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