Case Study: Wish You Were Here

Masters student work, Harrington College of Design
Project Title
Case Study: Wish You Were Here
Summer 2013 session

Project Brief

This project is a social awareness campaign, driven by design directives pertaining to how communication design can make a difference in society. In preparation for the assignment, we were asked the following questions: How might we make a difference in the world by means of communication design? How might we change the way companies and corporations operate? How might we stimulate and persuade civilians to participate in addressing issues affecting their community, their country or the world at large? Our goal was clear: We wanted to create a campaign that connected people with the real world instead of a virtual one.


As this was a student project, we had no budget. We paid $5.00 for our domain. The outdoor spaces were photographed by one of the designers. We used royalty-free stock photos on the products. One of the designers involved in the project had a boyfriend who worked as a professional photographer, and he shot our bio photos.


Most of our research was done online since that was the best source for current data. We took some of that data and created infographics that are featured on our website and refer back to the articles. We also used our own experiences as a way to connect with our audience.


The research helped define the problem: In order to reach as large an audience as possible, this campaign needed to take multiple routes. We were looking to encourage our audience to disengage from their digital devices long enough to engage with their surroundings. This meant that we had to find ways to connect at different touchpoints that people have throughout the day, whether online and offline.


Our target audience is large and diverse. The social awareness campaign is intended to span socioeconomic boundaries, as well as age, education and location.


We presented our campaign to the communication design department chair at Harrington College of Design on the last day of class, where it was well-received. The day after presenting, we launched a Facebook campaign to start the conversation. We plan to send an email blast to all students at Harrington during the fall 2013 semester. The project was also featured in a student show at the school. Our goal is to expand the dialogue beyond the classroom. Ideally we would like to see the concept produced as part of an awareness campaign implemented on a city level.

Additional information

If you work on a project like this, you’ll get called out whenever you pull out your phone or iPad.