Graphic Design for Policy Communications

The content on this page is designed to help policy analysts create policy communications that are more visually appealing. Click through the Introduction slides to the right to learn more about what’s included.

Browse the modules below to learn the basic techniques of graphic design, including the use of typography, colors, and data visualization. Interactive activities are included so you can try your hand at graphic design.  

JUMP TO GRAPHIC DESIGN RESOURCES

Modules

Strategy Activity: Prompt    Solution 
Typography Activity:  Prompt    Solution 
Color Activity:  Prompt   Solution 
Photo Activity: Prompt   Solution  Icons Activity:  Prompt   Solution 
Composition Activity:  Prompt   Solution 
Messaging Activity:  Prompt   Solution 
Data Visualization Activity:  Prompt   Solution 

Create Color Palettes

Convert Color Formats

Check Color Contrast

Find Fonts

Find Free Icons

Useful Design Tools

Don’t underestimate the utility of Google Slides and/or Powerpoint!

Miro https://miro.com/

Kumu https://kumu.io/

Loopy https://ncase.me/loopy/

Additional Reading and Looking

Strategy

Incredibly detailed resource for type usage and jargon http://thinkingwithtype.com/ 

Applied tips on a variety of typography topics https://blog.thepapermillstore.com/typography/  

Links to further reading https://www.typewolf.com/resources  

Examples of typography in use https://fontsinuse.com/  

Wikipedia History of Western Typography https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Western_typography 

Nice introductory material https://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-1 

A fun game to practice your font selection skills http://www.typeconnection.com

Color

Imagery

Image file types https://99designs.com/blog/tips/image-file-types/ 

Oscars representation and inclusion standards

https://www.oscars.org/news/academy-establishes-representation-and-inclusion-standards-oscarsr-eligibility  

How to choose diverse and inclusive photos 

https://www.forumone.com/ideas/how-to-choose-diverse-and-inclusive-photos/ 

Icon, Index, and Symbol — Three Categories of Signs (thanks to Todd Richmond for the find)

https://vanseodesign.com/web-design/icon-index-symbol/

Composition

Messaging

Data Visualization

Ferdio’s compendium of over 100 visualization models https://datavizproject.com/  

Duarte’s templates https://diagrammer.duarte.com/

https://www.duarte.com/wp-content/uploads/Annotation-Toolkit-2020-10_00_02.pptx   

Interactive data visualizations that illustrate big global problems https://ourworldindata.org/ 

Google’s Material Design https://material.io/design/communication/data-visualization.html#types 

More Inspiration

FiveThirtyEight https://fivethirtyeight.com/tag/data-visualization/  

Flowing Data https://flowingdata.com/  

Reddit – Data is Beautiful https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/  

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog+technology/data-visualisation  

Vox Maps & Charts https://www.vox.com/maps