Vote & Vax

Flu vaccinations can be a pain in more ways than one. Because the start of flu season traditionally corresponds with election day, Vote & Vax works with local officials and clinics across the nation to host flu shot programs at their polling places on Election Day. The challenge of branding this co-sponsored campaign of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the nonprofit organization SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration) was to create a visually evocative identity and communication program that avoids the pitfalls commonly associated with all things political and medical.

In collaboration with design agency Kick, we successfully transcended pandering and partisanship by transforming a simple bandage into a logo that symbolizes victory over the flu. The solution uses powerful language about health without spreading fear or succumbing to terrible stock photography. Next time we’ll try to do something about the ouch.


The 5over50 project was initiated at the 2009 Aspen Design Summit, which focused on catalyzing design for social change.

The event brought together design leaders, health care experts, and policy makers to develop design-driven strategies that creatively engage people over 50 and inform and motivate them to participate in 5 basic, recommended preventive health services such as flu shots, colorectal cancer and women’s cancer screenings. The CDC has documented that these services are widely available yet are not reaching the target population in adequate numbers due to financial, logistical and informational problems.

Schwartz Powell collaborated with a cross-disciplinary creative team including leaders from CDC, Mayo Clinic, AARP, and AIGA, in addition to design firms, Frog Design, Continuum, and Tomorrow. The long-term goal is a nationwide, multifaceted project with an established infrastructure in which informed citizens are made aware of their health needs and available health care services, and are matched with a delivery mechanism that is in place to provide basic preventive measures.

Read more about 5over50 and the 2009 Aspen Design Summit