Design (AGO Department)

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Design (AGO Department)

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Description area

Dates of existence



A formal design department did not exist at the Gallery until the 1970s, prior to which, design projects that provided visual identity for the Gallery and promoted exhibitions and events were completed without the assistance of a formal department, often with assistance from external contracts.
A Design Unit was first established at the Gallery in 1974, shortly after Scott Thornley joined the institution as Head Designer. The department was separate from the Publications department that was established in 1972, until they were amalgamated in 1981 as Publications & Design, a division of the Public Affairs branch. This department was responsible for all print and graphic material produced by the Gallery, including catalogues, posters, brochures, postcards, banners, and signage.
The department went through a series of name changes in the 1980s, becoming “Promotion” in 1983, “Graphic Design & Production” in 1986, and “Publication & Design” in 1989. The heads of the department between 1981 and 1990 included Denise Bukowski, Normand Terry, and Alan Terakawa. The Publications and Design department became a part of the Exhibitions division in the early 1990s, where it remained until the early 2010s.
During this period (1990-2010), there were a number of additional Designer roles established in different divisions, separate to the Publications and Design department. This included a Designer in the Marketing division.
In approximately 2011, the Publications and Design department separated, with Publications becoming “Publishing” and moving to the Curatorial division. Publishing was later briefly moved to the Digital division while publications were increasingly being released digitally, but the department returned to Curatorial shortly thereafter. As of 2023, Publishing remains part of Curatorial and the Design Studio is part of the Brand and Business division.


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Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

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