Faculty member poses indoors.

Katherine Hepworth

Associate Professor of Visual Journalism


Dr. Katherine Hepworth is currently on sabbatical until August 2020.

Dr. Katherine Hepworth is a visual communication design practitioner-researcher with a passion for studying how the designed world influences people's lived experience. 

As a practitioner-researcher, Hepworth uses her professional experience as a visual communication designer to inform her research, teaching, and public engagement activities. In her visual communication design practice, Hepworth works on data visualization, information architecture, and web interface design for a broad range of media. She also has considerable professional experience in visual strategic communication, including advertisements, art direction, branding, editorial design, illustration, and logo design.

Hepworth’s interdisciplinary research is highly collaborative and publicly engaged. Her combined professional career and research experience give her an in-depth understanding of the powerful influence visual communication design artifacts have over their designers, audiences, and users. This understanding informs Hepworth’s research in two broad areas: her basic research on the relationship between visual communication design and power, and her applied research on visual communication effectiveness. In the first research area, Hepworth works on how to visualize data ethically and investigates how visual communication mediates power. In the second, she works on improving students’ communication effectiveness and investigates visual teaching practices in higher education.

Hepworth teaches visual communication design, data visualization, science communication, user experience design, and digital humanities courses at the Reynolds School, the College of Science, and the College of Liberal Arts. She also teaches students at prestigious international venues such as the Digital Humanities Summer Institute in Victoria, Canada.


  • Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary History, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
  • G.Dip. in Graphic Design, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • B.A. in International Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Google Scholar citations
Title Cited by Year Author(s) Publication
Government Emblems, Embodied Discourse and Ideology: An Artefact-Led History of Governance in Victoria, Australia 4 2012 K Hepworth Melbourne: Swinburne University of Technology
History, Power and Visual Communication Artefacts 3 2016 K Hepworth Rethinking History 20 (2), 280-302
Big Data Visualization: Promises & Pitfalls 2 2016 K Hepworth Communication Design Quarterly 4 (4), 7-19
Governmentality, Technologies, & Truth Effects in Communication Design 1 2018 K Hepworth Advancements in the Philosophy of Design, 497-521
Governing Identities: Neoliberalism and Communication Design in 1990s Victoria, Australia 1 2017 K Hepworth Design and Culture, 1-26
Visual Methods in Psychology: Using and Interpreting Images in Qualitative Research 1 2012 K Hepworth Visual Methodologies 1 (1), 111
Developing an Interdisciplinary, Discursive Methodology to ‘See’Government Emblems 1 2009 K Hepworth Proceedings of Cumulus Conference 2009
Journalism Professors’ Information-Seeking Behaviors: Finding Online Tools for Teaching 2018 K Hepworth, D Mensing, GW Yun Journalism & Mass Communication Educator 73 (3), 255-270
Improving Science Students’ Data Visualizations: A STEAM-Based Approach 2018 KJ Hepworth, C Canon Dialectic 2 (1), 49-78
Teaching user centered design and content through image tweets: a social constructivist approach. 2017 K Hepworth SIGDOC, 10:1-10:6
CCID: Articulating a Design-Thinking Center for Multimodal Communication 2016 WJ Macauley Jr, K Hepworth, C Mays Proceedings of the 34th ACM International Conference on the Design of …
Designing Engaging Educational Materials 2015 K Hepworth The Journal of Digital Media Arts and Practice 2015 (1), 14-25
A Brand New Approach 2008 K Hepworth Finn Creative