Washington, DC

National Endowment for the Arts

So, What is Design, Anyway? We were asked by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Smithsonian Institution to create a poster that would be distributed nationwide to schools for students aged K-12, describing what design is.

View more projects in Advocacy and Cause-Related

We decided to show how design is a process that requires teamwork, research, collaboration, and trial and error, using the development of the Bell 500 Series telephone as a case study. It took us weeks of back and forth with Washington, responding to faxed pages of criticism and comments (“We see that your poster starts at the bottom. Everyone knows a poster must be read from the top down.”) to finally get this done. It went out to schools around the country, spreading (we hope) the gospel of design.

Alexander Isley
Betty Lin

Russell Flinchum

The Herb Lubalin Study Center
of Design and Typography

Special Collections Research Center
NC State University Libraries

Museum of Design, Zurich

National Design Museum
Smithsonian Institution