Dr David Preston is a designer, researcher and lecturer.

David’s doctoral research looked at how the emergence of programmatic branding impacted the practice routines of graphic designers in the 1950s and 60s. He completed his PhD in the Culture & Enterprise programme at Central Saint Martins (CSM) under the supervision of Dr Jamie Brassett (Reader and Head of MA Innovation Management) and Professor Sean Nixon (Dept of Sociology, University of Essex). His thesis investigated three innovate post-war design consultancies who had pioneered a more systematic approach to brand image. Much of this work surrounded how designers increasingly sought to explain their working methods and rationalise their design decisions to their clients. During the period under study the practitioners in question each began to embrace group work in order to fulfil the potential of all-embracing, holistic corporate design programmes that were beyond the capacity of the individual artist. The move towards team working led in turn to ever-increasing efforts to manage design in a more deliberate, pre-planned manner. David has delivered conference papers and lectures on his research at the University of São Paulo, Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam), the University of Warwick, Brighton University, the Royal College of Art, and University of the Arts London.

Prior to his doctoral studies David gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Art & Design from CLTAD, University of the Arts London and a First Class BA (Honours) degree in Graphic Design from Central Saint Martins. After his undergraduate degree David took a post at the BBC, working as an information designer with the award winning News Interactive team responsible for producing the BBC News website. From 2006 to 2009 he worked as a designer for various boutique London agencies, including Kerr Noble, Studio Small and Praline. During this time he worked with a broad range of clients including large international brands (Toyota, Swire), publishers (Rizzoli, Phaidon, Bloomsbury, Prestel, Laurence King), renowned arts and cultural institutions (BAFTA, Heal’s, Modern Art Oxford, Margaret Howell), and new start-ups (Eager Drinks).

David began teaching short courses at Central Saint Martins in 2005 and joined the typography department of the undergraduate degree programme in Graphic Design the following year. Since then he has worked with students in all stages of this course, acting as Senior Lecturer in Typography, Route and Subject Leader for Design & Interaction, and Platform Leader for Strategy & Identity. Outside CSM he has delivered postgraduate and undergraduate teaching and learning activities at the Royal College of Art, London College of Communication, Colchester School of Art and Escola Superior de Artes e Design (Porto). Since 2009 he has led his own consultancy, David Preston Studio, specialising in publishing and visual identity. Recent clients have included Universal Music, Lund Humphries, Antique Collectors Club and The Good Schools Guide.

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