LSi’s design team just had the pleasure of working with award-winning photographer Chris de Bode for a two-day photo shoot at the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Twelve years ago, we had worked with compelling images produced by Chris to make them a centerpiece of the design for WHO’s report Preventing chronic diseases: a vital investment. A compendium of images, data, and analysis, this publication profoundly altered public health approaches to non-communicables diseases (NCDs) and led to the first-ever United Nations high-level meeting on noncommunicable disease prevention and control in September 2011. Only the AIDS epidemic had, in the past, warranted such an international commitment. And it can be traced back to the leadership and vision of global public health legend Robert Beaglehole who entrusted the production of the report to JoAnne Epping-Jordan. We would claim, of course, that its design made a small but significant contribution to its impact.
When faced with a brief for portraits to illustrate the call to eradicate hepatitis, we immediately thought of Chris. Or, rather, of his images, still vivid in our minds over a decade later. After digging up a series of posters we designed to feature his photography in The Lancet, we shot off an e-mail. He responded almost immediately, and landed in Geneva less than a week later.
Worldwide, approximately 240 million people have chronic hepatitis B infection and 80 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection – two liver infections that together result in an estimated 1.4 million deaths worldwide. The World Health Organization has declared that “A stepped-up global response can no longer be delayed.”
Of course, for WHO, publishing the Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis is necessary but no longer sufficient to achieve impact. In a hyper-connected world driven by a ruthlessly ephemeral news cycle, new approaches are needed to disseminate public health messages.
LSi’s design team, led by senior editorial consultant Aradhna Duggal, worked with WHO’s hepatitis team to bring to life the strategy’s key messages. We worked around the clock with a talented animator, based in Australia, to deliver.
For every report, we now recommend that the following be developed to augment impact:
A static infographic, summarizing the key messages using compelling visual language.
A data-driven, interactive web page to engage visitors with the significance of what is being published.
An animated story explaining why this issue matters
The center piece is a hybrid brochure designed for electronic distribution before the conference. This brochure in a small format (A6) is easily folded-up to be carried around on the conference floor, as it provides a handy guide to every WHO event during the event.
The brochure and other products leveraged the existing visual identity to produce a set of variations on a theme specifically for the needs and context of the conference’s digital and physical world spaces.
After the event, its flip side is a poster that we hope to be beautiful and memorable enough that many conference attendees will keep it and proudly display it in their offices.
LSi’s designisgood.info team also prepared highly-detailed, complex data visualizations for WHO’s scientific posters, banners, and other materials, meeting tight deadlines to support the success of WHO’s technical officers at this global conference.
“I have been designing infographics since before folks called them infographics,” smugly declares LSi‘s Claude Cardot, who now leads the designisgood.info team. “You know Pixar’s Inside Out where different emotions are embodied by miniature people living in a little girl’s brain? It is as if Claude has his very own Edward Tufte in his,” joked a client recently.
Many infographics try to say too much, with so much going on at the same time, on the same page, that one can get dizzy just trying to decipher what is being said. Claude boils down complexity and extracts the most valuable essence of what needs to be said visually, using a simple but compelling visual style.
On his most recent project with CitiesAlliance, a global partnership for urban poverty reduction and the promotion of the role of cities in sustainable development, Claude had to start with over 500 words of text detailing the complex relationships between equity, economic growth, equitable access to public goods and services in an urban context.
In record time, the productive dialogue with our partner’s technical specialists had boiled down to two key messages supported by a set of key data points.
The infographic was then printed as a large roll-up (5 x 1 meters) and used throughout CitiesAlliance digital and print publications.
Our team has just completed the production of a new global report for the World Health Organization, titled Communication radiation risks in pediatric imaging. WHO has also published a feature story on a safety campaign to reduce medical radiation risks in Africa, currently linked from the Organization’s home page.
The designisgood.info team also produced the executive summary in seven different languages.
Dr Maria Perez, responsible for this report, thanked our senior production coordinator Mr Claude Cardot for “his impressive, prompt and effective response to our concerns and requests.”
The designisgood.info team has been collaborating with the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health (PHE) at WHO since 2003. “As happened for [two previous reports], it has been a pleasure working with Mr Cardot”, added Dr Perez.
Designisgood.info is LSi’s design and publishing team. We offer design, editorial, and layout services to international organisations, as well as innovative solutions to augment reach and maximize impact of knowledge production.
From Claude and the rest of the Design Is Good Team, we wish you the best for this festive season and a beautiful new year. Yes, we know it’s early. But many of you will be enjoying time away from work, so now is the time to share!