Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?




10am - 6pm (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat). 10am - 10pm (Thu). 11am - 6pm (Sun).

Free Event



From hard-hitting posters and hospital design to pill packaging and health apps, this free exhibition shows the role of graphic design in communicating healthcare messages in order to persuade, to inform and to empower.

This exhibition will highlight the widespread and often subliminal nature of graphic design in shaping our environment, our health and our sense of self. Drawn from public and private collections around the world, it will feature work from influential figures in graphic design from the 20th century, as well as from studios and individuals working today.

'Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?' considers the persuasive strategies employed in shaping public perceptions around smoking, featuring luxuriant advertising campaigns from the 1980s alongside objects showing the impact of plain packaging and anti-smoking imagery found in formats as small as postage stamps. It will also reveal the imaginative educational approaches taken to instruct us about our bodies, from 16th century anatomical pop-up books to 21st century apps, through to comic books advocating safe sex.

Selected works include those by Fritz Kahn, Abram Games, Marie Neurath, F.H.K. Henrion, Karl Gerstner, Margaret Calvert, Dick Bruna and Ken Garland. Current established studios represented will include Pentagram, Studio Dumbar, PearsonLloyd and Kenya Hara’s Hara Design Institute. Further studios and individuals whose work is on show include Studio Myerscough, Poulin + Morris, A2/SW/HK, Studio Rubio Arauna, Studio Rejane Dal Bello, Stockholm Design Lab, Astrid Stavro and Nick Bell.

'Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?' is curated by graphic designer Lucienne Roberts and design educator Rebecca Wright, founders of publishing house GraphicDesign&, with Shamita Sharmacharja at Wellcome Collection.

(Image credit: Tiger, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona © Rubio Arauna Studio, Rai Pinto Studio. Picture by Victòria Gil.)

Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection is the free destination for the incurably curious, where you can enjoy exhibitions, events, the world-famous Wellcome Library, a wonderful shop, cafe and restaurant. Consider what it means to be human through an intriguing mix of art, science, medicine and ideas. We're free, just drop in!

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