Designer: Michelle Hopgood RGD
Project Team: Quinn Davidson, Josie Fung, Darren Karn, Alpesh Mistry, Melissa Pogue, Jennifer Riel, Stefanie Schram
Illustrator: Lisa Smith
A five-year study by The Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) exploring the future of democratic capitalism found that most policy recommendations are offered without grounding in the needs of real people. To address this disconnect, the MPI Persona Project was created based on interviews with American citizens. From these interviews, 13 personas were created to represent a cross-section of occupational and demographic categories. The MPI Persona Project cards and exhibition are the public manifestation of this work.
The production phase required the development of a box, 125 unique cards, over 100 curated stock photos, icons from The Noun Project and illustrated representations of each persona and artefact. Information hierarchy, navigation and seamless user experience were essential considerations. For the cards, the turnaround time was approximately three months from initiation to delivery of the printed product. The exhibition was completed simultaneously over a two month period. The exhibit required sourcing a durable substrate that would allow for the persona panels to be handled and mishandled by users. Collectively, the team decided to use Sintra PVC with UV-based inks, as it offered the most rigidity and durability for the panels.
The project has officially launched in Washington, D.C. on-stage at ‘New America’ with Roger Martin and Anne-Marie Slaughter. It is a newly minted and living project that will continue to evolve.
MPI Persona Project embodies many of the best elements of design, including strategy, a human-centred design approach, thoughtful visuals, a clear communication hierarchy, a visual system, print and web design components, creative iteration, and even social consciousness. On top of that, the project met its objectives in a tight timeline, overcoming press obstacles and adjusting its format to create the best experience for its audience. This is a project I want to explore further.
– Ashleigh Axios
This is a great approach to a complex subject and well executed, despite production challenges.
– Michael Macaulay