Graphic Design

Graphic Design to Enhance Understanding about Health – Spring 2016

Course Instructor: Associate Professor Eric Benson

Associate Professor Eric Benson’s Spring 2016 junior graphic design class chose to focus on using the power of design to help lesser-known non-profit organizations in Peoria tell their stories and reach out to their constituents. Over the span of the spring semester, 19 junior students worked on two specific graphic design projects for real clients from Peoria’s Pediatric Resource Center (PRC) and Positive Health Solutions (PHS). The PRC “provides direct services to suspected child victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect in a child-friendly manner and setting,” while PHS “strives to achieve assisting people affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS by providing health and wellness services including, but not limited to, culturally appropriate counseling, housing, education, training, advocacy, health case management, employment opportunities and other health-promoting activities.”

The studio emphasized Social Design principals to reach innovative solutions for these projects. Social Design is a methodology that asks the designer to consider social responsibility, impact, and innovation. In every Social Design project, the goal is to create a positive social impact and it is best to eliminate preconceived notions of what needs to be created. Instead it is more important to have conversations with and listen to the people working to address the issue(s) to find the most suitable and sustainable solutions.