By Mari Nakano, Design & Interaction Lead, UNICEF Office of Innovation
Design has always played its part in supporting the work of UNICEF since its founding after World War II in 1946. The sale of UNICEF’s endearing postcards and greeting cards has been a key source of fundraising for decades, so we thought what better way to celebrate UNICEF’s 70 years as an innovative change engine than through design?
There’s so much to say about UNICEF’s great work and it’s already written all so well in UNICEF’s anniversary publication. So to congratulate UNICEF in our own way, UNICEF’s Office of Innovation created a poster to celebrate UNICEF’s history of collaborating on innovation for children for 70 years.
We reached out to fellow UNICEF colleagues to crowd-source and capture innovations throughout the years and turned these ideas into an intricate, fun and fresh poster containing over 50 representations of innovations and people, all of which chime on UNICEF’s programmes.
In the spirit of our Digital Principles of Innovation, we’ve open-sourced all the iconography and created a downloadable poster in two sizes, which you can find here. A key has been included to highlight just a few of the many innovations embedded within the ecosystem of the poster design.
BEHIND THE SCENES: THE MAKING OF THE POSTER
The poster was designed by the Office of Innovation Design & Interaction Team. Harmonizing on a singular aesthetic was not an easy task for four designers, but we thought it would be fun to share with you a little bit about the behind-the-scenes process on how we managed to accomplish the challenge:
Research and crowdsource: We reached out to our innovation colleagues to crowdsource and learn about the innovations that have spawned over the years. We generated a long list, sent out quick surveys, researched and read publications and articles and then narrowed in on innovations that would represent UNICEF’s programmatic areas. These ideas were then illustrated into icons representing a diverse array of products, ideas, and people. See the list below to learn more about some of innovations represented in the poster.
Four designers, one design style: Developing a system for iconography and agreeing on a direction required us to set-up rules and guidelines that would help us maintain design consistency. We came up with a few rules to keep our aesthetic consistent, agreeing on things like stroke weight, corner radius degrees and spacing between lines within an object – all perhaps mundane sounding tasks for some, but imperative to the design. We were also conscious of covering as many programmatic areas as possible, from health to education to emergencies. We were mindful of the balance between how much or little to represent, keeping in mind that the purpose of the poster was to express a joyful summary of UNICEF as a pioneer in equity for children.
Open debates and good rapport: Communication and establishing a workflow between four designers located in different time zones was a crucial part of making this poster. We had a number of debates over things like typography, Pantone colors, branding and other designerly nuances. In between it all, we maintained a strict timeline between the rest of our priorities, constantly chatted on WhatsApp and email, and tapped into our colleagues for feedback and debate. An important aspect to highlight is our design team’s strong and transparent rapport. This is perhaps one of the most outstanding and valuable qualities about our design team enabling us to make quick, strategic and meaningful decisions.
Here are some of the innovations highlighted in the poster:
- School in a Box Kit for learning in emergencies
- Pi4L (Raspberry Pi 4 Learning Kit)
- Primary School Furniture
- eLearning Sudan Online Learning Platform
- LLIN (Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets)
- Polio vaccine
- RUTF (Ready to Use Therapeutic Food for treating malnutrition)
- VVM (Vaccine Vial Monitor for temperature control)
- Auto Disable Syringe
- Oral Rehydration Salts and Zinc tablets
- DBS (Dried Blood Spots for early infant diagnosis of HIV)
- MUAC (Mid-Upper Arm Circumference) Band for diagnosis of moderate and severe acute malnutrition
- M-Pesa – Mobile money for direct cash transfer
- Emergency temporary structures
- Gravity Driven Membrane Filter to provide household access to clean drinking water
- Latrine slabs for improved sanitation
- Mark II Handpump for access to clean water through a borehole
- Jerrycan for transporting water
- Virtual Reality for creating empathy and understanding
- Wearable technologies for tracking child health
- ARIDA (Acute Respiratory Infection Diagnostic Aid) for more easily diagnosing pneumonia in children
You can download the poster in two sizes and all the iconography here.