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  • Writer's pictureJulie Alleshouse

My Experience While Researching for a Project

Updated: Jul 3

Visual designers know that research is often a crucial step before diving into design a project. Depending on the project's scope, research can be a complex process. However, it can also be as straightforward as finding the appropriate imagery, typography, and colors (if not provided by the client) to establish the design's tone and feel. Research can also serve as a source of inspiration and information for designers. Regardless of its complexity, research is essential because it allows designers to gain a deeper understanding of the project's problem, goals, competition, end-users and so forth.

While in design school an assignment tasked me with designing a historic poster for a global cause. While the experience was enjoyable and unforgettable, it demanded a significant amount of research to identify the ideal organization to create for and to select the appropriate historical style to incorporate. With an array of styles at my disposal, such as Swiss style, Art Nouveau, Dadaism, and Futurism, I was eager to take on this endeavor!

The Organization

After conducting thorough research, I came across Helen Keller International, (HKI) a global health organization headquartered in New York and operating in 20 countries, including the United States. HKI is committed to eradicating preventable vision loss, malnutrition, and diseases associated with poverty. The organization was co-founded by Helen Keller, a renowned American educator and advocate for the deaf and blind. Her unwavering optimism and belief in human potential continue to guide HKI's mission. Despite being struck by an illness at the tender age of two, which left her blind and deaf, Helen's courage and resilience are truly inspiring. If you'd like to learn more about her incredible journey, check out The Story of My Life.

The Problem

In following my design brief, HKI was looking to increase awareness about its global vision care and the importance of raising funds to support vulnerable children. The intended audience included government officials who would collaborate and support the initiative, health and human services executives, physicians who would raise awareness among colleagues and patients, corporations with innovative fundraising ideas, and the public. The aim was to engage a diverse group of stakeholders in the collective effort to combat the root causes and consequences of childhood vision loss. 

The Style

I opted for the Late Modern Swiss Style, also referred to as the International Typographic Style, which emerged in Switzerland during the 1940s and 50s and served as a cornerstone in graphic design development throughout the 20th century (Design history) This style is renowned for its clean, objective, and legible approach, employing grids, minimalistic elements, and San-serif typography. What attracted me to this style was its adeptness in scaling images and text for emphasis, along with its utilization of white space to achieve a sleek, uncluttered design.


a World without barrier to sight. Clear vision
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Benefit for children with vision problems
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Make clear vision a reality
Pencil Thumbs

Final Design

Designed for class project, not an actual client
Historic Poster Design - Swiss Style (Sample Poster)

Unexpected Wisdom

Neil Armstrong was absolutely right when he said that research plays a vital role in creating new knowledge. Regardless of the complexity or simplicity of the process, designers can gain valuable insights that help them achieve their design goals. In my case, I deepened my understanding of poster design by studying its history and evolution from the early years to the present day. This, in turn, informed my own design work. I also took on board feedback from my colleagues and incorporated the most effective changes to improve the overall design. The two key factors that contributed to my success were maintaining an organized workflow and ensuring that all deadlines were met in a timely and efficient manner.

The remarkable story of Helen Keller was a true inspiration to me. Despite her challenges, she co-founded an organization committed to eliminating vision issues in children globally. Her journey demonstrates that with persistence and determination, anyone can turn their limitations into opportunities for success. This great lesson can be applied to many aspects of life and help designers become more well-rounded and successful individuals.

The Challenge

Reflect on what has inspired you to become the best version of yourself, whether it’s a person, a book, a quote, or a design experience. Then share it to encourage and empower someone else!

The Extra Stuff

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May 10

Loved seeing and hearing your vision for the design from start to finish! A great design for a great organization.

Julie Alleshouse
Julie Alleshouse
May 16
Replying to

Yes Indeed and Thank you for reading 😀

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