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Health Communication Design Studio



The Health Communication Design Studio (HCDS) investigates pressing issues related to public health, particularly in underserved populations. We create strategic design solutions to address these challenges, and we evaluate their impact in our communities.
Two self-test booklets and two vaccine conversation card holders opened on a white surface. A scattering of postcards in front of them, ranging from orange and pink to blue and green.

Why Health and Design?

The field of design is uniquely suited to approach the vast web of our healthcare system. Design methodologies provide a nonrestrictive yet focused way to find solutions to complex problems. Health communication design provides individuals access to information related to their own health as well as ways to connect public healthcare systems. The HCDS is invested in establishing new avenues for public engagement, education, and empowerment related to public health.

HCDS Areas of Research & Investment:

  • Designing effective science communication
  • Addressing health disparities
  • Building trust in community
  • Distribution of public health resources
  • Community-based participatory design


Recent Projects


Our recent projects address issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccine hesitancy, health misinformation, and self-testing.

Vaccine Conversation Cards

Envelope and card system created to start conversations about the vaccine with unvaccinated family and friends.

iHeard STL

A public-facing dashboard tracking the prevalence and believability of information in the community, and providing responses to incorrect information.

iHealth Self-Test Instructional Booklet

An iHealth COVID-19 self-testing instructions booklet distributed to 2-1-1 callers who requested a self-testing kit.

Canvassing Door Hangtags

A series of door hangtags created for the Regional Response Team to distribute information about COVID-19 vaccination.

Self-Test Instructional Booklet for Seniors

An iHealth COVID-19 self-testing instructions booklet distributed to homebound seniors who requested a self-testing kit.

At-Home Vaccinations

Postcards delivered through Meals on Wheels to at-home seniors to connect them with vaccination appointments and/or self-test kits.

STL COVID Research Hub

A website created to make clinical trial recruitment more accessible to African American community members and encourage participation.

Life During COVID

A series of recruitment postcards for Project 6, whose aim was to conduct 50 interviews with individual community members about their life during the pandemic.

CEAL STL Logo

Logo created to unify separate projects under the St. Louis Community Engagement Alliance.

University and Community Partners

Health Communication Research Lab

St. Louis County Department of Health

St. Louis City Department of Health

St. Louis Regional Response Team

HCDS is supported by the following grants and organizations
  • NIH’s Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL)
  • NIH’s Rapid Diagnostics for Underserved Populations (RADxUP)
  • CDC’s Prevention Research Centers (PRC).
Awards & Publications
  • Graphic Design USA Health + Wellness Award Winner 2022
  • Graphic Design USA Best Of Year Winner 2022
  • AIGA DEC Surface Conference 2022 Paper & Presentation - From Vaccine Hesitancy to Vaccine Confidence: Addressing Covid-19 Vaccination Hesitancy Through Conversation Cards and Vaccine Ambassadors