Lisa Fontaine

Social Engagement through Environmental Graphic Design: Design for Struggling Small Communities

Struggling downtowns and retail districts of small cities and towns have been completely overlooked by graphic designers, since these independent businesses often cannot afford, or aren’t aware of, the services of designers. In the graphic design department at Iowa State University, we see this problem as an excellent opportunity to engage our students in community-based design. For over 15 years, our senior graphic design students have been introduced to Environmental Graphic Design while working on the re-design of a downtown district--engaging with communities to reinvigorate their retail districts in efforts to enhance the quality of life for local residents.

Hablamos Juntos Universal Health Care Symbols

"We Speak Together"

A groundbreaking research effort produces universal symbols for health-care settings—and underscores the value of evidence-based design.

Patients, family members, and other visitors entering the doors of a hospital or other health-care facility face a daunting environment. Between them and their final destination, they will encounter a series of obstacles: multiple elevator banks, long and often identical-looking corridors, complex routes to distant departments or buildings, and often, ineffective wayfinding signage.

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