How graphic design can (and will) save your life
Opening as part of London Design Festival 2017, "Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?" is a major new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection to offer insights into the role in which graphic design places in healthcare.
Comprising over 200 objects including hard-hitting posters, illuminated pharmacy signs and digital teaching aids the exhibition is a constant reminder of the important role graphic design plays in constructing and communicating healthcare messages around the world.
Curated by graphic designer Lucienne Roberts and design educator Rebecca Wright, founders of publishing house GraphicDesign&, with Shamita Sharmacharja at Wellcome Collection, the exhibition shows how graphic design has been used to persuade, inform and empower.
By highlighting the widespread and often subliminal nature of graphic design in shaping our environment, our health and our sense of self this is a must-see event.
"If graphic design can save your life, it is eminently capable of killing you, too" notes The Guardian on the conflicted message at the heart of this ground breaking exhibition which explores graphic design's "complex relationship with health, medicine, and the world of big pharma – and the different ethical positions that designers choose to take."
"The exhibition is full of other examples of the provocative power of graphics in ramming public health messages home, from the famous Don’t Die of Ignorance Aids awareness campaign – which saw every UK household leafleted with a mock tombstone in the 1980s, to the Kill Jill adverts, designed to encourage organ donation in Scotland" writes The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright.
"Presenting viewers with the choice of killing someone, by deciding whether or not to sign up as a donor, the campaign was subject to a litany of complaints. But the shock tactic paid off: donor registration surged by 300%."
"One of our intentions with the show was to portray the variety of design and communication strategies" explained Wright to CNN.
"There are some really playful examples … In the education section, we have some children's pop-up books where show us all about the human body. They are very accessible, very colorful … but we also have plague notices from the 15th century and cholera broadsheets."
"Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?" is on at the Wellcome Collection in London until Jan. 14, 2018.
Tags/ typography, inspiration, graphic design, exhibition, book, campaign, print, lucienne roberts, rebecca wright, shamita sharmacharja, wellcome collection, oliver wainright, world health organization