design theory, practice and research. Gillian’s work as a partner and studio owner over the last 15 years has included a diverse set of private and public sector clients that has included educators, health care professionals, non-profits and government. Her design work has included educational and social marketing campaigns, data visualization and the design of complex wayfinding systems.

Her research focuses on several areas: information design, design for decision making and wayfinding and signage. She prioritizes the simplification of complex information in order to make it understandable for people. She advocates for understanding different audiences and the importance of user-centred design. Her recent work uses applied design research or the purposes of communicating a procedure in emergency situations. Gillian’s research interest in signage and wayfinding has led to various opportunities to critically explore wayfinding systems and  their importance to urban growth and development in a city.

Gillian’s work has been recognized with dozen regional, national, and international awards, and she has published in the IIID’s Journal of Information Design.

She is also a professional member of International Institute of Information Design (IIID), and the Graphic Designers of Canada, Alberta North Chapter. She is also the president of the Edmonton Wayfinding Society in Edmonton, Alberta and an IIID World Region Representative.

View full curriculum vitae.