Graphic design is an important part of effective healthcare communication. Visuals can help to transform complex, technical information and dense collections of data into an easy-to-understand message. Visuals can carry the message further, overcoming barriers such as low health literacy to reach audiences with different backgrounds and abilities.
Graphic design can be used to raise awareness, educate, reinforce important details or aid decision making. There are many different tools which can be used to break down complicated concepts, show how things relate, make comparisons, or emphasize risks. The use of fonts, colour, imagery and placement can be attention grabbing, thought provoking or motivating.
Graphic design for healthcare communication is different than other industries. Although some messages are designed for the general public, most are directed at an audience of researchers, service providers, caregivers and patients. The subject matter is more serious – at times, it is literally about life and death. Well designed informational or marketing materials can have a powerful impact.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Literacy: Visual Communication. http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/developmaterials/visual-communication.html. Accessed on April 13, 2016.
2. Visualizing Health. A Scientifically Vetted Style Guide for Communicating Health Data. http://www.vizhealth.org. Accessed on April 13, 2016.