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Cats, Semiotics and Effective Design Communication

Cats, Semiotics and Effective Design Communication

By ETR | June 26, 2019

Effective design communication is central to ETR’s mission. Our projects and products communicate health concepts so people can obtain the information, skills and opportunities they need to lead healthy lives. In fact, that’s language lifted directly out of our mission statement.

We have projects through the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California that communicate the power of saying “No” to tobacco. Our school program HealthSmart communicates essential health ideas to students across the K-12 landscape. Our online store hosts hundreds of health-focused pamphlets, posters, banners, pocket guides and more.


ETR’s team of scientists uses effective design to communicate ideas that emerge through their work (for example, scroll down to the diagram in this blog post by Louise Ann Lyon that compares traditional versus actual pathways to computer science careers). Our entire agency works with the Health Equity Framework (HEF), an integrated and intersectional framework that can probably be best understood by interacting with the elements set forth at the beautifully designed HEF web pages.

So design is an honored part of the work we do. ETR’s graphic and communication design team is sophisticated and knowledgeable about using design elements to support essential messages about health, whether the audience is consumers, researchers, educators, trainers, policy people or anyone else working in the arena of health and education equity.

Lauren Connelly’s new video Cats, Semiotics and Effective Communication Design pretty much captures that completely. In a manner that is both informative and entertaining, she explains the complex science of semiotics in ways that make sense to all of us, designer or otherwise. And she uses her cats, Rocket and Groot, to help in the process.

So here you have it. ETR’s very first official cat video. Which, of course, is linked to some useful learning that will help you understand more about the power of great design, and be better prepared to use that power for good.

Thanks for the insights, Lauren!

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