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Penina Acayo Laker

Penina Acayo Laker is a designer and educator whose work and research are centered around topics that utilize a human-centered approach to solving social problems. In 2013, she collaborated on an award-winning project that used simplified iconography to communicate ailments associated with the spread, prevention, and treatment of malaria in Kibera, Kenya. This work has received multiple awards, with Metropolis Magazine naming it runner-up in its Next Generation Design Competition; it also earned the Student Notable Honoree status after placing in the top six of all national entries in the Core77 2013 Design Awards.

Acayo Laker earned an MFA in Visual Communication Design from Kent State University and a BA in Art from Goshen College. As a component of her MFA thesis, she developed a secondary-level design curriculum that was inspired by the paucity of design education in Uganda, despite the growth and increasing number of job opportunities within the country’s design sector. This subsequently inspired the creation of DesignEd Uganda workshops that Acayo Laker organizes and facilitates over the summer to equip young people with skills in design and creative problem-solving.

Work by Penina Acayo Laker

Person holding a poster with an infographic illustrating malaria symptoms for an individual.

Malaria Cause and Symptom Poster, 2013

Digital print.
Person holding a poster with an infographic illustrating malaria prevention and treatment paths.

Malaria Prevention and Treatment Poster, 2013

Digital print.
Set of four cards with text and illustrations for malaria dosage.

Malaria Dosage Cards, 2013

Digital print.
Set of eight cards with different-colored backgrounds, each featuring a simple illustration and text about different malaria symptoms.

Malaria Symptom Cards, 2013

Digital print.
Poster featuring a partially obscured black-and-gray stairstep image, with blue text + black all-caps text with the title SPEAK.

Speak Poster: Traveling stanzas series, 2013

Digital print.
Spread out set of five white booklets, each with a blue six-pointed star-like design on the cover.

Print Takeaway: Beacon Health system, 2015

Digital print.
Graphics for a wayfinding system, including white text on charcoal gray backgrounds.

Wayfinding System Proposal: Detroit-Superior Bridge, 2013

Environmental graphic design.