Can graphic design save your life?

Can graphic design save your life?
Editors: Sarah Schrauwen | Lucienne Roberts | Rebecca Wright

This book shows practical and tangible works where graphic design thrives and matters for society. With the main topic of Graphic Design & Health, this book is divided into 5 chapters that represent different areas: Persuasion, Education, Hospitalization, Medication, Contagion and Provocation.
It demonstrates “how graphics can directly or indirectly save your life.” (Billie Jean, 2017:215) and “includes 50 projects alongside designer and healthcare professional answer to the provocative question posed by this title”.

Some notes from the book:

“I became interested in design that was more about explaining things that selling things” (Peter Grundy, 2017:66)
“The creation of a poster casts the designer as an artist. Bringing into being corporate identity for some giant multinational company showcases the designer as a business strategist. But the design of a map for a housing project or a set of a map for a housing project or a set of instructions for how to tie a bow tie – what sort of designer does jobs like these?” (Hugh Aldersey-Williams, 2017:66)

“So, how does this type of design improve – and even save – our lives?
Firstly, it communicates generally via pictures and therefore speaks to a wide audience, unhindered by language. Secondly, it uses design to convey complicated messages simply and make things easy to understand. Combine the two and you have a powerful tool to explain how to assemble your bed, consider the best place to go on holiday or understand what makes a diet healthy.
Life improved, job done.” (Peter Grundy, 2017:67)

“[Nick Bell co-founded Early Lab] His aim is to demonstrate the value of highly visual thinking, that is informed by doing and making in the early, exploratory and problem-framing stages of a project.” (2017:80)

“Design is no longer limited by the so-called solving of so-called problems. Design is also imagination, long term vision and transformation. Design is becoming more about the creation of futures in which everyone can see themselves.
This aspiration is only achievable if designers are members of a trans-disciplinary community acting before events. Designers, together with practitioners from many other fields, must advocate for preventive behaviours. The example of the health service is obvious – the aim that people are less likely to become ill.” (Nick Bell, 2017:81)

“Graphic design can inform, educate, promote and persuade. Increasingly, practitioners also create work to provoke. A continually evolving discipline, graphic design is becoming more participatory and interactive, harnessing the possibilities of social media and new technologies as it looks to the future. This section highlights how graphic design can be a tool for empowerment and a call to action.” (2017:210)

What I’ll look next?

Early Lab – http://earlylab.org/

This post is part of my MA major project bibliography.

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