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The Human Body app 2013

Artwork by Kelli Anderson for Tinybop

An advertisement for The Silence = Death Project, 1987

The exhibition features various such advertisements found across the world.

Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace)

Pull-out poster from volume III of Fritz Kahn’s Das Leben des Menschen (The Life of Man), 1926

Poster created for Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis

Artwork illustration by Dick Bruna 1986, Copyright Mercis bv, 1986

Educational mural about Ebola in Liberia, 2014

Artwork by street artist Stephen Doe. Photograph by Dominique Faget, AFP, Getty Images.

Help Remedies

3 packs, designed by strategic design brand agency Pearlfisher.

Cancerfonden

Breast cancer awareness campaign, 2016, Sweden.

Left: Anti Malaria Poster, Right: Anti Smoking Poster

Anti Malaria Poster by Abram Games, 1941, copyright Estate of Abram Games. Smoking is Slow Motion Suicide by Biman Mullick, Cleanair.

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News 20 Dec 2017

Charting the power of graphic design in the world of medicine

You’ve all probably driven past neon-lit pharmacy signs and seen tar-filled lungs on cigarette packets, right? Wellcome Collection’s ‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?’ exhibitions taps into these visuals while elucidating the role of graphic design in communicating health care messages. Around the world, posters, pharmacy signs and medicinal packaging are used to harness the power of design in persuading, informing and empowering people. CQ finds out more about it through this exhibition.

What is Wellcome?

A free museum and library,  Wellcome Collection seeks to explore health, life and our place in the world through exhibitions, live programming, digital media and publishing. Wellcome Collection is part of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that exists with the aim of improving health conditions around the world by facilitating thriving ideas. 

Politically and financially independent, the Wellcome Trust supports scientists and researchers in taking on problems critical to the world while fueling imaginations and necessary debates. Taking this thought forward, Wellcome Collection creates opportunities for people to think at the intersections of science, medicine and art, often leading to reflections in the form of thoughtful content.  

The Human Body app 2013

Artwork by Kelli Anderson for Tinybop

‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?’

Curated by graphic designer Lucienne Roberts and design educator Rebecca Wright, founders of publishing house GraphicDesign& in collaboration with Shamita Sharmacharja at Wellcome Collection, the exhibition features over 200 objects such as posters and pill packages along with other work in the pharmaceutical field spanning the 20th Century. 

An advertisement for The Silence = Death Project, 1987

The exhibition features various such advertisements found across the world.

The exhibition opens on a compelling note, displaying the powerful emblems of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent and the Red Crystal, that are used to depict neutrality and provide safety in conflict zones. One of the primary goals in the exhibition was to alter perceptions around smoking. The exhibits features advertising campaigns such as those produced by Silk Cut in the 1980s along with plain packaging and anti-smoking imagery found across the world. 

Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace)

Pull-out poster from volume III of Fritz Kahn’s Das Leben des Menschen (The Life of Man), 1926

 

“These resources transform the hospital experience that can otherwise be intimidating and unpleasant.”

The Power of Design in Medicine

The exhibit also emphasises the role of design in orienting and aiding people in hospitals through the usage of signage, fonts and other resources. Pain is often synonymous to hospitals; the exhibit spotlights this thought, with an emphasis on the additional resources that traverse stereotypical definitions of a hospital space. 

Educational mural about Ebola in Liberia, 2014

Artwork by street artist Stephen Doe. Photograph by Dominique Faget, AFP, Getty Images.

 
Poster created for Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis

Artwork illustration by Dick Bruna 1986, Copyright Mercis bv, 1986

Highlights include colourful schemes for children’s wards designed by influential studios like Studio Myerscough, Studio Rubio Arauna and Studio Rejane Dal Bello. These resources transform the hospital experience that can otherwise be intimidating and unpleasant. 

Various corporate identities in the industry are also studied in the show. Decoding the health system, the exhibit evaluates how graphic designers convey clear instructions to consumers using colour systems and packaging.

Help Remedies

3 packs, designed by strategic design brand agency Pearlfisher.

From Italian renaissance plague notices to a hand painted mural depicting Ebola symptoms during the 2014 outbreak, ‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life’ charts the role of design in the medical world while highlighting the urgency in recognizing the medium as a critical way to convey information.  

Cancerfonden

Breast cancer awareness campaign, 2016, Sweden.

 
Left: Anti Malaria Poster, Right: Anti Smoking Poster

Anti Malaria Poster by Abram Games, 1941, copyright Estate of Abram Games. Smoking is Slow Motion Suicide by Biman Mullick, Cleanair.

The exhibition is on till 14 January 2018 at the Wellcome Collection, London. Learn more about Wellcome here, and Wellcome Collection here.