Make It Work: Motivating Through Graphic Design and Applied Psychology
Thursday, November 7, 6pm
Room 22, McNeal Hall, UMN St. Paul Campus
FREE and Open to the Public
Graphic Designer and College of Design instructor Richelle Huff, along with Brandon Sullivan, Ph.D., director of employee engagement at the University of Minnesota, will explore the context and meaning behind the impactful posters in GMD's exhibition, "Say It with Snap!" Motivating Workers by Design, 1923-1929.
Richelle and Brandon will also explore how the themes of persuasion and shaping behavior play out today in the fields of graphic design and workplace psychology. Here, they offer an insight into the perspectives they will bring to the discussion.
The "Say it with Snap!" exhibition is on display in Gallery 241 in McNeal Hall.
Discussion attendees are encouraged to visit the gallery prior to the event.
"As we look at the posters in the "Say it with Snap!" collection, we can observe how contemporary marketing, art and design were affecting everyday life. The collection reflects the influence of propaganda posters from WWI used in the United States, Britain, France and Germany with its strong imagery and bold statements. We can also see the use of flat color and typography guided by periodicals of the time such as Harper's Bazar and Life. Artists such as El Lissitzky saw technology and graphic design as a new way to influence the masses. The use of the lithography technique for printing created incredible colors and an amazing amount of ink coverage on the surface of the paper. It was the convergence of all these factors that shaped the look of the posters in the "Say it with Snap!" exhibition."
Images of posters and magazine covers from the 1920s (provided by Richelle Huff).
Brandon Sullivan, Ph.D.:
"It is amazing to see how the messages and motivations behind this collection of workplace posters from the 1920s still, in many ways, apply today. The large, complex organizations of 2013 continue to look for ways to inspire employees to work hard, produce quality products and services, and avoid making costly mistakes. Of course, there are a few newer ideas that are conspicuously missing from these posters. Also, it is striking how many of the specific images and words no longer resonate with today's workforce. Exploring these similarities and differences from the past provides an intriguing window into how organizations have tried to motivate employees over the past hundred years."